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Leafs acquire forward Kyle Clifford for future considerations

Clifford will start with the Marlies.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Five Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced this afternoon that they have acquired forward Kyle Clifford, in exchange for future considerations, from the St. Louis Blues.

Clifford is fresh off clearing waivers, meaning he can be sent to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies without further ado. Reporter Frank Seravalli confirms that is indeed the plan.

Kyle Clifford originally came to the Maple Leafs in February 2020. He was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings as part of the trade that also brought the Leafs their current starting goalie, Jack Campbell. His first season in Toronto ended on a down note, as he put up a line of zeroes during the Leafs’ qualifying-round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Clifford moved on to the St. Louis Blues after that, from whence he’s now returned.

A gritty power forward, Clifford has over four times as many penalty minutes as points in his eleven-year NHL career. He’s yet another example that when Leafs GM Kyle Dubas knows and likes you, he will go out of his way to make room for you: Dubas represented Clifford during his brief career as a player agent, and has now traded for him twice.

At this stage in his career, the 30-year-old Clifford is primarily here to provide a good attitude, good fellowship, and maybe a little violence at the AHL level. Still, being popular with management is a good way to get work, and it’s not totally impossible he pops up in the NHL at some point. If not, no worries. Semyon Der-Arguchintsev can always use big friends.

Welcome back, Kyle!