Former Habs Check Up: Tyler Toffoli

Eggs Bennett 22-08

May 22, 2022

With the second round of the playoffs already well underway, and the Montreal Canadiens long left in the dust, Habs fans are entertaining themselves by following former Habs they loved. The Habs moved several players at the trade deadline, the first major trade involving fan favourite Tyler Toffoli.

How it started…   

Tyler Toffoli signed with the Montreal Canadiens as an unrestricted free agent after playing in eight previous NHL seasons. The four-year deal, with an AAV of $4.25M, was regarded as a steal attributed to COVID-19 uncertainty. In his first year in Montreal, Toffoli was solid gold, scoring 28 goals and 44 points in just 52 games. He added 5 goals and 14 points in a deep, 22-game playoff run for the Habs.

In Toffoli’s second season, the Habs hit catastrophe. Injuries, illness and inept leadership had the Montreal Canadiens at the bottom of the standings and at the top of the cap hit chart. The first major move by the leadership duo of Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton (HuGo) was to ship out Tyler Toffoli for futures.

Toffoli was traded to the Calgary Flames on Valentine’s Day for forward Tyler Pitlick, forward prospect Emil Heineman, a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

How it’s going…

In Montreal, the rebuild continues. Pitlick has not yet been re-signed by the Habs and may become nothing more than a salary dump. On April 4th, the Habs signed Heineman to his entry-level contract to begin next season, as well as a professional tryout to make him available to the Laval Rocket. He is yet to play a game for the Habs affiliate. The Habs are waiting for the end of the Flames season to see where that late first-round pick lands.

In Calgary, Toffoli is helping the Flames compete for a Stanley Cup. With respect to utilization, Toffoli was brought in to help balance scoring across the lines. He’s slotted on the right side – after playing mostly on the left in Montreal – of the third line with the Flames other deadline acquisition, Calle Jarnkrok, and Dillon Dube. Toffoli is also seeing good power play minutes.

Teapot had just one assist in the first six games against Dallas, but did score a goal in a tight Game 7, and has a goal and two assists in two games against Edmonton.

Was it worth it?

For the Habs, there is little doubt this deal was worth it, even though the quality of the future assets will only be determined by time. Toffoli’s contract will have expired by the time the Habs are competitive again, and he served them best in the return he fetched. Fans will enjoy that second first-round pick on July 7th.

The Flames would, no doubt, like to see a little more from Toffoli. Habs fans will remember that Teapot can be a little streaky and tends to score in bunches. After an impotent first round, Toffoli has picked up his production of late, after scoring in Game 7 against Dallas and adding early in Round 2. The Flames are hoping Toffoli is heating up as they head to Edmonton, and he is a factor in securing a series win.

Good luck Teapot!

Published by Lori Bennett

Hockey is my hobby. I love a respectful hockey chat or debate, but it stops being fun if we're jerks.

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