With the Calgary Flames sitting second in the Pacific Division with a 26-13-6 record through 45 games, general manager Brad Treliving has been looking to add to his roster, and was able to do so with the addition of Tyler Toffoli on Monday.
Treliving made it clear he believes in this group and has Stanley Cup aspirations for them, as he sent off a first-round pick, a fifth-round pick, Tyler Pitlick, as well as prospect Emil Heineman in exchange for Toffoli.
After advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, the Habs have fallen off much harder than anyone would have expected in 2021-22, as they sit dead last in the standings with an 8-33-7 record. Due to their abysmal performance, they are looking to ship off several players for future assets, and got that started today with the Toffoli deal.
Since his rookie season in 2013-14, Toffoli has been both a consistent goal scorer and point producer, one who is capable of putting up north of 20 goals and 50 points over a full 82-game schedule. Though his production tailed off in his final few seasons with the L.A. Kings, it picked right back up when he was dealt to the Vancouver Canucks during the 2019-20 season, and continued with the Canadiens in 2020-21.
In fact, the 2020-21 season was arguably the best of his career, as he picked up 28 goals and 44 points in just 52 games. While he hasn’t been as productive this season, he still has nine goals and 26 points in 37 contests, which is rather impressive given just how bad the Habs have been.
He will immediately help fix their secondary scoring issues, and is a great replacement over current players like Brett Ritchie and Trevor Lewis who are currently manning the right wing on the third and fourth lines. Given Toffoli’s great goal-scoring ability, it is possible that he could bump Blake Coleman down to the third line and get top-six minutes right away.
Another thing that makes Toffoli so intriguing is that he still has term left, with two additional seasons remaining on his deal. Even better is that it is at an extremely friendly price of $4.25 million per year, making him one of the better bargain contracts in the entire NHL given his production.
At 29-years-old, he is in the prime of his career and should be able to continue putting up solid numbers for the remainder of his deal. Had it not been for the flat cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he could easily have been earning north of $6 million per year right now.
Stanley Cup Winner
For a Flames team that has struggled in the playoffs in recent years, adding a guy like Toffoli is extremely beneficial to them. For those unaware, Toffoli won a Stanley Cup with the Kings in just his second season in the NHL. Despite being very young at the time, he played a very big role with seven goals and 14 points in 26 games, all while battling a groin injury.
While that is his only Cup win, he helped the Habs during their Cinderalla story run advance all the way to the Final last season. Once again he put up solid numbers with five goals and 14 points in 22 contests. In total, he has suited up for 76 playoff games in his career. It goes without saying he will be able to provide several Flames players with plenty of knowledge on what it takes to perform in the postseason.
Toffoli now joins Milan Lucic, Blake Coleman, Brad Richardson and Lewis as players in the dressing room who have won a Cup. That winning experience should give the entire roster a huge boost of confidence as they prepare for the playoffs.
Little Cap Space Remaining
With this deal, the Flames have next to no cap space remaining, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Treliving is done. While the secondary scoring seems to be fixed with this deal, there are still concerns regarding the blue line on this team, in particular on the third pairing. Perhaps he looks to deal another player or two off of his roster in order to help with that situation prior to deadline day. Regardless of whether or not that happens, however, the Flames are a better team today than they were yesterday, and Treliving deserves credit for that.