They may not have landed the top free agent forward this offseason, but the Montreal Canadiens still made a significant addition to their lineup.
The team announced on Monday that it has signed free agent forward Tyler Toffoli to a four-year, $17 million contract.
That comes out to a yearly salary cap hit of $4.25 million for the the 28-year-old winger.
There is a lot to like about this deal from a Montreal perspective, and it might be their best move during an already busy offseason.
What they are getting
Toffoli is a very good all-around player that can impact the game on both sides of the puck. He is a good defensive player, contributes at a top-six level offensively, and might even have another level to get to in the right system and with the right talent around him. His underlying numbers have always been outstanding throughout his career, as his teams have always held a huge shot attempt and scoring chance advantage when he is on the ice. And yes, that has also translated to a significant goals advantage as well.
This signing does push to the Canadiens to the upper limits of the salary cap, so they will have to make another move of some kind this offseason.
It’s been a hectic offseason for general manager Marc Bergevin as he continues to retool his roster. His other moves this offseason have seen him acquire Jake Allen to backup Carey Price, acquire Joel Edmundson and sign him to a four-year contract extension, and then trade Max Domi for Josh Anderson.
That trade was followed by an eyebrow raising seven-year contract extension for Anderson.
With Toffoli now in the mix Montreal has a fascinating group of forwards to work with. Toffoli, Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, and Philip Danault are all very similar in the sense that they are great at driving possession and dictating the pace of play, but none of them are consistently great finishers. They also have two extremely promising young players in Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki that look to be building blocks for the foreseeable future and could be impact players.