The St. Louis Blues have placed Kyle Clifford on waivers, according to Jeff Marek of Sportsnet. With Scott Perunovich’s recall, the team needed to clear more than $900K in cap space if they wanted to activate Oskar Sundqvist from injured reserve. Clifford, who makes $1MM this season, could be loaned to the minor leagues should he clear waivers, completely burying his cap hit.
Clifford, 30, has only played two games for the Blues this season, spending nearly two weeks in the COVID protocol. The fourth-line forward did register a point in one of those two matches, but has very limited offensive upside. That, added to the fact that he makes more than league minimum, makes him an unlikely claim candidate, though perhaps a team believes he can add some extra toughness to their bottom-six. There’s certainly a case for the experience factor, as Clifford has played in more than 700 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Los Angeles Kings.
Sundqvist is a much more useful player though, and given Perunovich’s incredible start in the minor leagues, it was hard to justify keeping him down any longer. Making room for the young defenseman could potentially cost them Clifford, but with the team on a three-game losing streak and falling behind in the Central Division race, something needed to be changed.