The ongoing quest to fill a significant hole at right wing next to David Krejci continues.
Over the past year and a half, the Bruins tried closing the rotating door with guys like Charlie Coyle, Marcus Johansson, Danton Heinen and most recently Anders Bjork. None of them have stuck next to Krejci and Jake DeBrusk for more than a handful of games.
General manager Don Sweeney reportedly tried to land Ilya Kovalchuk and more recently LA Kings forward Tyler Toffoli. Kovalchuk’s defensive liability wasn’t a good fit on a Bruins’ team that prides itself on a 200-foot game.
Kovalchuk signed a veteran minimum deal with the Canadiens a few weeks back. So now we ask this question about the next reported option. Would Toffoli actually fit on Krejci’s wing or will they need a higher caliber player to fill the void?
Toffoli is having a decent year for the Kings following a rough season in 2018-19. The 27-year-old winger has 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) through 47 games playing on the top line alongside Alex Iafallo and Anze Kopitar.
Toffoli’s 27 points would rank fifth among Bruins forwards, behind David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci. His 12 goals would rank fifth on the B’s, just two shy of DeBrusk’s 14.
Before beginning to write this piece, I really thought Sweeney should aiming higher than Toffoli. He may very well have his sights on a bigger name. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reported that Sweeney has a deal for Toffoli in his “hip pocket” during his recent 31 Thoughts podcast. Friedman also brought up another frequent name on the trade rumor mill — Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers.
Kreider would come at a hefty price, one Boston may not be willing to pay unless they decide to go all-in on their already dwindling Stanley Cup window. Toffoli might be the logical choice here considering he’s notched 27 points on a cellar-dwelling Kings team. He’s in the final year of his three-year, $13.8 million deal with Los Angeles and carries a $4.6 cap hit.
What would Toffoli cost, though? The Kings most likely would be asking for a second-round pick and a prospect, according to recent speculation. Not horrible, but Sweeney shouldn’t sacrifice too much of Boston’s future to acquire a rental.
Kreider, on the other hand, is in the third year of his four-year deal with the Rangers. He has a modified no-trade clause, but the Boxford, Mass. native and former Boston College just might say yes to return home if a deal is in play.
Kreider carries a $4.625 million this season and would be a far better option than Toffoli. A deal for Kreider would depend on how much the B’s would want to sacrifice, and in recent years Sweeney has gone the cheap route.
So, is Tyler Toffoli worth it? At the right price, yes. But the Bruins should be setting their sights on a guy like Kreider if they want to bring another Cup back to Boston.
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