Major update on Tyler Toffoli trade straight from Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald
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Major update on Tyler Toffoli trade straight from Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald

The team's leading scorer is all over trade reports this week.



New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald met with the media today to discuss yesterday's firing of head coach Lindy Ruff. Fitzgerald relieved Ruff of his head coaching duties and replaced him with assistant coach Travis Green, at least on an interim basis.

Fitzgerald addressed many of the rumors surrounding the Devils these days, including the team's plans heading into Friday's NHL trade deadline. Specifically, Fitzgerald was asked about leading goal scorer and pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Toffoli. What's the plan? Trade? Re-sign? Also... what's the deal with the team's goaltending? Are the rumors about Jacob Markstrom true?

From ESPN insider Greg Wyshynski:

For the record, the Devils have just a 12% chance of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs as things currently stand. That's not 0%, but is it worth risking having a guy like Toffoli walk away for nothing? If Toffoli is looking for a long-term contract, I'm not sure Jersey is the right fit. Then again, he has found seamless chemistry with the team but he seems to do that just about everywhere he goes in the NHL. Toffoli is the ultimate utility offensive player, he could fetch a decent return on the trade market and Fitzgerald did say that he will listen to all offers between now and Friday.

Read below for our earlier report on the Devils' firing of Ruff, published yesterday afternoon.

This just in, the New Jersey Devils have fired head coach Lindy Ruff. Assistant coach Travis Green will take over head coaching duties on an interim basis.

Check it out:

Ruff was a nominee for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach just last season and was in the first year of a multi-year contract extension.

“I hold our entire organization to the highest levels of accountability to focus on being a competitive team that expects to be a perennial playoff contender,” said Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald i na prepared statement. “Unfortunately, we are not currently at that level, and I needed to make this decision.

“This was an extremely difficult conversation to have with Lindy based on the relationship that he and I have. He was the right coach to develop our young players on the ice, and above all else, he is a tremendous person."

“Travis has key experience running benches at the junior, AHL and NHL levels and knows that there are no shortcuts to success. He is a high-demanding individual who is familiar with the group and excited about working to get us back on track.”

For our earlier report on the Devils and their pursuit of Calgary Flames netminder Jacob Markstrom, read below.

This just in, according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Calgary Flames are expected to move goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils... it's just a matter of when, not if. 

On his latest 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman reported the New Jersey Devils are pushing hard to acquire the veteran goalie this week but if they can't get it done, they'll wait until the offseason to make the move.

From Friedman:

“I believe the Devils have decided that Jacob Markstrom is going to be their goalie, they hope. If they don’t get Markstrom done this week, they are going to wait to try to do it in the summer”

- Elliotte Friedman

Meanwhile, Flames GM Craig Conroy more or less pulled Markstrom from the trade market last week following some strained negotiations with the Devils. It was reported a couple of times that a deal with the Devils was done, only for it to never materialize. NHL insider Frank Seravalli reported that Flames executive Don Maloney nixed the trade on behalf of the team's ownership.

Read below for our earlier report on Markstrom and the Flames, published this morning.

The Calgary Flames were struck by a major controversy last week when veteran goaltender Jacob Markstrom expressed his frustration with how his situation had been handled leading up to the trade deadline.

Markstrom took a poorly veiled shot at the Flames front office and many assumed that his comments had been directed at Flames general manager Craig Conroy given that, in theory, the general manager is the man calling the shots at this time of year. New comments from a National Hockey League insider however appear to indicate that Conroy has been unfairly maligned, with someone else in the front office meriting all of the blame.

"I don't think Jacob Markstrom's issue with the Flames front office is at all with Craig Conroy," said NHL insider Frank Seravalli. "My understanding, and this is a belief I've had for 3 weeks or a month now, is that the Flames and [New Jersey] Devils had agreed to a trade on Markstrom. They had gone to Markstrom and said 'We are thinking about trading you to New Jersey' and he gave them the green light."

Seravalli would double down on those comments, indicating his belief that the deal was either a done deal or had at the very least been agreed upon by both teams.

"The two sides, I believe, had agreed in principle to a trade and above Craig Conroy... Don Malone on behalf of ownership, is believed to have nixed this trade," said Seravalli.

Given this new information it makes a great deal of sense why Markstrom would be frustrated, and Seravalli expressed as much.

"So I think Markstrom's frustration is 'You asked me if I would waive. I said yes. Then you don't trade me. And then you determined after the fact that you're not going to trade me or you've told people you're not going to trade me.' I can understand why that would be disappointing," admitted Seravalli.

Seravalli did not elaborate on why Flames ownership may have stepped in, but if I had to wager a guess I would suspect it has to do with the team's recent run of success. The Flames are suddenly a potential playoff contender, and the allure of playoff ticket sales may have been too enticing for ownership to ignore.

Source: Greg Wyshynski