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Report: Former Devils Forward Tyler Toffoli Headed to Free Agency

Could Toffoli rekindle with the Devils this summer?



New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils didn’t plan on trading Tyler Toffoli at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline. The intention — when he was acquired for Yegor Sharangovich and a draft pick last summer — was to retain the goalscorer after his contract expired following the 2023-24 season. However, a derailed season led to the Devils trading Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets. Now that Winnipeg is eliminated from the postseason, a report suggests he’s headed to free agency.

Pierre LeBrun via The Athletic writes, “And while he enjoyed his time in Winnipeg after the trade this season, he’s headed to market, which is not surprising.”

That’s not necessarily bad news for the Devils.

After the trade deadline passed on March 8th and the media met with General Manager Tom Fitzgerald, the Devils’ GM explained he has interest in bringing Toffoli back to New Jersey.

“Tyler’s a great kid,” Fitzgerald explained in his post-trade deadline conference. “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.”

Toffoli ended the 2023-24 season scoring 33 goals and 55 points in 79 games. Before he was traded to Winnipeg, Toffoli potted 26 goals and 44 points with the Devils, mostly playing alongside Jack Hughes. The 32-year-old winger scored seven goals and 11 points in the remaining 18 games with the Jets.

In five games in the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche, Toffoli scored two goals.

According to the Devils’ GM, the two sides were never close on a deal. Toffoli wanted more term, whereas Fitzgerald wanted less. Therefore, they didn’t even get to talk about how much per season.

“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.”

A reunion with Toffoli isn’t impossible, although it seems unlikely.

LeBrun speculates the Nashville Predators will inquire with Toffoli as their intention is to add more goal scorers this summer.

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