The regular season down to four games and with little chance he would play, the Kings sent rookie forward Tyler Toffoli back to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League on Friday. Toffoli, who turns 21 on Wednesday, played in only eight games for the Kings and scored two goals and five points. He averaged only 11 minutes, 55 seconds per game. In 55 games in his rookie season with Manchester, he scored 48 points (28 goals, 20 assists). The Kings recalled him March 10.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said last week Toffoli was recalled to add depth during the lockout-compressed schedule. Sutter then turned to seldom-used forward Brad Richardson starting with the Kings’ game March 31 against the Dallas Stars, leaving Toffoli as the odd-man out. Sutter also said Toffoli would have a difficult time cracking the Kings’ lineup in the immediate future because the team is loaded at the right wing and center positions. Sutter indicated Toffoli might be best served by shifting to left wing, where the Kings aren’t nearly as deep.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings (25-14-5) took Friday off, so Sutter and others were unavailable for comment. The team returns to its El Segundo practice rink Saturday to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars.