Setting the Market
The Calgary Flames set the market for a top-6 forward ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline
A Big Price to Pay
What’s Happening: Earlier this week, top-6 forward Tyler Toffoli was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 top-10 protected 1st-round draft pick, a 2023 5th-round pick, right-winger Tyler Pitlick, and unsigned prospect, Emil Heineman.
Heinemen is a former 2nd-round draft pick himself, and he could turn out to be the real key to this deal if he develops how many NHL executives think he could. On the surface, this almost seems like a vast overpay for Toffoli.
Toffoli is playing on the worst team in the NHL, and his 26 points in 36 games is nothing to write home about. However, the Flames clearly view themselves as a legit Stanley Cup contender and felt the time was right to make a move ahead of the NHL trade deadline. When you factor in that Toffoli has a relatively team-friendly cap hit at $4.25 million for two more seasons after this season, you can see why the Flames were OK with the idea of parting with what appears to be a lot.
Why It Matters (for the Flames and Toffoli): This trade is great for the Flames because it adds some much needed secondary scoring to their roster. Andrew Mangiapane (24 goals in 46 games) is having a breakout season, but aside from him, nobody else is really offering any secondary scoring. Toffoli should be able to help complement Mangiapane and the Flames well in that area.
This trade also benefits Toffoli and the Flames since they got this trade done well in advance of the NHL trade deadline, giving Toffoli ample time to get acquainted with his new team and teammates.
Why It Matters (for the Habs and other NHL teams): This trade carries significant implications for other teams, especially those that are looking to bolster their roster at the NHL trade deadline. A trade of this magnitude will only help to embolden teams that have high-caliber players that they are willing to offload to up the asking price.
In essence, Calgary has set the market for a top-6 winger, and if contending teams want to supplement their roster with a similar type of player, they are unfortunately going to have to pay a similar price as the one that the Habs fetched for Toffoli.
For the Habs, it’s hard not to look at this trade as a win and a clear waving of the white flag on this season. The Habs were able to snag two picks, a player, and a prospect for a player that was performing well for them but really didn’t figure into the long-term plans. After the injuries to Shea Weber and Carey Price before the season started, it’s clear now that the Habs are in a rebuilding phase. Don’t be surprised if the Habs aren’t done dealing for futures as Ben Chariot and Jeff Petry have been heavily linked with a move out of Montreal and the Habs are likely looking to stockpile more picks by offloading them.
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