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Bang for the puck: Toffoli still a bargain for Flames

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Tyler Toffoli has made a big impression in a couple of weeks with the Calgary Flames.

The top prize of the NHL trade market thus far came up short against his former team as the Flames fell 5-4 to the Montreal Canadiens in overtime on Thursday. But Toffoli has been a huge part of the offence with five goals in his first eight games with his new team.

Taking a three-game point streak into Saturday’s massive clash against the Avalanche in Colorado, Toffoli has racked up three goals and three helpers in his last three games. He’s averaging a point per game as a member of the Flames.

And according to OnlineBetting.com, Toffoli was the NHL’s bargain-bin sniper last year.

Using spotrac.com and looking at the league’s top 20 goal-scorers last season and breaking their AAV down to determine the cost per tally, you might be surprised to find out Toffoli topped the list.

He beat out Alex DeBrincat, Brad Marchand, Mika Zibanejad, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, Kyle Connor, Joe Pavelski and Max Pacioretty in the top 10.

Other notable stud super scorers found in the top 20 include Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Sidney Crosby, and Sebastien Aho.

None of them, though, come at the $4.25-million annual average the Calgary Flames will be paying Toffoli for the next two seasons. Regardless of what happens the rest of this year, it was an addition well worth making.

It’s been a seamless start.

“Coming here, I knew a lot of the guys even if I wasn’t friends with them. Playing against them for so long when I was in L.A., I kind of knew everybody,” said Toffoli, who also won a Stanley Cup with head coach Darryl Sutter.

“Obviously coming here, Darryl made me feel as comfortable as you could, being traded. It’s been fun. Obviously, the team was playing well before I got here and we’ve been rolling, so it’s been good.”

When the Habs were in town, their new head coach Martin St. Louis suggested Toffoli was the team’s unspoken captain. He didn’t have the C on his chest, but he displayed the characteristics of the leader on the ice and in the locker-room that are a welcomed part of the Calgary Flames core.

“I think that goes hand-in-hand with winning championships and being around captains. Really good ones,” Sutter said this week. “You look at that L.A. group and there were probably seven or eight captains on that team, when you look at it. All of those guys would have been captains on all other teams. That was a big reason why they won championships.

“Tyler is a student and he soaks that up. You see those kids that moved around from that team, the type of players they are for their teams. It speaks volumes.”

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