Kyle Clifford – ‘This isn’t just a tight team, it’s a tight organization’

Clifford Kyle LA KingsKings GM Dean Lombardi has already provided local media with his thoughts (and there were lots of them) regarding his club missing the playoffs. Same for Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, who met with the media following exit interviews on Monday at Toyota Sports Center. Their thoughts are posted here – including what it might be like to play without Justin Williams and/or Jarret Stoll next season.

Now, we turn our attention a little further down the lineup. Kyle Clifford has been turning heads since made the NHL as a teenager. We’ve told the story several times, but we’ll never forget then-assistant coach Mark Hardy calling him the MVP of camp – just a few months after he was drafted. Several members of the Kings’ management team have been impressed with the young Canadian going all the way back to his days with the Barrie Colts in the OHL.

At just 24-years old, he already owns two Stanley Cup rings, and recently agreed to a five-year extension with the club. Life is pretty good for Clifford, just not at this particular moment, as you’ll pick up on during his conversation with MayorsManor – here is what he had to say via phone…

On the disappointment of not being in the playoffs:

“It’s a weird feeling; feels uncomfortable. Seems like we’ve got too much time on our hands now.”

On if he was satisfied with his season personally:

“I think as a young player, we’ve got a young team with some young guys who are all trying to grow and establish an identity. I think we’re all trying to push ourselves to be more consistent. There are some areas that we’re really good with that and there are some areas where maybe we need a little more consistency. Looking back, you’re just trying to see what could get better, and as a team, there are little areas that we can improve on.”

On if he felt like he hit a wall during the year:

“For the last three or four years,we’ve been through a lot as a team. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses and say that we were tired or anything. At the end of the day, we just weren’t good enough and we fell a little short.”

On if the team ever discussed being out of gas at any point late in the season:

“No, I think as a team we were always focused. We knew what we needed to do. We knew that we had to get to playoffs and we were doing everything in our power to do that. We were fighting tooth and nail, but at the end of the day we came up short.”

On the players locking coach Darryl Sutter out of the room in Tampa Bay:

“Honestly, I think it’s blown out of proportion. I don’t think it was that big of a deal. It’s something that’s gotten blown up and it’s something that we [normally] keep in our locker room. Over the years, you’re going to have certain situations, but this one I feel like is blown up and way out of proportion.”

On if incidents like that have happened before:

“With Darryl, he pushes you to get the best out of you, every individual. Because he knows, at the end of the day, that it’s going to help the team, that’s part of the business. There’s always going to be a push back and that’s what we do as a team. We’re all in this together and were all fighting for the same thing. We’re all going to push each other to try and achieve that goal again of recapturing what we’ve been able to do over the last couple years.”

On if the Kings are as tight of a team as they were a year ago:


On him being so quick to answer that question:

“This isn’t just a tight team, it’s a tight organization. We’re all in this together. We came up short this year and we’re not happy with ourselves. We’ve got a lot of time to reflect here and sometime in the next couple of weeks, we’ll get the work boots back on.”

On how motivated he was by the contract extension he received:

“It was nice to get it done and it puts that much more focus on moving forward and what we can accomplish together. Everybody in our organization knows the type of group [we have] and how special the players are here, on and off the ice, and what we can do.”

On how this summer might be different than others, in terms of how he prepares for the next season:

“This summer is important for all of us. We’re in the business of winning and we didn’t do that this year. We’ve all got time here, we’re going to take a little time and rest. We’ have young guys on the team who will be coming in ready to push each other and to make the team better. We have a great veteran group that can lead this team, as well.”

On if he wants more opportunity in hybrid situations such as Dwight King has had:

“As a young professional, you’re always looking to push your game. You look at a guy like Dwight, he’s one of the most underrated players on our team. He brings a lot to the table. Looking forward, you’re always trying to push to get better, that’s what we all do on our team. We’re always trying to push to get better and make the team better.”

On if he looks over his shoulder at players like Andy Andreoff coming up behind him:

“Yeah, that’s the business of sports, there’s always someone that can come take your spot. You have to come in ready to go. It’s just about being ready and executing.”

On if seeing the Doughty and Lewis ‘beef’ on twitter maybe makes him want to sign up for an account:

“That’s not for me. I can shoot the shit and have fun with the guys, personally. I don’t have the time for twitter. I have a one year old at home that keeps me busy.”

On if he’s worried that one of those guys will post a picture from his childhood:

“You know, I’m a pretty good looking guy, so that doesn’t bother me.”


Clifford Explains His Nickname

Bissonnette’s views on Kyle Clifford aren’t so nasty anymore

UPDATED: Full Details on Kyle Clifford Extension


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  1. I love Clifford. Great interview!!