Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli and defenseman Derek Forbort have undergone minor surgical procedures, defenseman Alec Martinez has had a minor medical procedure to correct a chronic issue related to his groin, and winger Marian Gaborik has undergone a "more in-depth medical procedure" for a chronic left knee issue, according to a statement issued by the club Tuesday.
Toffoli (left knee), Forbort (also left knee) and Martinez are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but Gaborik's return for the start of camp was said to be questionable.
Injuries and offseason medical procedures are usually made public during exit meetings held at the end of the season. However, the timing of the dismissal of Darryl Sutter as coach and Dean Lombardi as general manager soon after the Kings finished out of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons meant that players were not made available to the media.
General Manager Rob Blake said Monday during a news conference that introduced John Stevens as the team's new head coach that Gaborik, 35, had undergone a medical procedure and would be unable to play for a while. "He's not going to be healthy until into training camp, past that," Blake said.
Blake also said he did not intend to buy out Gaborik's contract, which runs through the 2020-21 season and carries a salary cap hit of $4.875 million. He expressed hope that Gaborik — who had only 10 goals and 21 points in 56 games in the just-concluded season — might be revived under Stevens, who intends to put a new emphasis on offense.
"I don't think he was completely healthy this year," Blake said of Gaborik. "You can say it will be a clean slate for Marian to come in and prove himself."
Luc Robitaille, the Kings' president, also said Gaborik might benefit from a more offense-friendly system. "You would think this game would fit him. And I think John seems to have a good handle on how he wants to approach him," Robitaille said, adding that Gaborik could be used in specific situations rather than playing heavy minutes. "He's a difference-maker. He's a game-breaker."
Toffoli, who can be a restricted free agent on July 1, slumped from 31 goals in the 2015-16 season to 16 goals last season. The news that he had surgery after apparently playing hurt explains his decrease in production. Robitaille on Monday included the 25-year-old Toffoli when he listed the team's core players, a group that he said also includes Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Alec Martinez, with left wing Tanner Pearson on the verge of breaking into that group. In addition, Blake said that if Kopitar, Toffoli, Quick and defenseman Jake Muzzin had played to their previous form last season, "it would have been a playoff team."