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

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes on Petersen, Trades, Sturm and the LA Kings

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s Mayor’s Minutes on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon to discuss a myriad of topics, including – the call up of Cal Petersen, Jack Campbell’s injury, Jonathan Quick’s return, coach Willie Desjardins, the arrival of Marco Sturm, trade speculation regarding four players… […]

Kings-Flames Preview: Exploring Quick Injury, Kovalchuk Fitting In, and Adam Oates

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on Sportsnet Radio, where he joined host Will Nault to tee up the Kings-Flames game, as well as discuss the latest updates on Jonathan Quick’s injury, Willie Desjardins as coach, Ilya Kovalchuk fitting in with the LA Kings, and Adam Oates joining the organization as a consultant. […]

TSN RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Stevens, Desjardins, Quenneville, and Putting it All Together

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined host Kevin Olszewski to do a deep dive on the LA Kings coaching situation. Was the timing of John Stevens termination a surprise? How did Willie Desjardins get the interim gig? Is Joel Quenneville a possible fit for LA? Did Ilya […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2018 Mid-Season Top 10 Prospect Rankings: The Top Two

It all comes down to this. After an extensive journey through the LA Kings current prospect pool, we've finally arrived at the top two players in the rankings - including this year's highly coveted No. 1 spot. … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Comments