Toffoli to Canucks thins Bruins’ shopping list for NHL trade deadline

Matt Kalman
February 17, 2020 - 9:24 pm

So much for the notion that the price for players with term left beyond the 2019-20 season set by the trades of Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh and Blake Coleman to Tampa Bay would lower the price on rentals ahead of the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline.

Tyler Toffoli, a player Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman once said the Bruins might’ve had a deal for in their hip pocket, was traded from Los Angeles to Vancouver on Monday. And the price was steep:

For a comparable, imagine general manager Don Sweeney trading Johnny Beecher, a second-round pick and a depth forward like Joakim Nordstrom or Chris Wagner in exchange for Toffoli, a player headed to unrestricted free agency and one the Bruins might not even want to re-sign should he not prove to be a decent fit.

Or the Bruins could’ve lowered the prospect caliber by upping the draft pick to a first-rounder. Or they could’ve offered a higher-end NHL-caliber player (Anders Bjork or Danton Heinen) to take the pick or the prospect out of the deal or lower the round or the prospect value. Never discount the idea also that the Kings just had their eyes set on Tyler Madden.

There’s still a lot of competition for forwards, including the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames. And the pool of known available rentals, thin to begin with, has now lost one of its jewels. The list of players with term remains the same as it was after the Coleman deal, but those prices will only get higher.

At least Toffoli didn’t come to the East like Zucker or to the Atlantic Division like Coleman. But there’s no doubt Sweeney’s going to have to part with some decent assets if he wants to make sure his flawed first-place team is ready for another long playoff run.

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