While the Vancouver Canucks would love to get forward Tyler Toffoli signed to a contract extension this offseason, like many teams, the Canucks are feeling the pinch of a flat salary cap. And, considering rumors they are in on a potentially bigger fish, reports that Toffoli will be leaving the team are everywhere. Reports on Tuesday note that, unless something drastic changes in a few days, Toffoli will be headed to NHL free agency.
As per Elliotte Friedman, “Word it appears as if Tyler Toffoli will hit market due to VAN’s tight cap situation. Another scorer available in free agency.”
This is pretty big news considering one of the priorities the Canucks had mentioned when talking about their offseason plans was to get Toffoli under a contract. Some had suggested there was even talk the team would consider moving players to make room for his expected salary — one that could fall anywhere between $5 and $6.5 million on a long-term deal.
Toffoli is coming off a season that was paying him $4.6 million. He spent time with both the Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings, posting a total of 24 goals and 44 points between them. In 10 games with the Canucks, Toffoli was a point-per-game player and in their postseason run, he scored four points in seven games. He was added at the deadline and while he may be looked at as a rental if he leaves, it was a costly price to pay for Vancouver should he leave for nothing. The Canucks gave up Tim Schaller, Tyler Madden and a 2nd round pick to acquire him.
One has to wonder if the Canucks willingness to let Toffoli leave is a sign that they are making room for Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They are heavily rumored to be in on trade talks involving the defenseman.
Toffoli Will Garner Interest in NHL Free Agency
No doubt, there will be a number of teams interested in the winger. He can play both sides, he’s a consistent 20-goal NHL’er and he’s only 28 years old. He’s got lots of game left so a five or six-year deal isn’t a stretch by any means for a team that’s got some money to spend.
Among the teams with the most money to burn are the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche.
The Avs are rumored to be ready to go all-in for one season but can’t afford to invest big money in a long-term deal. The other teams have players to sign but can make room for a player of Toffoli’s caliber as he’d immediately fit into each team’s top six.
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