Devils Trade Hall To Coyotes

by | Dec 16, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 14 comments

The Taylor Hall trade watch is over. The New Jersey Devils trade the 28-year-old winger and minor-league winger Blake Speers to the Arizona Coyotes. In return, the Devils receive Arizona’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (top-three protected), Arizona’s third-round selection (conditional) in 2021, defenseman Kevin Bahl and forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the Devils will pick up half of Hall’s $6-million annual average value.

The New Jersey Devils trade Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report indicates if Arizona’s 2020 first-round selection is in the top three, New Jersey will receive Arizona’s first-round pick in 2021. As for the conditional 2021 pick, “the third-round pick in 2021 becomes a second-round selection if Arizona wins a Stanley Cup Playoff round OR Taylor Hall re-signs in Arizona. The third-round pick in 2021 becomes a first-round selection if Arizona wins a Stanley Cup Playoff round AND Taylor Hall re-signs in Arizona. If neither condition happens, New Jersey still receives the 2021 third-round pick.”

It’s an interesting move by the Coyotes. After years of patiently building with youth, they’ve opted to acquire the biggest available playoff rental player to make a push for the postseason. It’s a change from their previous big-name acquisitions, which was the contracts of all-but-retired stars like Chris Pronger, Pavel Datsyuk, and Marian Hossa in exchange for draft picks, prospects, and young NHL-ready players.

The Coyotes are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase, currently sitting in first place in the Pacific Division. However, they’re among the league’s lowest-scoring clubs. Adding a former Hart Trophy winner like Hall should provide a significant boost to their offense. With 25 points in 30 games, he’s on pace for between 65-70 points this season. Those numbers could improve on a playoff contender like the Coyotes.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports this could be a pure rental for the Coyotes as Hall could test the UFA market. However, his agent is willing to listen to contract extension offers. Maybe if Hall enjoys playing in Arizona this season, he’ll consider staying there. The Coyotes, however, have over $80 million invested in their 2020-21 payroll. While they’ll get cap relief with Hossa ($5.275 million) on LTIR, re-signing Hall could cost over $10 million annually, meaning the Coyotes will have to shed salary to squeeze him under their cap.

Devils general manager Ray Shero didn’t want Hall’s status becoming an unnecessary distraction dragging on toward the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Given the Hall camp’s reluctance to sign a contract extension, it’s unlikely Shero would’ve received much more waiting for deadline day. The return does nothing to improve the Devils performance this season, but their lousy play to date pretty much dashed their slim playoff hopes.

Another roster rebuild is underway in New Jersey. Time will tell if the return for Hall turns into long-term value for the Devils. With an eye on the future, Shero could peddle his other pending UFAs (Sami Vatanen, Wayne Simmonds, Andy Greene) for draft picks and prospects as the trade deadline draws near.


  1. Those are both conditional picks likely related to whether or not Hall signs there – he might, but not until he tests the UFA waters next spring – unless Arizona overwhelms him with an offer he can’t refuse.

  2. I see Bahl a lot on TV with the 67s and while he’s a solid prospect, if and when he makes the NHL it will be at best a 3/4 pairing – likely 5/6.

    The others involved are all just fill for the farm. That’s why I see it as a pure rental.

    • From Capfriendly

      2020 conditional 1st round pick* (ARI)
      2021 conditional 3rd round pick** (ARI)
      *Conditions: If Arizona’s 2020 1st selection is in the top three, New Jersey will receive Arizona’s 1st round pick in 2021
      **Conditions: The 3rd round pick can upgrade to a 2nd if the Coyotes win a playoff round OR if Taylor Hall re-signs in Arizona. The pick upgrades to a 1st if Hall re-signs AND the Coyotes win a playoff round.

    • George O i heard the 3rd round was a conditional pick related to him signing an extension….i dont see him there long term..who knows like u said Bahl is decent and the 1st rounder is a 1st rounder no condoms..

      • Conditions ops not condoms..

      • LOL. Err …. thanks for the clarifications Blackngold … and GP – they weren’t too clear in the first blurbs about the trade.

  3. Welp. I was totally wrong, thinking Shero was playing the long game to drive up value and that Hall would be a Devil till the deadline.

    That said, this sounds like a pretty good return. Three decent prospects, a first rounder and another possible first rounder (re-sign + a playoff round win is no lock, but not super unlikely, either)

    • Agree Paddy, decent return.
      Is it just me or did it seem like Shero wanted Hall out of there quickly?
      Lots of pending UFA’s don’t cause a “distraction” until the TDL. I dare say most.
      Just seems a little odd to me.

      • Totally agree, Ray. Lots of players are pending UFAs that we know we’ll be traded. Almost all stick around to the deadline. It definitely feels like a fairly rushed trade to me, too.

        Maybe worried about Hall’s injury history? If he gets hurt in the next month or two, they get nothing. Better to trade him now and not worry about that?

      • They wanted Hall out ASAP

  4. Looks like a bad return. Thinking they would get something like Bryam was crazy. Shows how little was actually given for Hall.

  5. Hey Arizona: how did Columbus’ acquisition of Matt Duchene work out last year? Oh, he went elsewhere after a single playoff victory.

    How did acquiring Ryan Dzingel for Anthony Duclair work out? Oh, Dzingel left too, and Duclair is on fire this season – for the Senators.

    The Blue Jackets are on fire too – as in a smouldering, burning to the ground 13th place this year.

    Still, who wants a top three draft pick when you have a chance to win – maybe – a playoff round and then tank the very next season when your UFA follows the money out of town.

  6. Sure seems like Shero wanted this guy gone asap. Was the return worth the rush? I doubt it somehow.
    Tough being a Devils fan these days – they seemed like a decent bet to move up this year and challenge for a playoff spot.
    Now it all seems so negative for them.

    • It sure does seem negative BCLeafFan. I would speculate it was a reason for the rush.