NHL Rumors: 2 Maple Leafs Likely On The Outside Looking In This Season

NHL training camps kick off in the very near future as there's going to be lots of internal competition across all 32 clubs. In our latest series here at NHLTR, we'll dive into a couple players from each team who are going to be in tough to crack the NHL roster out of training camp this season. We'll start in Toronto with the Maple Leafs as these two forwards will be in tough to make the team in 2022-23:

Kyle Clifford

If one thing is for sure this summer, Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas wanted to add some depth and create a battle for bottom-six roles on his hockey club. The team signed a slew of forwards including Calle Jarnkrok, Adam Gaudette, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and recently Zach Aston-Reese, who signed a PTO for camp. 
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Tough guy Kyle Clifford is now going to be in very tough to make the NHL roster out of training camp as the veteran forward was signed to a two-year extension last season. According to one source, Clifford was surprised by the contract offer and had other plans to move on with his career. Now the 31-year-old will be in tough to show he's capable of making an impact on the team's fourth line, or else he'll be riding the bus in the American Hockey League. The latter seems very likely at this point.

Wayne Simmonds

Another veteran who will need to be at his best at training camp is Maple Leafs forward Wayne Simmonds. The 34-year-old is entering the final season of his current contract and will be in tough to crack this season's NHL lineup. Simmonds recorded 16 points in 72 games last season and does a great job sticking up for his teammates and playing the game tough. Unfortunately for the veteran forward, his skating continues to decline and it may be his biggest fault over some of the physical forecheckers Dubas brought in this summer. Clifford and Simmonds, two Maple Leafs forwards likely on the outside looking in this season.
Photo credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports