Last season was frustrating for the L.A. Kings and, individually, for forward Tyler Toffoli, a sentiment he expressed during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
The Kings missed the playoffs and finished 25th in the league in scoring with 199 goals for — a big reason why they didn’t qualify for the postseason. Failure to finish in the top eight in the Western Conference ushered in change, with general manager Dean Lombardi and coach Darryl Sutter getting fired.
For Toffoli, he missed 19 games because of a lower-body injury. It was later revealed after the season that the 25-year-old forward underwent surgery on his left knee.
“Things just didn’t go my way and it didn’t go the right way for a lot of the guys,” said Toffoli. “I think we’re all ready to just put that behind us … and be ready to come back next season.”
On Wednesday, the Kings signed Toffoli to a three-year, $13.8 million contract extension. There was more promising news the following day, as he confirmed he should be ready for the start of training camp.
Toffoli has been a critical offensive component for the Kings, particularly since the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. He is a year removed from scoring a career-high 31 goals and 58 points, although his bottom-line offensive totals declined this season with just 16 goals and 34 points in 63 games.
As he alluded to in his comments, it wasn’t just Toffoli who struggled offensively last season. But he tried his best Thursday to put last season behind him. Of course, health can play a factor in a player’s production. He’s currently going through therapy following the operation on his knee, but seemed optimistic about its progress.
“Slowly getting it stronger and back to normal.”