There is only one scenario where the New Jersey Devils should re-sign Tyler Toffoli

Should the New Jersey Devils reunite with Tyler Toffoli this season? Only if the price is right. Not only the price, but something else.
Tyler Toffoli
Tyler Toffoli / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding whether a return to the New Jersey Devils is in the cards for Tyler Toffoli. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Toffoli is going to test free agency this summer, but there’s a chance he could find his way back to the Devils. Everything would have to align for that to happen for that to happen.

Toffoli fit in well with the Devils’ top forwards, especially Jack Hughes, and played the role he was expected to. He led the team in goals during his time in New Jersey. The Devils traded Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline once a trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs seemed unlikely. They received draft picks in return. 

The trade was a necessary move for the Devils. They had to look to the future and avoid the possibility of losing Toffoli in the offseason for nothing. He ultimately finished the season with 33 goals between New Jersey and Winnipeg.

Toffoli is one of the former Devils that general manager Tom Fitzgerald could bring back this offseason. After the trade, Fitzgerald spoke highly of Toffoli. “He’s our leading scorer. Great in the locker room,” Fitzgerald told “He’s everything I thought he would be. A player that I have interest in the offseason if he’s interested in New Jersey.” The interest is mutual on Toffoli's part. Extension talks were underway before the trade.

Despite the mutual interest, other statements Fitzgerald made showed that it would be difficult to solidify a reunion. He explained that Toffoli wants a longer deal than the Devils are willing to give. If he can find a longer deal elsewhere, that would and should prevent a reunion with the Devils, who shouldn't get into a bidding war. It depends on what Toffoli can find when he tests the market.

Although the Devils are serious about their interest in bringing Toffoli back, the scenario that would work is compromising on term. Toffoli would have to go lower than he wants, and the Devils would have to go higher than they want. The Devils would need to go higher than a two-year contract to entice Toffoli. They're probably not willing to go to four years, so a three-year contract could be ideal.

A factor here is whether the cost will make sense given the salary cap. Toffoli is 32-years-old. With stars under contract and some who will need contracts in the near future, the Devils don’t want to be tied to a long, expensive contract with Toffoli. Locking him up for less than a $6 million cap hit would work best for the Devils, but Toffoli might get more elsewhere.

If Toffoli isn’t able to find what he’s looking for elsewhere, and the Devils can make the salary and term work given the other moves they need to make this summer, a reunion could be in order. It isn’t the most likely outcome, but don’t rule out Toffoli returning to New Jersey next season.