This is going to be structured very similarly to yesterday's post about Jordan Nolan, so my apologies for any deja vu you experience...
The Los Angeles Kings continue to double down on the players they won their rings with. Forward Kyle Clifford has been signed to a five-year contract extension worth $1.6 million per season. Clifford's average salary jumps up by half a million dollars starting next year, and it runs until 2020. Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Jeff Carter are the only other Kings who have deals going into the next decade.
Unlike Jordan Nolan, Kyle Clifford's lineup spot has never really been in long-term jeopardy due to fourth-line competition. The total number of regular-season games he's missed in his five years with the club: 6, 1, 0, 11, 2. And he only missed that many games in 2013-14 due to an early-season concussion. Unlike Nolan, he also was a key playoff contributor, playing perhaps the best game of his career in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final.
No, the uncertainty for Clifford has always been due to his percevied trade value. At this point, the annual "Clifford to the Habs!" or "Theare interested!" rumors have become a running joke. Easy to see why they keep popping up, though; he's consistent, he scraps, and he's held his own on one of the league's elite teams since they became relevant.
HERO Chart via Dom Galamini (rates compared to rest of the NHL)
Clifford is basically a known quantity at this point: good-to-great fourth liner, probably never going to be a long-term presence in the Kings' top nine. Could his ceiling rise? Sure it could; he's still just 24 years old. So what do you think of the move, and ESPECIALLY the five-year term? Read our review of Kyle Clifford's 2014 season and vote in the poll below.