Tyler Toffoli, who did not play against Nashville or Dallas at the tail end of the recent seven-game road trip, has been officially placed on injured-reserve. The club’s press release did not specify any detail on the nature of the injury, but LA Kings Insider has learned that it is a lower-body injury.
Do not expect Toffoli back in the near future; the winger will almost certainly need more than the seven days of recovery time from the date of the injury as allotted by injured reserve. Darryl Sutter also indicated as much yesterday, telling reporters that the club will “get him looked at again early after the new year, so it’ll be at least a week before we even look at him again.” It is believed that the injury occurred early in the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 20. Toffoli ultimately played 15:05 in that game, registering three shots on goal.
By placing Toffoli on injured reserve, the Kings have opened up a roster spot in advance of Brayden McNabb’s return to the lineup. McNabb isn’t expected to be activated or play tonight, but his return is coming in the very foreseeable future. The team will also have to decide whether it wants to keep eight defenseman active – Sutter implied earlier this year that he didn’t mind having eight available defensemen – or whether it would want to make a transaction to recall a forward from AHL-Ontario, which could come at the expense of a defenseman already on the roster. Kevin Gravel is the only defenseman on the roster who is waiver-exempt, for what it’s worth.
In 32 games, Toffoli, who is due to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, has eight goals, 20 points and a team-best plus-14 rating amidst an average ice time of 17:40. His injury interrupted a stretch of 149 consecutive games played since a bout of mononucleosis sidelined him midway through 2014-15.
Los Angeles returns to action with a back-to-back set against Vancouver (7:00 p.m. PT / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio) on Wednesday and Edmonton on Thursday (6:00 p.m. PT / FOX Sports West / FOX Sports GO / KABC 790 / I Heart Radio).