Flames acquire Toffoli from Canadiens for package centred on picks, prospect

Ryan Leslie and Eric Engels discuss the Tyler Toffoli trade from Montreal to Calgary from both teams' perspectives and look ahead to potential future moves as the Flames position themselves for the playoffs and the Canadiens begin to rebuild.

The Calgary Flames have acquired Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens for a first-round pick, a fifth-round pick, Emil Heineman and Tyler Pitlick, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman has learned, bolstering the team's forward depth amid a resurgent hot streak.

The 2022 first-round pick going from the Flames to the Canadiens is top-10 protected.

Toffoli, who was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft, joined the Canadiens as a free agent in 2020, when he signed a four-year, $17-million contract.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, Toffoli managed to score 28 goals and add 16 assists across 52 games, the seventh-best goal-scoring total among NHL players that season, and continued to find success during Montreal's fabled run to the Cup Final — highlighted by scoring the series-winning goal in the second round against the Winnipeg Jets. In the Final, while struggling with a groin injury, he did not register a point.

This season, despite missing time after undergoing hand surgery and the Canadiens' historic struggles as a team, he has scored nine times and added 17 assists.

Toffoli's departure marks the latest move in what has been a year of transformation for Montreal. The team’s earlier struggles resulted in long-time general manager Marc Bergevin being fired at the end of November, with replacements Jeff Gorton (vice president of hockey operations) and Kent Hughes (general manager) inheriting the troubled franchise.

"I've been traded before and I know better not to get caught up in the rumours," Toffoli said previously, when asked about being traded as part of the rebuilding effort. "Whatever direction they feel they want to go in, I want to be part of it."

In Calgary, Toffoli joins a Flames club that has ascended in the standings of late, riding a six-game win streak to second place in the Pacific Division and a 26-13-65 record overall.

Pitlick has appeared in 25 games this season recording two points. The 30-year-old was acquired from the Seattle Kraken last off-season and is in the final year of a two-year contract with a $1.75 million cap hit.

Heineman was acquired by the Flames in the deal that sent Sam Bennett to the Florida Panthers last season. The 20-year-old was selected in the second round of the NHL Draft by the Panthers and has 11 goals and 16 points in 36 games with Leksands IF of the SHL.

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