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NHL Trade Talk

Canucks Miss on Jake Guentzel; Toffoli Trade Possible

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Tyler Toffoli briefly played for the Vancouver Canucks in 2020. (Photo: AP)

Jake Guentzel was traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, which means the Vancouver Canucks’ top remaining trade target is now off the board. The good news? A surprise reunion via a Tyler Toffoli trade is still possible.

Toffoli, 31, was held out of the New Jersey Devils’ 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night for what the team declared as “trade-related reasons”. Toffoli is a pending unrestricted free agent, and although the Devils had attempted to work out a contract extension, it appears neither the money nor the term have gotten close.

As such, Toffoli is now available to the Canucks and to other teams as the Devils look to avoid losing him for free this summer.

The 31-year-old once played for the Canucks back in the 2019-20 season after joining via trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Toffoli scored six goals, four assists, and 10 points in 10 regular season games with the Canucks, and added two goals and two assists in seven playoff games.

The 2019-20 season was the last time the Canucks made the postseason; current Devils head coach Travis Green was in charge of the Canucks at that time. That also happened to be Canucks captain Quinn Hughes’s first full season in the NHL, and his youngest brother Luke Hughes is currently in his rookie season with the Devils, playing under Green.

It’s unclear what the Canucks are willing to pony up in a potential Toffoli trade, but with Guentzel off the board, they may have to get desperate so as to avoid a bidding war with the other teams that inquired about Guentzel.

The Canucks do still have their 2025 first-round pick, but to make the money work, they may have to part ways with a player like Nils Hoglander or Vasily Podkolzin. One thing is for certain: Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald is not going to sell on Toffoli for cheap.

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