We’re getting closer and closer to February, which can only mean one thing: it’s the trade rumor silly season, folks!
In the coming weeks, we’ll read and hear all kinds of rumors about who the Bruins are interested in, who the Bruins called on, and who the Bruins just barely missed out on. It’s gonna be fun.
However, there are random rumors (e5) and then there are plugged-in reporters offering interesting nuggets of rumor/info on a respected hockey podcast; this one is the latter.
On the 31 Thoughts podcast that he hosts with Jeff Marek, Elliotte Friedman dropped a name many Bruins fans have yearned after for a while: Tyler Toffoli of the Los Angeles Kings.
(You can listen to the podcast episode in your browser or on your phone here.)
The info came toward the end of the episode, as the duo answered listener questions.
A listener asked whether or not the Bruins were interested in any forwards aside from Ilya Kovalchuk (now in Montreal) and Justin Williams (now back in Carolina), and Friedman had this to say (around 1:31:30 into the episode):
“I do think Boston, if they wanted to, could...do a deal for Toffoli almost at any time. I think they know they’ve got that in their hip pocket. The question is...do you do that, or do you wait for Kreider?”
The “Kreider” mentioned is obviously Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, another player whose name has swirled around Bruins circles.
Kreider would be quite a get for the Bruins, a player who would drastically improve whatever line the Bruins put him on. He’d come at a hefty cost, but the Bruins are looking at a closing window and may be willing to go all-in.
However, Friedman noted that at this point, he has heard that the Rangers may be leaning toward keeping the former Boston College Eagle, crossing a potential Bruins trade target off the list.
Of course, that could change depending on how things go for the Rangers over the next few weeks.
Toffoli is a right-shot forward, who would likely play right wing for the Bruins. He’ll be 28 in late April, and is in the last year of a 3-year deal that carries a $4.6 million cap hit.
He currently has 12 goals and 15 assists for a bad Los Angeles Kings team, no small feat. His production has declined since his 2015 heyday, but he should still have gas left in the tank on a good team.
So...what would he cost? This New York Islanders site mentions that Craig Custance thinks the asking price would be a second-round pick and a prospect.
It’s worth noting that it seems like Toffoli has been linked to the Bruins for about 5 years now, so take it with a grain of salt. The difference this year, of course, is that Toffoli is a pending UFA and the Kings look like they’re headed for some lean years.
If he’s going to get dealt, it’ll be this season.
Toffoli would likely play a similar role to the one Marcus Johansson played last season: 2RW or 3RW, depending on how things are going.
Is Toffoli worth the price, or does the recently strong play of a guy like Anders Bjork lessen your appetite for such a move?
(Random note: The song they played during the outro of the podcast, “Guts” by Eamon McGrath, kind of rules. You should listen to it.)