NHL Rumor Mill – November 16, 2019
Check out the latest Taylor Hall speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.
NHL NETWORK: EJ Hradek speculates the Montreal Canadiens could be a suitor for Taylor Hall if the New Jersey Devils shop him at the trade deadline. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. Hradek believes he could be moved at some point before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Hradek observes the Canadiens have the salary-cap space to take on Hall’s cap hit for this season. He pointed out the Habs attempted to land Carolina’s Sebastian Aho this summer with an offer sheet. Hradek feels the Canadiens still lack depth at center, which a left winger like Hall can’t address. Nevertheless, if Hall hits the block before the trade deadline, Hradek feels the Canadiens could use him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s expectation that the Devils will trade Hall. He also notes Friedman last month suggested the Oilers as a possible trade partner.
Staples is skeptical about Hall returning to the Oilers unless it’s as a playoff rental. He doesn’t expect that to happen as the team that acquires him will be the one most likely to re-sign him.
The Oilers lack sufficient salary-cap space. Re-signing Hall would mean gutting the roster to free up sufficient salary-cap space. Staples also points out the Devils’ asking price would likely be too expensive for Oilers general manager Ken Holland.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin was asked what the Devils could get by trading Hall. He looks to the returns received by the Ottawa Senators for Mark Stone and Matt Duchene at last season’s deadline. “Think first-round pick and elite-level prospect at minimum, plus maybe another decent depth prospect,” said Larkin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer Hall remains unsigned by the Devils, the more speculation suggesting he’ll be moved by the trade deadline. The Devils’ ongoing struggles will only stoke that conjecture.
Hall would be a great addition to the Canadiens’ offense. However, I don’t believe GM Marc Bergevin will sacrifice his first-rounder and two quality prospects for a rental player.
Assuming Hall was willing to re-sign with the Canadiens, Cap Friendly indicates they have over $64 million invested in 17 players for 2020-21. That’s sufficient room to sign Hall for what could be $11 million annually on a long-term deal. However, it would take away money needed to re-sign Max Domi and Victor Mete, as well as address other possible roster needs next summer.
I share Staples view that Hall won’t be returning to the Oilers. They already have $21 million invested in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl He’ll be too costly in terms of return and salary.