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Former Leaf Kyle Clifford Signing With St. Louis Blues

According to Darren Dreger, former Toronto Maple Leafs and LA Kings forward Kyle Clifford is close to signing a deal with the St. Louis Blues

In the later afternoon on Sunday, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that former Toronto Maple Leafs and LA Kings forward Kyle Clifford was close to signing a deal with the St. Louis Blues on day three of NHL free agency. Dreger wrote: “Might be out there. Haven’t seen the details, but hearing Kyle Clifford is signing with the Blues.”

Blues insider Andy Strickland later confirmed the news from his end and the team officially sealed news of the deal as well with an official tweet. The contract is for two years and is believed to be worth $1 million per season.

Clifford represents a very solid depth piece for St. Louis but there might be a bit of an awkward locker room conversation after he and Jordan Binnington, along with Ivan Barbashev and Oskar Sundqvist had an altercation with him. If they can get past all that, as one fan pointed out, Clifford-Sundqvist-Barbashev could be a nasty 4th line.

Talk was that the Maple Leafs were interested in retaining Clifford but the forward must not have been ok with the offer or the team pulled their offer when they landed Wayne Simmonds a few minutes into day one of free agency. Clifford was excited to join the Leafs prior to last season’s trade deadline and he had an affinity for Toronto. The problem was for the Leafs, re-signing him meant Toronto giving up an higher draft pick as part of the condition of a trade with the Kings.

Clifford has a couple of Stanley Cups on his resume and scored seven goals and 17 points in 69 games last season, split between the Kings and Maple Leafs. He was drafted by Los Angeles Kings in round 2, at NO. 35 overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Blues Now Have to Shed Salary

With the deal, the Blues are now $1.176M above the salary cap and have a roster size of 23 players (15F-6D-2G). They also still have RFA defenseman Vince Dunn to sign.

Next: Best of the Rest: Who Is Still Available In 2020 NHL Free Agency?

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