Harry How/Getty Images

Tyler Toffoli, who was injured early in the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 20, took the ice for a brief skate at the tail end of the Kings’ morning skate at Toyota Sports Center on Wednesday in his attempt to return from a lower-body injury.

“It was just to get a feel for the ice,” he said. “It’s been a while, so it was nice to get back out there and it was good to get a feel for it.”

Based on conversations with team sources, the injury was expected to sideline the 24-year old for a moderate amount of time but was never pinpointed as a “long-term” injury. As early as Monday, January 2, Darryl Sutter had said that the team would “hopefully” get Toffoli back on skates by the end of that week, though by January 8, Sutter had clarified that “I think ‘hope’ was in capital letters” when asked if there was any update.

On Wednesday, Sutter relayed the initial time frame as it had been shared with the coaches.

“Once we came back and had the doctor’s evaluation we were told a three-to-six week time frame, so yesterday was four weeks, so we thought he’d be a little further ahead, but at the same time, there’s a fine line between the healing and the training,” he said.

It had appeared as though Toffoli was right on the verge of testing his injury on the ice for some time, but that date was ultimately pushed back several times. At no point did any member of hockey operations express any realistic concern to LA Kings Insider that the injury might be anything that would sideline the right wing for anything long term, or that there had been any setbacks.

“It’s just trying to get healthy – healthy enough to play and be effective and just communicating with the trainers and going from there,” Toffoli said of the process.

While getting onto the ice represents a step forward in that process, don’t expect to learn of him as an option on Los Angeles’ upcoming four-game trip, which pits the team against the three New York-area teams and Carolina.

Toffoli wasn’t inclined to share the particulars of how the injury occurred, but did say that “I think it was my first shift, second shift” of the Columbus game. It was likely the result of this hit from Josh Anderson near the Blue Jackets bench, an injury that Toffoli acknowledged resulted from “a hockey play and just bad luck”:

Toffoli registered three shots on goal as part of 15:05 of ice time that night but has missed the 12 games since and isn’t expected to return tonight or in the upcoming road trip.

“I think Tyler’s pushing hard and we want him back,” Sutter said. “We were hoping to have him for sure on this next trip, so that doesn’t appear to be the case right now because he hasn’t had any skating or practicing.”

The injury ended Toffoli’s stretch of 149 consecutive games played. The fifth-year forward missed six games due to mononucleosis in the 2014-15 season and had been a healthy scratch earlier in his Kings tenure but had otherwise never missed a game due to injury in his 262 NHL games prior to his lower-body ailment.

“It sucks,” he said. “It sucks not being able to play and missing this much time, I’ve never done it before in my career. I want to be right there with my teammates and battling and winning games and it just sucks.”

Prior to today’s on-ice session, Toffoli had been working out regularly in his efforts to remain conditioned in support of his eventual return.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been in the gym every day … since it happened, so I’m just trying to keep my strength and do all those things and like I said, just keep working out with my trainers and doing all the right things,” he said.

In 32 games this season, Toffoli, who was placed on IR on December 28, has eight goals, 20 points and a team-best plus-14 rating. He is eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Juan Ocampo/NHLI

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS