Tof­foli ready to put frus­tra­tion be­hind

Kings for­ward, happy to have con­tract is­sue set­tled, is busy re­hab­bing knee.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By He­lene El­liott he­lene.el­liott@la­ Twit­ter: @he­le­nenothe­len

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 his new three-year, $13.8-mil­lion con­tract agree­ment with the team.

Tof­foli, 25, scored 16 goals and 34 points in 63 games last sea­son, down from 31 and 58 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,” he said. “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. 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 my con­tract sta­tus.”

Tof­foli also said that 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,” Tof­foli said. “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. 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, the Kings have about $5.3 mil­lion in salary cap space.

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