Injuries to forwards Jeff Carter (foot), Kyle Clifford (concussion) and Jarret Stoll (upper body) left the Kings will no choice but to recall Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey from their American Hockey League affiliate at Manchester (N.H.). The three rookies have made their impact in recent games, but some have been more impactful than others, according to Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
Here’s what 22-year-old rookie forward Linden Vey had to say after setting up Jordan Nolan for the Kings’ first goal of the game, and his first NHL point, Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks:
“After every shift and every game I feel a lot better. it’s good to get the win, especially with the rivalry between the two teams the last couple of years. It was an intense game and it’s good to come out with the win. You can just feel the intensity in the arena, the atmosphere and the fans were great tonight. It was good to get the win and it’s kind of a little bit of a coincidence, two games under your belt and two wins. So, it’s good to start off well like that.”
Here’s the updated version of tonight’s romp by the Kings …
Rookie forwards Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli are in nearly the same predicament with the Kings. Despite posting some eye-catching statistics with Manchester (N.H.) of the AHL the last few seasons, there simply haven’t been any job openings with the Kings, who have a veteran roster that’s been remarkably stable.
The Kings had a strong Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs connection for Thursday’s game against Buffalo, with 10 former Monarchs in the lineup. The Kings’ AHL alums were: Dustin Brown, Dwight King, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey, Slava Voynov and Jonathan Quick,
Thanks to the Kings’ crack media relations staff for that statistic.
The Kings’ future was on display Thursday.
Rookie Tyler Toffoli recorded an assist Saturday in his first game since he was recalled from the minor leagues. Fellow forward Linden Vey did not dress for the Kings’ loss to the Nashville Predators. Toffoli played 19 minutes, 23 seconds Saturday, which is a fair amount of ice time. Vey didn’t play because, as Kings coach Darryl Sutter explained Tuesday, the 22-year-old forwards are both here to play regular shifts or sit, watch and learn.
“I’m not going to play one of those guys four or five minutes,” Sutter said. “They’re going to be here, they’re going to play or they’re going to watch and learn. Like we did with Tyler last year. We’re not going to dress those kids and put them on the bench for (all but) four or five minutes. They’re going to play, and they’re going to play in situations where they can use their ability.”
Sutter also sought to explain why it’s unlikely fans will see Toffoli, Vey and Tanner Pearson play on a line together with the Kings. Those three have formed the top line for the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League.
“Why don’t you put them together?” Sutter said, repeating an oft-heard question. “They’re all different. They might play for three different teams before they’re all through. It’s not like they’re tied together.”
The Kings on Saturday placed forward Jeff Carter on injured reserve (retroactive to Wednesday) because of a lower-body injury. They also announced they lost defenseman Keaton Ellerby to the Winnipeg Jets, who claimed him off waivers. The Kings recalled forwards Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey from their ECHL affiliate in Ontario, where they stashed them Friday. Toffoli and Vey participated in the Kings’ morning skate in advance of Saturday’s home game against Nashville.
So, it turns out Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli will play together again this season. The Kings loaned them to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League on Sunday. Those three formed the Monarchs’ top line last season, before Toffoli was recalled by the Kings late in the lockout-shortened NHL season. They played together at times during training camp with the Kings and in exhibitions. But there was simply no room for them on the Kings’ roster, which had to be trimmed to 23 by Monday.
Linden Vey skated with the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs of the American Hockey League last season and created magic with Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. Or, he did until Toffoli earned a promotion to the Kings near the end of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Now the they are together again, with Vey centering the wingers at times during the Kings’ training camp. Vey had 22 goals and 45 assists last season with Manchester. He’d like to duplicate that success this season with the Kings, but he’s also realistic. The Kings are deep at the center position and Vey is waiting for a chance to shine in the NHL. He hopes it happens with Pearson and Toffoli skating with him. “When you play with guys for as long as we have and had the season we had … it makes things easier,” Vey said. “We bring different things to the line and we feed off each other.”