With today’s trade of veteran winger Simon Gagne, the Los Angeles Kings now only have one spare forward on its active roster. Brad Richardson has been the healthy scratch of late, so Gagne’s trade leaves the Kings short on skill amongst its non-dressed group. Part of General Manager Dean Lombardi’s motivation for this deal had to be his trust in Tyler Toffoli’s ability should circumstances require an offensive boost.
Lombardi had an extensive conference call with the media today. Kings reporter Helene Elliott tweeted here that Lombardi would not make a subsequent recall from the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Manchester; rather, he would prefer to roster eight defensemen while the new defensemen gets adjusted to the rigors of an NHL season.
While Lombardi will take this approach to incorporate the return of Alec Martinez to the lineup in the next week or two, it is hard to deny Toffoli’s case for a call up. After 51 games in Manchester, the first-year pro leads the Monarchs with 26 goals and is second on the team with 43 points. A testament to his two-way ability, Toffoli also leads the squad with a plus-16.
This situation is similar to what occurred last winter. When the Kings were languishing offensively, Lombardi recalled Dwight King and Jordan Nolan to add dimensions to the lineup he thought were missing. Were this to become the case this season, Lombardi will not hesitate to call up the offensively gifted Toffoli, who has displayed a knack for scoring goals at every stage of his career.