If the Flyers are to make a moderate to big splash at the Feb. 24 trade deadline, it won't be easy.
Adding a player like Tyler Toffoli would make some waves. Could he be on general manager Chuck Fletcher's radar? It appears so, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
Here's a tidbit from Friedman's latest 31 Thoughts article (always an excellent read), which was published Wednesday afternoon:
Kings coach Todd McLellan lobbied for Tyler Toffoli to be extended, but it is more likely than not the winger is dealt by the deadline. Boston and Calgary’s interest has been reported; I think Philadelphia considered the idea, as well.
It would be understandable if the Flyers have interest in the 27-year-old winger. There's plenty to like with Toffoli. He has 14 goals and 30 points through 53 games with the Kings, who are at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and very likely looking to sell parts as they focus on the future.
Toffoli, who is projected to finish with 21 goals and 46 points this season, won the 2014 Stanley Cup with Los Angeles, has 47 games of playoff experience, can play both special teams and scored 31 goals in 2015-16.
The Flyers have bounced back into playoff contention this season and believe in their 2019-20 chances. They entered Wednesday two points out of third place in the busy Metropolitan Division, holding the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot and with a 59.2 percent chance to make the postseason, according to Hockey-Reference.com.
Areas in which the Flyers could seek improvement are depth at forward and production on the wing and power play. The Flyers aren't in bad shape, though. They're tied for 13th in the NHL with 3.11 goals per game and their young forwards Joel Farabee, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Connor Bunnaman have been reliable. Alain Vigneault's team has featured balanced scoring and is allowing only 2.87 goals per game after the Flyers yielded the league's third-most goals per game last season at 3.41.
"I think if you look at our group, we’re at our best when we’re playing that team game," Vigneault said Wednesday. "We don’t have anybody in the top 30 in scoring, we don’t have anybody in the top 30 [defensemen] in scoring. We’re in the top 10 as far as goals against, in that range. We’ve got to play a solid team game.
"When it’s time to check, we need to check. When it’s time to get the puck and go on the attack at a fast pace, we have to do that. When we do that, we can have success on the ice.
"Maybe some guys get a few less points, but at the end of the day, we get more wins and that’s what’s important."
Toffoli would undoubtedly give the Flyers a shot in the arm. However, the Flyers have only $1,332,368 in cap space, according to CapFriendly.com. Toffoli has a cap hit of $4,600,000 ($2.3M at 50 percent retained) and can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
So the Flyers would have to subtract from their roster to make room cap-wise. Potentially, they could lose a decent player, as well as a high-round draft pick, for a rental who could walk in the summer.
Not sure that's a risk the Flyers want to take.
“A lot of teams are up against it,” Fletcher said of the cap in mid-January. “You have to maybe look at including players in the deal. It’s hard to trade a fourth-round pick for a $4 million player. With our group right now, I don’t know that’s what we’re looking to do. If we can improve our team, we will."
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