NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumours
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Welcome to another edition of NHL rumours. Today we will discuss Tyler Toffoli possibly being a fit with the Calgary Flames, the Columbus Blue Jackets looking for hard-working players and the Ottawa Senators reported offer to pending free agent Nick Paul. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Rumour: On the Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Freidman says, “You know who a lot of people think is going to end up in Calgary potentially…there is a lot of teams pencilling in Tyler Toffoli with Calgary. 

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: The Canadiens appear to be starting a retool after a challenging season. One of the players that could be traded is Tyler Toffoli. At 29-years-old, Toffoli’s prime to win is now. Unless Montreal thinks they can build a winning roster right away as they did after the 2011-12 and 2015-16 seasons, it makes sense to move on from him. The Calgary Flames are looking for secondary scoring.  Adding a skilled right-winger in Toffoli is a natural fit.

Tyler Toffoli has experience playing under Calgary’s head coach Darell Sutter. The two won the 2014 Stanley Cup together with the Los Angeles Kings. His second best was the 2015-16 season where he scored 31 goals, 27 assists for 57 points under Sutter.  Even with the debacle in Montreal, Toffoli is on pace for 60 points. He’s a highly productive player Calgary can count on.

Tyler Toffoli isn’t a rental, he has two more years left with a cap hit of $4.25 million. The Tampa Bay Lightning traded J.T. Miller to the Vancouver Canucks in June 2019 for a first and third-round pick. Miller had four years left on his deal at the time and would have close to the same value as Toffoli. I think that price is what Montreal would be seeking out.

There will be many more NHL rumours about the Montreal Canadiens, so keep your eyes out for them.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rumour: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli writes, “The Blue Jackets seem to have lost their identity, lost their intensity, their character that has been a staple of the franchise for so many years…they have been on the wrong end of too many lopsided losses this year and change seems to be in order.” 

Analysis: The Columbus Blue Jackets will not be looking for rental players to fix their tough and hard-working identity crisis. They’re in 23rd place in the standings and aren’t an attractive market, so they will want players who will stick around for a while. Once players have time to settle into Columbus, they seem to like it there like Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner and Brandon Dubinsky to name a few.

From the players who are available, Lawson Crouse, Gabriel Vilardi, Jason Zucker, Artturi Lehkonen all make sense for Columbus. None of them will be too expensive to acquire. The Blue Jackets also have Jack Roslovic, Max Domi and Joonas Korpisalo on the trading block, they could get a hard-working player in return for one of those players. Their third route is to use their $10.6 million in salary-cap space to acquire players on expensive contracts. Jason Zucker of the Pittsburgh Penguins is an example. If he works out, Columbus has a hard-working player who can provide a decent amount of offence. He’s struggled to find his scoring touch in Pittsburgh, so maybe a fresh start will help him.

What players the Blue Jackets acquire should lead to more Columbus content for NHL Rumours.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: Frank Seravalli also writes that the Ottawa Senators have offered free-agent forward Nick Paul a three-year contract worth $6 million, which wasn’t enough to get a deal done. 

Analysis: Over the past two seasons, Nick Paul has developed into one of Senators coach D.J Smith’s most trusted players. He’s an assistant captain, players 17:16 a night, is a regular penalty killer, leads the team in takeaways and is one of the best face-off men on the team. He is quite versatile, he has played anywhere from fourth-line left-winger to second-line centre. He also provides some secondary offence. In 41 games this year, he has 9 goals, 5 assists for 14 points, putting him on pace for 28 points over a full year.

My measuring level to determine the salary of a forward is to go by how many points they score. If Paul scores 28 points, then he should make around $2.8 million. That’s not including the intangibles he brings to the team, so his value is probably around $3.3 million. It is no surprise he turned down Ottawa’s offer that will pay him $2 million a season.

Nick Paul openly expressed that he wants to stay in Ottawa. He recently launched a new initiative where he will donate $150 for every point he scores to the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. The proceeds will be matched by the team’s charity. His ice time and the fact he’s an assistant captain means the organization values him. I think the two sides will come to an agreement. Ottawa’s offer was probably its lowest as it prepares for negotiations.

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