It’s been a busy couple of days for the Kings. In a curious move that caused widespread concern throughout the fan base, GM Dean Lombardi announced yesterday that they reassigned their top prospect and potential future 20+ goal scorer back to the Manchester Monarchs.
It’s an interesting move that’s “performance based” according to Darryl Sutter. What makes it so interesting is that advanced metrics suggest that the Kings are better off with Toffoli in the lineup than without him.
When Mike Richards has been on ice w/ Tyler Toffoli, LA has owned 59% of 5v5 shots directed at the net. W/o Toffoli that number drops to 53%
— Robert P. (@RobertJFTC) January 14, 2014
Robert wrote a great post expanding on these numbers.
In other news, the Kings have officially recalled Linden Vey from Manchester and he, along with Martin Jones, is expected to join the team in St. Louis.
According to various sites, these moves could be the result of a rule heading into the Olympic break. According the a rule, any player that plays in more than 15 of the 20 games before we break for Sochi cannot play in the AHL during that break. If Toffoli stayed in LA he would be ineligible to get into games with the Monarchs while the NHL takes some time off for the Olympics. Or it could be no more than a performance based problem, as Sutter said.
Martin Jones will now serve as LA’s new headgear model Jonathan Quick’s backup with the trade of Ben Scrivens to Edmonton for a third round pick. This leaves JF Berube as the official starter for the Monarchs and Matthias Niederberger, who signed with the Monarchs over the summer but was assigned to the Ontario Reign of the ECHL at the beginning of the season, will be recalled to serve as Berube’s backup in Manchester.
And as always, don’t consider the Kings done by any means. They’re still looking to increase scoring and get a top 6 left wing to bring more balance to the lineup.