Canucks Mailbag: How much would it cost to re-sign Tyler Toffoli?

Vancouver Canucks' Tyler Toffoli lines up for a faceoff against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

VANCOUVER – Question period is fun. I can’t believe the Prime Minister avoids this.

Questions this week reflected that Chris Tanev and Tyler Toffoli are hot topics in Canucks Nation. And they should be. But I liked the one about Chet Morton. Here is MacIntyre Mailbag III.

Rapid fire start. No to the Masterton for Markstrom, yes to the Vezina conversation although Jacob’s most impressive statistics are proprietary so he probably won’t get the broad support he needs to be a finalist, and he is my Canucks MVP this season.

If I’m the Canucks, I’m trying to keep both. But it’s a good question because GM Jim Benning won’t be able to keep everyone. If you’re willing to lose Stecher, you’re probably getting nothing because he wouldn’t be qualified and he could sign with anyone as an unrestricted free agent. But if you’re willing to trade Virtanen, there might be a solid return for a strong 23-year-old who just scored 18 goals while averaging 13 minutes a night in a shortened season. So, if I can only have one – and there are higher contract priorities for the Canucks than either player – I’d probably keep Stecher and trade Virtanen.

Benning’s top priorities are Markstrom and Tyler Toffoli, although not necessarily in that order, and then Chris Tanev because he’s also a UFA. Whatever money is left trickles down from there.

Excellent variety, although do you mean San Marzano tomatoes? I live in Richmond, which I think is alluvial plain – pretty much organic sea soil. I’ve read that we have the most fertile soil in Canada, so it makes perfect sense that condos grow like weeds. I don’t do much to prepare for planting. A little yard compost or manure and all the coffee grounds I can scrounge from Starbucks.

Among the hundred things the NHL and its players’ association are negotiating is the extension of the many contracts expiring on June 30, and full medical coverage of everyone involved beyond that date. Teams will be paying for the insurance.

Five years ago, Judd Brackett was a part-time scout, and his exit from the Canucks was spectacularly public. He seems like a great talent assessor, made the Canucks better, and should get another NHL job. But it won’t be as a general manager.

Roberto Luongo and Kirk McLean were one-two on my all-time Canucks list, so I’d go with that. Their numbers aren’t close, but it’s unfair to compare statistics from different eras. No Canuck goalie was as dominant and essential as Roberto was during his first couple of years in Vancouver.

4B. Are you calling me a pencil-neck, Angelo?

There is no talk of buying out Ferland with three years and $10.5 million US remaining. If he plays, it’s probably a bonus for the Canucks. If he doesn’t, he’s on the long-term injured list and won’t count against the salary cap.

I believe that Chet Morton may have lacked confidence and felt inferior to Frank and Joe Hardy because while they had their pilot licences as teenagers and were allowed by their father to take down armed gangsters without any law-enforcement authority, Chet drove a jalopy and crushed cheeseburgers. But he was always game for a stakeout and a good friend to everyone.

A compliance buyout would be better for the Canucks than what had been the planned NHL increase on next season’s cap. Six million buys a lot of wriggle room. Alas, commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t interested in compliance buyouts and unless the cap plummets, they’re extremely unlikely.

Eriksson is still owed $5 million over two years after another signing-bonus instalment of $3 million is paid this summer. Would you walk away from $5 million? Loui’s not retiring, but I do think the Canucks will try to run the Zach Bogosian playbook and see if the sides can mutually agree to terminate his contract, which would allow Eriksson to sign elsewhere and finish his career on his terms – instead of in the minors.

Victor Hedman would help. Except to fill-in holes that may emerge at the bottom of the lineup, the Canucks aren’t going to be buyers this summer. (Will anybody?) But always remember, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Adam Gaudette, Thatcher Demko, Nils Hoglander, Vasily Podkolzin and Jack Rathbone are still getting better. They should be enough to make the Canucks a Stanley Cup contender.

In those halcyon days when the salary cap was projected to be $84-88 million next season, I think the 28-year-old Toffoli was positioned to command something in the range of five years at close to $5 million. Now, who knows? He is a great fit with the Canucks and, I believe, would like to stay. But there’s no established relationship there with the team, which may mean he is less likely to do the kind of UFA bridge deal that Chris Tanev alluded to as a possibility.

Tanev’s representatives didn’t like the implications some were making when Chris told me the UFA market this summer is going to be tough and “I definitely could see a lot of guys signing a one-year deal and then hoping the league gets financially better next summer.”

But when he said “whether it’s one year or many years (on the next contract), I’d love to play my whole career here,” it didn’t mean Tanev is re-signing with the Canucks at any cost. He is being sensible and keeping options open, realizing no one should expect a normal free-agent market in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic. Unfortunately, some tried to spin it like Tanev was misquoted, which was ridiculous. The interview is on tape and Chris, personally, had no issue with it.

As far as your question, I’d choose beach octagon because it makes it easier for me to go shirts-off and flex. But nobody is paying to watch that.

Can I say Augusta National? Actually, I’d rather play Cypress Point or Pine Valley. But realistically, here’s what I haven’t played but would love to: in British Columbia, Wildstone; rest of Canada, Cabot Cliffs (but I’d happily take Links); United States, Sheep Ranch, the new course at Bandon in Oregon; Europe, Royal Portrush.


He wasn’t built in a day. But good guy, good depth defenceman. And he may never get over getting suspended for the last four Stanley Cup Final games.

Not since the housing was finished, so it has been a bunch of years. But I hear the course has been renamed for some radio Joe who accidentally scored a hole-in-one.

COVID testing is painstakingly detailed by the NHL. Canuck players will be constantly tested and monitored – at no cost to taxpayers. The safest place on Earth might be an NHL dressing room. Or right next to Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Yes. “House” was a sweetheart. Had the misfortune of being cast as the next Cam Neely. Also had the longest hockey stick I’ve ever seen.

My high-school graduation present was a power-winder, the poor cousin to a motor drive, that could machine-gun two frames per second on my Pentax ME Super. I could go through a roll of Ilford in 18 seconds. I also had a K1000 which I liked because it was totally manual and would work when my electronic ME Super would not. I briefly procrastinated between writing and shooting photos for a living, but this was before auto-focus and blurry pics only worked back then in some dubious niche fields of ill-repute. So I went with words. I’ll get the hang of them one day.

There are no dumb questions here, just dumb answers. Canadian NHL players can return to the U.S. to work without going into quarantine, but (as I write this) players coming into Canada get the 14-day timeout. Unless they tell Canadian Border Services they’re on their way by car to Alaska, in which case, apparently, they can do whatever they like.


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