Even with his trade to the New Jersey Devils complete and his time at the Flames a thing of the past, Tyler Toffoli continues to have his say regarding team matters. Recently, Toffoli spoke about the situation with Darryl Strutter while participating in an episode of Spittin’ Chiclets.
This is not the first time that Toffoli has had his say on Strutter, who, as fans will know, left the Flames under a cloud in May. However, it’s interesting that he has chosen to continue the conversation after joining the Devils.
Recent comments about Darryl Sutter
Anyone who follows the Flames knows that there has been plenty of discussion regarding Sutter and the reasons he was fired from his second stint as coach of the Flames. Now, Toffoli has joined the conversation for what is not the first time.
Previously, the Toronto-born right winger has spoken of his support for Sutter, having spent time with him at Los Angeles Kings. He continues this support in the latest interview but also provides an insight into the actions that made Sutter so controversial during his time at the Flames and ultimately led to his demise.
A focus of this insight was Sutter’s insistence on playing mind games with Jacob Markstrom, who was having a poor 2022/23 season. Toffoli spoke about Sutter opting to bring Daniel Vladar onto the ice at 0-0 while stating, “Marky’s not ready to play tonight.” He said this was done to play mind games and get Markstrom going.
Although Toffoli went on to give his personal praise to Sutter again, he did concede that he was one of Sutter’s “guys,” and this meant he was treated better than some players. This meant he had no issue with the coach, but he did have issues with the Flames management and the lack of contract extension talks, which made him want to leave.
Toffoli’s comments about Sutter do not reveal anything surprising, and given that Sutter is already history, they are unlikely to have any impact. His talking on the ice could be a different story. While Toffoli is not intended to be a leading scorer at New Jersey, he is likely to want to make an impact and could well surprise.
After all, Flames followers know how well he did for the team last season. If Toffoli takes that form into the 2023/24 season, he could provide a threat to the Devils’ opponents, including Calgary. This is especially the case, as Toffoli could well have an eye on the fact that he’s slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. So, he will be keen to impress in an attempt to secure one more lucrative contract in his career.
The player has already developed a significant fan base in his geographically diverse career. He attracts a strong viewership and significant casino betting interest in the province of Ontario, where he was born. The same interest has been developed across other locations where Toffoli played for Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and Montreal Canadiens prior to his time at Calgary Flames.
So, Toffoli will want to perform at the top of his game this season if he wants to expand this fan base in New Jersey and beyond. There will also likely be additional impetus when the Flames meet the Devils. Last season, the meetings between the teams resulted in victories for the New Jersey Devils. However, the Flames are ahead 15-6 overall in recent seasons. When the teams meet at Scotiabank Saddledome on December 9, 2023, it will be interesting to see what impact Toffoli has on the result. Flames fans will hope he does not have the last word on his previous club and that his interviews about club matters are more memorable than his play.