Kyle Clifford will be exploring the open market, his agent, Todd Reynolds, tells me. "He's heading for free agency. The #Leafs are aware of that." TOR's financial situation has forced the issue.— Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun) September 16, 2020
Kyle Clifford was added to the Leafs roster along with Jack Campbell before the 2020 trade deadline. The Los Angeles Kings got Trevor Moore, the 2020 third-round draft pick that the Leafs had received from Columbus, and a 2021 conditional pick. If Clifford does not re-sign that pick is a third-rounder, but it upgrades to a second-rounder if he does.
Clifford, 29, is coming off a five-year deal with an AAV of $1.6 million, a price that’s beyond what the Leafs can likely afford for a depth player.
Clifford played in 16 regular-season Leafs games and had one goal and two assists. He appeared in all five “playoff” games and had no points. Clifford and the rest of the fourth line were successful for the Leafs in gaining and keeping possession in the playoffs, but nothing ever showed up on the scoreboard.
The Maple Leafs have the potential to sign RFA Evan Rodrigues for less than that amount, and they also have Pierre Engvall at $1.25 million, Nick Robertson, Egor Korshkov, Kenny Agostino and Nic Petan at under one million, who can all play left wing.