The Vancouver Canucks have pulled the trigger on a significant deal, one week ahead of the NHL trade deadline.
The Canucks have acquired winger Tyler Toffoli in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, with prospect Tyler Madden, Tim Schaller, a 2020 second-round draft pick, and a conditional fourth-round pick going the other way.
The fourth-round pick is conditional on Vancouver re-signing Toffoli, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
“Tyler brings goal scoring abilities and is good in battles,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning in a media release. “He has great offensive instincts and experience playing in high pressure, meaningful games. We look forward to adding his skill and strength to the line-up.”
Toffoli, 27, is a consistent scorer who will be a big upgrade for the Canucks’ top six forward group. The 6-foot-0, 197-pound right winger scored a career-high 31 goals in 2015-16, and has eclipsed the 20-goal plateau three times in his career.
In 58 games with the Kings this season, the Scarborough, Ontario native has 18 goals and 34 points.
Toffoli won a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014, playing on “That 70’s Line” alongside Jeff Carter and current Canucks winger Tanner Pearson. Expect Toffoli and Pearson to join forces again, this time with Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second line.
There’s no question Toffoli will help the Canucks in the near term, but fans are wondering if the price paid by Benning was too high.
Toffoli has a $4.6 million cap hit and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Because of salary cap concerns, it might prove difficult for the Canucks to re-sign him.
Madden is the key to the deal for LA. A third-round pick by the Canucks in 2018, his value has skyrocketed since he was drafted. In 27 games with Northeastern University, the 20-year-old American has 37 points in 27 games.
Losing a second-rounder leaves the Canucks potentially without a pick until the third round of this year’s draft.
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Schaller’s inclusion in the deal appears to be a salary dump, with the pending unrestricted free agent counting $1.9 million against the cap. The 29-year-old winger has just six points in 51 games with the Canucks this season.
The Canucks, who fell out of first-place after Sunday’s disappointing 5-1 loss to Anaheim, have been trending in the wrong direction for a few weeks now, but have remained competitive thanks to exceptional goaltending from Jacob Markstrom.
With 23 games left, Vancouver has a realistic chance to both win their division or miss the playoffs entirely — as they’re currently just four points up on ninth-place Nashville.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) February 18, 2020
Benning was likely more eager to make this trade given Micheal Ferland suffered another concussion Friday with the Utica Comets and is out for the season. The team will also be without Brock Boeser for at least three more weeks, as Benning revealed he has a rib cartilage fracture.
The Canucks are still without winger Josh Leivo, who was lost for 2-3 months back in December with a fractured kneecap.