In what is generating a mixed reaction from the Kingdom, forward Tyler Toffoli has been assigned to Los Angeles's AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs after spending the past 10 weeks with the big club.
Since being called up at the beginning of November, Toffoli showed like he belonged with the big club and after a few games, it appeared as if the 21-year-old would stay for good, especially after a three-point night in just his third game.
As great as the youngster was in the early going of his most recent stint with the Kings, he slowed down as of late, failing to register a point in what feels like an eternity. But overall, Toffoli's most recent stint in Los Angeles was a relatively promising one. In 33 games, the Scarborough, Ontario, native scored nine goals and added eight assists while adding an almost-unthinkable +14 rating and showing phenomenal discipline having registered just four penalty minutes. But the Kings may feel some more time in Manchester will help Toffoli regain his scoring touch.
To the dismay of most Kings fans, Tyler Toffoli started the season in Manchester and not Los Angeles. In 10 games with the Monarchs, the former Ottawa 67 scored seven goals, added five assists, accumulated a +3 rating and, again, was disciplined, registering just two penalty minutes. Having not cracked the opening-day roster for the Kings, most would have thought Toffoli would use the move as motivation. They were right and it earned the winger a promotion.
After losing to Nashville in his first game with the Kings this season, Tyler Toffoli would help the silver-and-black earn points in their next 11 and in 19 of their next 21. While the oustanding trio of netminders played a large role in Los Angeles's success as did the team's stingy defensive unit, Tyler Toffoli's contribution could not go ignored as he become a solid reason why the Kings suddenly become the talk around the league, even among those ever-popular east-coasters who'd rather hit the hay than pay attention to what's going on in California.
The decision to send Tyler Toffoli down to Manchester is a disappointing one, albeit not very surprising. I'll certainly miss not seeing No. 73 donning the silver-and-black but this is only a short-term move. Once Toffoli's back in Manchester, he'll regain that scoring touch in addition to a plethora of confidence and quite possibly be ready for when the Los Angeles Kings make one final regular-season push before the playoffs start up in April.
It's been fun but now Monarchs fans in New Hampshire will be happy to see some more of Toffoli. After all, it's only a matter of time before he dons the silver-and-black of Los Angeles once again. It's simply a matter of when.