The Kings’ roster stood at 31 names as of Wednesday afternoon, and there aren’t likely to be any surprises when they take the ice for their season-opening game Oct. 3 against the Minnesota Wild at St. Paul, Minn. In fact, the Kings’ lineup for Tuesday’s 2-1 exhibition victory over the visiting Ducks was about what you might expect to see next week.
With the exception of left wing Dustin Brown and defenseman Jake Muzzin, who didn’t play because of injuries, Kings coach Darryl Sutter iced what looked like an opening-night lineup. Brown had a sore hamstring and did not dress and Muzzin suffered a tweaked knee and could not play. But otherwise, the Kings’ best players were all in their lineup. All of which means their young players could soon be returning to the minor leagues.
For instance, Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson could be reunited soon as the top line of the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League. There simply aren’t job openings on the Kings’ roster, one that remains remarkably unchanged from the one that claimed the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history in 2011-12.