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Devils GM Admits Interest in Re-Signing Tyler Toffoli in the Summer

The Devils shipped Tyler Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets earlier on Friday afternoon.



New Jersey Devils

NEWARK — The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. With that, so has former Devils forward Tyler Toffoli. However, in his post-NHL Trade Deadline conference, general manager Tom Fitzgerald admitted he’s interested in bringing Toffoli back to New Jersey.

“Tyler’s a great kid,” Fitzgerald explained. “I would do that trade seven days [a week], twice on Sunday all over again. He’s our leading scorer and a great kid in a great locker room. He was everything that I thought he would be. He’s a player that I have an interest in the offseason if he’s interested in New Jersey. Those are things we’ll kind of look into as the summer comes and see where players are at, but it was just an opportunity for me to grab some assets for a player that were unsure if he was going to be able to come back.”

Fitzgerald wound up trading Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets while retaining 50% of his salary in exchange for a 2025 second-round and 2024 third-round pick.

The Devils GM explained that he and Toffoli’s camp were far apart on term, and they didn’t even get into the dollar amount of a potential trade.

“We didn’t even get by the term of the deal,” Fitzgerald said. ‘[We] had completely opposite thoughts. That didn’t change. You know, Tyler wants a longer-term deal and at this point, we weren’t willing to do that. So there was no need to even talk about money or anything like that. I revisited the conversation like I mentioned, and again, it was about the term. To get what he thought he wanted in term, he would probably have to get to the market. So, that’s how that conversation went.”

Now, Toffoli will compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in which the Jets are almost guaranteed to participate. All while the Devils, although chances are slim, will fight and claw their way to try and get in.

Regardless, the Devils lost their leading goal scorer. Perhaps Timo Meier got hot at the right time and can take over in the scoring role Toffoli left. If not, there’s certainly a high probability it will be an early summer for the Devils.

Fitzgerald explained Toffoli and his agent Pat Brisson are “pretty hellbent” on a long-term contract. Perhaps the soon 32-year-old will hit the open market if the Jets decide to use him as a pure rental. However, even if Toffoli does end up an unrestricted free agent this summer, coming to terms on a new contract feels unlikely.

“We talked about term and where we wanted to be term-wise and what his expectations were [which I] completely respect where he wanted to be,” Fitzgerald said. “I kind of circled back probably about 10 days ago and realized that you know, he was pretty hell-bent on a little more term than we were willing to do. But at that point, I wasn’t willing to trade Tyler Toffoli because of that. I was willing to have him as our rental and then kind of redress this in the offseason.”

Fitzgerald’s fondness of Toffoli and interest in bringing him back to New Jersey this summer is genuine. However, unless Toffoli and his camp are willing to come down from their long-term aspirations, a permanent break-up appears likely.

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