The Calgary Flames didn’t want to wait until the Mar. 21 trade deadline to address their need for another scorer.
Per Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Flames have acquired forward Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick, a 2024 fifth-round pick, forward Tyler Pitlick and Emil Heineman.
The 2022 first-round pick is top-10 protected. Heineman, a 2020 Florida Panthers’ second-round draft pick, was traded to the Flames last year as part of the Sam Bennett trade. Heineman is currently playing for Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League.
Among Canadian NHL teams, only the Toronto Maple Leafs have higher Stanley Cup odds than the Flames in the top Ontario sports betting apps.
After the 2019-20 season, Toffoli signed a bargain four-year, $17 million pact with the Canadiens. In 37 games with Montreal this season, Toffoli posted nine goals and 17 assists.
Toffoli scored 28 goals and 16 assists in 52 games last season, leading Montreal to an unexpected trip to the Stanley Cup Final. They ultimately fell to the Atlantic Division rival Tampa Bay Lightning in a hard-fought five game series.
Now, Toffoli reunites with old friend and head coach Darryl Sutter, who served as the Los Angeles Kings’ bench boss in Toffoli’s first five NHL seasons (2012-13 to 2016-17). They won the Stanley Cup together in 2014.
Entering play this week, the Flames (58 points) are just three points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for top in the Pacific Division, and Calgary has three games in hand.
Calgary ranks just outside the top 10 in goals scored. Toffoli will be a welcoming presence to a Flames team that looks poised for a deep playoff run.
Jacob Markstrom Named NHL’s First Star Of The Week
The Vezina-caliber play from Jacob Markstrom has been instrumental in the Flames’ six-game winning streak.
It’s no wonder that the 32-year-old was named the NHL’s first star of the week, having won all three starts while allowing just four goals.
Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine was named the second star, and New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier took the third star honors.
Markstrom, in his second season with the Flames, is having arguably the best season of his career. The former Vancouver Canucks star is 20-10-5 with a 2.12 goals against average, .926 save percentage and a league-leading eight shutouts.
The Flames have allowed the fewest goals this season (108 through 45 games), and it’s largely due to Markstrom’s world-class play. He’s the perfect fit in Sutter’s renowned and effective suffocating defensive system, and the Flames are in a strong position to claim their second division title in four years.
After the 2019-20 season, the Flames handed Markstrom a six-year pact worth $36 million. “Marky” struggled in his first year with Calgary, going 22-19-2 with a .904 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average.
But like the rest of the Calgary roster, Markstrom has turned a corner and supplied Calgary with its first true All-Star goalie since Miikka Kiprusoff, who retired nine years ago.
GM Brad Treliving Talks Gaudreau Contract Situation, Plans Ahead Of Trade Deadline
Amid the highly successful 2021-22 campaign, Flames fans are understandably nervous about the idea of Johnny Gaudreau walking to free agency.
Calgary’s top forward is a pending UFA, and a contract extension between the two sides doesn’t exactly feel imminent.
Prior to the blockbuster acquisition of Toffoli, Flames general manager Brad Treliving commented on Gaudreau’s contract status as well as plans for the deadline in an interview with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.
“Johnny and I have a great relationship,” Treliving said. “He’s been dialled in from Day 1. We’re going to handle business quietly. The most important thing right now is letting him play and continue what he’s doing. Listen, Johnny’s a huge part of our team. We want Johnny here. We want him here long term.”
Regarding trade deadline plans, Treliving acknowledged that secondary scoring would be the “area” that they’d try to address.
“Yeah, if there’s an area we continue to look at to try to upgrade in, it would be that,” Treliving told LeBrun. “That’s fair to say. If we can help ourselves there, that’s certainly something we’d like to do.”
Once again, the Flames are being led by the big three of Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk. Calgary boasts solid depth with five players owning double-digit goal totals through 45 games, but you can never have too many capable scorers come playoff time.
The Flames are one of the most balanced and complete teams in the NHL. But secondary scoring has been an issue for many years, and we shouldn’t be surprised if Toffoli turns out to be just one of several scorers brought in by Treliving ahead of the trade deadline.