NHL Rumors: Tyler Toffoli valuable Canadiens trade chip, and Islanders likely to make a move soon

nhl rumors toffoli
Dec 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) waits for a face-off during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

One thing is clear about NHL rumors: when you’re losing, there’s plenty of speculation to go around.

Two teams that have done their fair share of taking losses this season are the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders. Both went far in the playoffs last season, and both look like they will not be one of the 16 teams in the big dance this summer.

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NHL Rumors: Tyler Toffoli trade chip

Jeff Gorton has now taken control of the Montreal Canadiens as VP of Hockey Operations. Owner, Geoff Molson holds the title of President but it’s clear Gorton is now leading the way.

As he searches for a new GM, he and ownership are not opposed to a rebuild. Brendan Gallagher already went on record that he isn’t crazy about the idea, and other veterans are likely to follow suit.

Tyler Toffoli is a name that fits the bill and will be a valuable trade chip for Gorton to rebuild (or retool) the Habs. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek noted Toffoli as one of his top 25 to be traded this season.

Much like Gallagher, if the Habs go the teardown and rebuild model, does Toffoli want to be part of it at this stage of his career? This is not what he signed up for when he joined the Habs.

Jeff Marek, Sportsnet

Toffoli, 29, has 17 points in 26 games this season. The right-handed winger has two more years on a good contract worth just $4.25M AAV. He’s currently out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

Another name Marek suggested to keep an eye on is Mike Hoffman.

Islanders need to save the season

new york islanders rumors
new york islanders rumorsDec 2, 2021; Elmont, New York, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) celebrates after scoring in overtime against New York Islanders at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders have a beautiful new building but remain winless (0-5-2) at UBS Arena. Their latest loss came Thursday night, when the Nashville Predators scored twice in the final 7:29. That included Eeli Tolvanen’s winner with 11.5 seconds left.

Tonight, the Islanders will try to pick up their first home victory against division rival NJ Devils. How much longer will GM Lou Lamoriello allow this to go on If they take another home loss?

“I’m still not counting out Lou Lamoriello,” Dreger said on TSN 1200. “I don’t think that he’s going to make this magical blockbuster (trade) that is going to cure everything that ails the New York Islanders, but Lou is also a pretty active GM. He isn’t going to watch the season go up in flames. I’m not sure what, if anything, he’s looking for, but something tells me that he’s going to do something in an effort to salvage this season.”

via TFP

The Isles need help, and not just getting some players back. Barry Trotz’ defense first appears to be stifling the offense more than usual. Their 2.09 goals per game ranks 31 out of 32 teams this season. Last year, they were 28th with 2.54 per game, a fairly significant dip.

Could Lamoriello, who doesn’t have a lot of assets or cap space take a big chance on Evander Kane? San Jose is willing to eat 50% of his $7M cap hit, and another team could help drive it down further. It is certainly an interesting solution to the Isles scoring woes.