One player exited and two forwards joined the Kings on a busy Saturday morning.
The Kings lost defenseman Keaton Ellerby on waivers as the injury-riddled Winnipeg Jets claimed the former first-round draft pick. Shortly thereafter, left wing Tyler Toffoli and center Linden Vey were on the ice at the Kings' El Segundo training center for the morning skate, preparing for Saturday night's game against Nashville.
Toffoli and Vey had been with the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., and it appears that Toffoli will be playing on a line with left wing Daniel Carcillo and center Mike Richards. It was unclear whether Vey would make his NHL debut. If so, he would center the fourth line.
The moves were triggered by the lower-body injury suffered by high-scoring forward Jeff Carter in Wednesday's game against the San Jose Sharks. Carter was put on injured reserve Saturday afternoon, and Vey and Toffoli were officially routed through Ontario (Calif.) of the East Coast Hockey League, a move done on paper because of salary cap and roster issues.
"I don’t really look at it like he [Toffoli] is coming back," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. "He played really well for us in two [playoff] series last year — the San Jose and Chicago series — when Mike [Richards] was out and we moved Carter to center and [Dustin] Penner to left and Toffoli to right. He played well for us. He didn’t have a really good training camp. Even if we had room out of training camp, he didn’t make it out of training camp.
"So he went down there and scored seven goals in 10 games. Now we find out if he can play the 200-foot game while Jeff Carter’s out."
Toffoli said he missed a series of phone calls from Vey and one from Lombardi on Thursday when he was taking a nap. At first, Toffoli was a bit concerned when Lombardi requested a meeting with the two players in Manchester.
"I didn’t really know what to expect ... we were just trying to go through our heads and see what we did wrong for Dean to have this meeting with us," Toffoli said.
“Fortunately, it was a good meeting for us.
“I took a nap. And I was half-asleep on my way there. Nervous and excited too. Obviously, in the back of your head you want to be getting called up. Luckily, Dean, the first thing he said, is that we were going up."