Kyle Clifford is not convinced he has spot on the LA Kings

If you think the Kings went though a lot of changes this summer, how about what Kyle Clifford experienced last year?

A small town kid playing junior hockey knocks the socks off the management group of his NHL team, makes the big club, moves to Los Angeles…and starts getting into scraps with men – often much bigger than him – a couple times a week. Oh, and then he starts scoring big goals in the playoffs.

No, this actually happened, we’re not describing the plot of some new Disney movie.

Although he’s been completely embraced by the fan base and his teammates, Clifford says he’s coming into this season with a degree of caution.

“This summer my focus was that there isn’t a legitimate spot that I have locked up. So, I want to continue working hard and just get ready for this season. I want to try and make an impact on this team this year.”

As with most players, in addition to training, he found time for a few extracurricular activities too.

“Hanging out in small town areas, some people might not think it’s exciting,” Clifford began. “But, I just kind of kept it simple – bonfires with a lot of friends and family, things like that. I also made it out to a country concert. We took a little three-day camping trip to New York to see Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Jared Neiman. It was a lot of fun.”

Emphasising the important role friends play in Clifford’s world, he made time to honor one with a tattoo on the inside of his right bicep last month. It’s a few simple words in script lettering that will help him remember a close friend who passed away while Kyle was off in the NHL last season.

Bringing it back to the present, yesterday at Hockey Fest, young fans were eager to know more about Clifford during the Kid’s Press Conference. Given how quiet he was last year around most of the guys though, I asked if he was a little intimidated or concerned when he found out he’d be up on stage with the always colorful Matt Greene and Kevin Westgarth.

“I was actually pretty excited, that’s less talking for me. I don’t really like to voice my opinion too much, unless it’s needed. So, I was excited that they’d be up there to take over most of the talking.”

Truth be told, Clifford ended up doing plenty of talking, answering everything asked of him – including his Halloween costume, what karaoke song he likes to sing, the weirdest thing he’s been asked to autograph and much more.

For those that missed the Kings Presser, it was perhaps the highlight of Hockey Fest this year. I’ll be sure to post video later this week when the guys over at Kings Vision make it available.

We’ll also have plenty more notes and quotes from Hockey Fest later today and throughout the week.

Recent Articles

Robitaille Luc LA Kings NHL

TBT: Luc’s First Hat Trick, Kings Memories at Nassau Coliseum

Tonight’s game will mark the Kings final visit to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the stadium where the Islanders have played their home games for the last 43 years.  It’s also a perfect opportunity for the subject of this week’s Throw Back Thursday article. Not only is it a building very reminiscent of the Kings former […]

Richards Mike LA Kings NY Rangers

Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Radio: Richards, Kings, Ducks Problems

Follow @mayorNHL Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio. John Hoven joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to touch on all the latest happenings in the Western Conference. Among the highlights were observations on Mike Richards’ return to the NHL, Jarret Stoll’s progress, a surging Anze Kopitar, what might be […]

Amadio

LA Kings Prospect Tracker, Plus Playoff Matchups Set

All Canadian major junior leagues have now completed their regular seasons and playoff matchups have been set. Every Kings prospect playing in the OHL and QMJHL qualified for post-season action, with two of them even set to square off in the opening round as Spencer Watson (Kingston) will face Mike Amadio (North Bay). The Kings […]

Major News Items

Kings Top 10 Prospects MayorsManor

LA Kings 2014-15 Midseason Prospect Rankings: The Top 5

Finally, the wait is over. With the Honorable Mentions and Nos. 6-10 prospects previously revealed in other articles, we are now prepared to share the final five players making up the latest edition of our L.A. Kings Top … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments