Veteran Leaf Kyle Clifford
Photo credit: TSN

Veteran Leaf begins his transition from active player to life after pro hockey with retirement looming

Published February 14, 2024 at 11:12

It would appear as though one active player within the Toronto Maple Leafs organization has already begun preparing for life after his pro hockey career and that much was evident from his presence at KeyBank Center in Buffalo to take in the action between the Kings and Sabres in scouting role.

Kyle Clifford, who last played for the Leafs in 2022-23, joined Toronto Marlies GM Ryan Hardy in Buffalo on Tuesday at the Kings/Sabres game to learn the ropes in a potential future scouting role. While he's only 33 years of age, Clifford plays a physical brand of hockey that can shave years off of a pro hockey career and, like many players before him, he looks poised to transition into a new role once he decides to hang up the skates. By the looks of things, he seems intent on remaining with the Leafs organization.

Clifford is still actively competing, playing for the Toronto Marlies, so it's certainly odd to see him take on a scouting role with the team if he wasn't contemplating announcing his retirement sooner than later. In 33 games with the Marlies this season, Clifford has racked up 8 goals and 18 points and 76 penalty minutes.

Perhaps Clifford chose scouting as his next career choice due to the similar schedule he'd keep to the one he has now, traveling around as a player. For some, transitioning straight into a front office job is not something they desire and for others who don't take to it as quickly, scouting is a good start to learn the basics before they actually land a front office gig.

If Clifford's playing career truly is coming to an end, we'd like to wish him all the best in whatever comes next, be it as a scout, in a coaching role or anything else he may have his mind set on.
February 14   |   546 answers
Veteran Leaf begins his transition from active player to life after pro hockey with retirement looming

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