Kings’ Tyler Toffoli ready to put frustration of knee injury, contract status behind him
Being hampered by a knee injury and feeling the pressure of being in a contract year “all kind of sat down on me and I was getting pretty frustrated with it,” Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli said Thursday during a conference call with reporters while discussing the three-year, $13-8 million contract agreement he reached with the Kings.
Toffoli, 25, scored 16 goals and 34 points in 63 games last season, down from 31 goals and 58 points in the 2015-16 season. The injury undoubtedly played a part in that decline, and he underwent a surgical procedure on his left knee after the season. He said the knee is improving and that he expects to be ready to participate in training camp in September.
“I’m doing my therapy and all that stuff,” he said. “Going in there, working on it and slowly getting it stronger and back to normal.”
He said he was glad to settle his contract situation relatively early in the offseason.
“I’m very excited. I’m happy that we got this done and I can start focusing on the rest of the summer and clear my head here and get back to work,” he said. “I think that was the plan for everybody. I don’t think anybody really wanted to wait this out, both sides, kind of get this done and then just continue on with the rest of everything else that’s going on around here. For myself, I was very happy to finish this and, like I said, get ready and get back to work and getting my knee back to 100% and not be worried about contract status.”
Toffoli also said he had spoken with coach John Stevens and general manager Rob Blake — who replaced Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi, respectively, after the season — as well as with team president Luc Robitaille as the management group tries to analyze what went wrong for the Kings last season.
“I think it was just a frustrating season for us. I think for myself personally, things just didn’t go my way and it didn’t go the right way for a lot of the guys,” Toffoli said. “I think we’re ready to put that behind us and just grow and be ready to come back next season.”
Blake still must reach agreements with restricted free agents Andy Andreoff, Nick Shore, Kevin Gravel, Michael Mersch, Paul LaDue and Jonny Brodzinski. According to the website capfriendly.com, the Kings have about $5.3 million in salary cap space.
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