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Could Kings Make a Toffoli Return Work?

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Tyler Toffoli Kings

The Calgary Flames are about to experience a mass exodus of players, and among those players is former Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli.

Toffoli spent seven seasons with the Kings before he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 2020 as the team continued to shop for future assets.

Three teams later and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, Toffoli is on the market again and the Kings could make a move for him.

The news of Toffoli wanting out of Calgary is fresh and there has been no link to the Kings, who might not be interested in him. But looking at the possibility is still fun.

The Trade:

Trying to find a comparable trade for Toffoli is difficult. You don’t find many 31-year-old 30-goal scorers on the market with one year left on a team-friendly deal.

The closest comparable to try and predict a Toffoli trade is probably himself. He was traded to the Flames last year in exchange for a conditional first-round pick, Emil Heineman, Tyler Pitlick, and a fifth-round pick.

Of course, this trade happened mid-season and Toffoli was a year younger, with two years remaining on his contract instead of one. But he’s also coming off a career-high 34 goals and 73 points, so that’s still probably a fair representation of his value.

A lot of this trade will also depend on what Calgary wants to do moving forward. If they want to tear it down to the studs and start over from scratch, the Kings probably don’t have the necessary assets. But, if they want to re-tool and be competitive again soon, the Kings might.

Looking at the framework of his last trade. The Kings won’t want to deal another first-round pick but have a few first-round equivalents they can move. Sean Durzi is likely comparable to a first-round pick on the open market, especially if the Flames want to be competitive again soon. The same could be said for Jordan Spence.

Samuel Fagemo is a comparable prospect to Emil Heineman and the Kings have no shortage or roster players to send Calgary’s way.

Something along the lines of Durzi/Spence, Fagemo, Carl Grundstrom and a late-round pick could get it done.

Making the Cap Work:

Of course, the Kings also have to make this work from a cap perspective. That shouldn’t be a huge issue though.

Toffoli carries a very reasonable $4.25 million cap hit next season. So, the Kings could move one of Viktor Arvidsson or Alex Iafallo to free up the cap space needed. They could also move Trevor Moore, but as I’ve said several times, I find it very unlikely he’s traded within a year of signing his extension.

If the Flames are open to it, you can even replace Grundstrom with Arvidsson or Iafallo in the above proposal to make the money work. If not, it would be a separate, cap-dump type of trade to make this work. And the Kings likely have to make that kind of move anyway.

From a cap perspective, this trade wouldn’t be too difficult to pull off. Where it becomes difficult is next summer when Toffoli wants a new contract.

He’ll be 32 and if he repeats last season’s success, he’ll be looking for a sizeable pay increase. Even on a short-term deal, having to commit somewhere around $6 million to a 32-year-old forward next summer wouldn’t be ideal.

Should the Kings Make This Trade?

That last point feeds right into the most important question. Should the Kings even look to add Toffoli?

He’d bring short-term improvement but re-signing him next summer could get complicated. And you’d be trading for an aging player coming off a career year. There are plenty of risks.

But if the price is right, the Kings should make a run at bringing Toffoli home.

He’s a player with Cup-winning experience, is at the top of his game and fits into the Kings’ system stylistically.

Yes, he’s aging, but as a player who’s never relied on elite skating or physicality, I doubt his play falls off in the next few seasons.

He’d be an instant upgrade on all of the Kings’ wingers except Kevin Fiala and maybe Adrian Kempe and is cheaper than both for next season. With the cap limit expected to go up next season and the Kings freeing up plenty of space next summer, they can even make an extension work.

This potential top-nine is also very appealing.

Viktor Arvidsson-Anze Kopitar-Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore-Phil Danault-Tyler Toffoli

Kevin Fiala-Quinton Byfield-Gabe Vilardi

You can shuffle some players around, but that’s a top-tier forward group. Especially if players like Quinton Byfield and Gabe Vilardi take the next step.

Of course, the Kings can’t even think about this deal before solving their goaltending issue. But after that, they should look into Toffoli.

Heck let’s get fully into silly season and have the Kings kill two birds with one stone.

A blockbuster trade that brings Toffoli back to Los Angeles and Jacob Markstrom with him.

Okay, okay, back to some semblance of reality. A return for Toffoli is far-fetched, but not impossible and something the Kings should, at the very least, inquire about.

He would be a luxury add and one the Kings don’t really¬†need but would be really nice to have.

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