Photo credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Now that the Los Angeles Kings are officially on their Olympic break, they made some roster moves today.
Team President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced that goaltender Martin Jones and forward Tyler Toffoli have been assigned to Manchester of the AHL while netminder Jean-Francois Berube has been called up by the Kings.
The 22-year-old Berube has appeared in 34 games for the Manchester Monarchs this season, In that stretch, Berube has gone 19-13-2 with a 2.43 GAA and a .914 save-percentage while posting one shutout.
Of course, while getting called up to the big club is big news for anyone, Berube will be on the Kings' roster while most of the team will be on vacation. Whether Berube will get any time backing up Jonathan Quick or, better, playing for the Kings (at least soon) remains to be seen. Although it doesn't appear very likely.
As for Jones and Toffoli getting sent down, I would be very surprised if this move isn't more than the two players simply playing more with the NHL shut down.
In 13 games this season, the 24-year-old Jones has gone 8-4-0 with a 1.71 GAA and a .940 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. Appearing with Monarchs should keep Jones fresh and ready to go for when the Kings do return to action at the end of the month.
As for Toffoli, the 21-year-old has appeared in 38 games while scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists. The youngster is also a +15 with the Kings will serve only four penalty minutes. For Manchester, Toffoli has played in 13 games recording 10 goals and six assists.
As far as things go on the trade front, the trade freeze came and went at 12pm EST today. This is significant since the Kings and Edmonto Oilers have been in serious discussion about a possible trade that would send Kyle Clifford to Northern Alberta in exchange for forward Sam Gagner.
The potential trade has had Kings fans on opposite sides of the fence.
In 46 games this season for the Oilers, Gagne has just six goals and 18 assists with a dreadful -20 rating. Now, while it is somewhat fair to point out that he does play for a hapless club, Gagner is still capable of putting up much better numbers. Whether he could do so in Los Angeles begs the argument of whether the Kings should acquire the centreman.
As for Clifford, he has just three goals and two assists through 49 games thus far and, unlike his early career, he very rarely drops the gloves or even dishes out an effective hit. Still, No. 13 is a fan favourite in Los Angeles which leaves many fans reluctant for the team to pull the trigger on a deal.
Fortunately for the latter, Kyle Clifford will remain a Los Angeles King for at least the next couple of weeks with the NHL trade freeze now in effect.
During the break, I will be covering the Kings representatives in Sochi which include Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown for the US, Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter for Canada, Slava Voynov for Russia and Anze Kopitar for Slovenia. Coverage on the aforementioned Jones and Toffoli in Manchester will also be done, albeit not to as great an extent as the Olympics.