With so much up in the air right now in regards to the 2019-20 NHL season, it’s easy to forget that we have an intriguing offseason on the horizon… whenever that may be.
There are some big time players set to hit the market as unrestricted free agents this summer including Taylor Hall, Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug, Mike Hoffman and Braden Holtby. There’s plenty of depth too with guys like Mikael Granlund, Wayne Simmonds, Tyson Barrie and Tyler Toffoli all set to hit the market, as well. Surely all of these guys will get snapped up. But what about the deeper depth options?
What about veteran guys like Ryan Reaves, Matt Martin, Dale Weise and Kyle Clifford? These aren’t the type of guys who sign on day one of free agency, but they’re still valuable guys to their teammates.
In Clifford’s case, he’s excited at the prospect of hitting the open market for the first time in his career but he also admits that he has an affinity for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs, as well.
Check it out:
Clifford, of course, was acquired by the Leafs from the Los Angeles Kings early this season. He’s in the final year of a five year deal that pays him $1.6 million annually and, at 29 years old, is likely looking at getting one last solid pay check before aging out of the game.
So… what will it take to keep him in Toronto? Has he earned a raise on his $1.6 million salary? You’d have to imagine so, right? But there’s almost no chance he receives the type of term he got on his previous deal. Would he accept a two year deal worth $5 million total? Would the Leafs be prudent to commit that much money to a fourth line forward?
One thing’s for sure: Clifford is beloved by his Leafs teammates. There’s a fit both on the roster and in the dressing room. Now, it’s just a matter of seeing whether or not the money fits as well.
What do you think, Leafs fans? What's a reasonable deal for Clifford?