NHL Rumor Mill – December 4, 2019

by | Dec 4, 2019 | Rumors | 37 comments

Check out the latest Taylor Hall speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan doubts the New Jersey Devils firing head coach John Hynes will prevent them from moving Taylor Hall before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. She feels they can’t afford to lose the 28-year-old winger for nothing via free agency in July. All signs point to Hall wanting to play for a different team.

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall remains a fixture in recent NHL trade chatter (Photo via NHL Images).

Greg Wyshynski believes Devils general manager Ray Shero wants to spend some time with interim coach Alain Nasreddine evaluating the roster before making any sweeping changes. He feels they’re more likely to begin selling players (like Hall) than making moves to bolster their roster this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss lists the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, and St. Louis Blues as five destinations for Hall that make sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall doesn’t make sense for the Canadiens. They need skilled defensive depth, something Hall can’t address.

The Hurricanes need a scoring forward and have surplus defensemen to draw upon for trade bait. However, I believe the Devils’ asking price will be more than the Canes are willing to pay for a playoff rental.

The notion of Hall returning to Edmonton makes for sexy headlines, but I don’t think he’s a fit there. They’ve got over $57 million invested in just eight players next season. Adding Hall for the long term would push that to $68 million for just nine guys. If they want him solely as a rental, the Devils will want a significant return. My guess is they’ll want defenseman Ethan Bear as part of it. That’s a deal-breaker for the Oilers.

There’s an ongoing belief among the punditry that teams will find Hall more valuable if they know they can re-sign him. If recent reports are to be believed, his agent is telling him to wait until the off-season, when he’ll get better offers. Unless a club is willing to offer up an eight-year extension worth over $11 million annually, I doubt the Hall camp will be inclined to sign a new contract this season.

As for the Avalanche and Blues…

THE ATHLETIC: Ryan S. Clark believes the addition of Hall to the Colorado Avalanche could adversely affect the production of Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi. They’re each on pace for over 30 goals but their playing time would be reduced to accommodate Hall’s addition to the lineup. A bidding war with other clubs could also affect their chances of acquiring him.

Clark wondered if GM Joe Sakic is willing to mortgage the club’s future to win right now unless he’s convinced he can find a way to re-sign Hall. The cost of the latter option could complicate efforts to re-sign other players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the teams linked to Hall, the Avs could be the front-runners. They’ve got the cap space to afford Hall in the short term and plenty of prospects and young talent to make a competitive bid. I think it comes down to whether Sakic believes Hall’s worth the price.

Jeremy Rutherford questions if the St. Louis Blues can afford the Devils’ asking price and the high cost of re-signing Hall, especially when they’ve got to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo before July 1. They have over $73 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21. Rutherford doesn’t think it makes sense for the Blues to part with a top prospect and a draft pick for Hall when he won’t be back after this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are riding high in the Western Conference right now. They’re in no hurry to swing a blockbuster trade. While I don’t doubt they’ve kicked the tires, they could prefer making more affordable depth moves.

Darren Haynes, meanwhile, looks at the reasons why it would, and wouldn’t, make sense for the Calgary Flames to acquire Hall. The winger would deepen the lineup and improve their core. However, the Devils’ asking price, the salary-cap implications, and Hall’s injury history are among the factors that could work against such a move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames need help on the right wing. Hall skates on the left side, where the Flames already have Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. And no, you can’t switch him to the right side and proclaim, “Problem solved!” He’s comfortable on the left side.

John Vogl wonders if the Buffalo Sabres should attempt to enter the trade discussion for Hall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No. No, they shouldn’t. The Sabres need scoring depth and can draw upon their blueline depth for trade bait, but I don’t see Hall sticking with a club that’s still struggling to secure a playoff spot.


  1. I listed these tables on Nov 5 – here’s a comparison a month later
    (* indicates did not appear on Nov 5)

    Top 10 In Fewest Goals Allowed Per GP
    Nov 5 Dec 4
    Bos 2.2 2.3
    Ariz 2.1 2.4
    NYI 2.2 2.4
    Dal 2.6 2.5
    *St.L — 2.6
    Car 2.7 2.8
    *Wpg — 2.8
    *Veg — 2.8
    *Pha — 2.8
    *Edm — 2.8

    Dropped Out For *
    Van 2.4 to 3.0
    Ana 2.4 to 3.0
    Buf 2.7 to 3.0
    Col 2.8 to 2.9
    Pitt 2.6 to 2.9

    Top 10 In Most Goals Allowed Per GP
    Nov 5 Dec 4
    Det 3.9 4.0
    N.J. 4.2 3.7
    Fla 3.9 3.6
    *Mtl — 3.5
    Tor 3.5 3.4
    *NYR — 3.4
    L.A. 4.1 3.3
    *Nash — 3.3
    S.J. 3.7 3.3
    *Ott — 3.2

    Dropped Out For *
    Minn 3.5 to 3.1
    Wpg 3.3 to 2.8
    Wash 3.1 to 2.9
    St.L 3.1 to 2.6

    Top 10 In Goals Scored Per GP
    Nov 5 Dec 4
    Wash 4.0 3.8
    *Col — 3.7
    *T.B. — 3.6
    Bos 3.7 3.6
    Fla 3.6 3.6
    Pitt 3.4 3.4
    Van 3.8 3.4
    Nash 4.0 3.3
    *Pha — 3.3
    Mtl 3.6 3.3

    Dropped Out For *
    Tor 3.5 to 3.2
    Car 3.5 to 3.1
    Veg 3.3 to 3.0

    Top 10 In Least Goals Scored Per GP
    Nov 5 Dec 4
    Det 2.1 2.1
    Ott 2.8 2.5
    Clb 2.4 2.5
    *Calg — 2.5
    Dal 2.3 2.6
    L.A. 2.7 2.6
    N.J. 3.0 2.6
    Chi 2.4 2.7
    *Ariz — 2.8
    S.J. 2.4 2.9 (tied with Wpg)

    Dropped Out For *
    Minn 2.4 to 3.0
    NYR 3.1 to 3.2

  2. As stated in Morning Coffee ….Bruins are going to need to get a little bigger and tougher on the 3rd & 4th line and a Dman with some size & grit teams are beginning to target Pastrnak more often along with some of the B’s smaller players without much push Pastrnak back….Chara can’t do it all himself

    • @ Joe

      good morning

      I wish my team had your teams troubles …
      lmao !

      Even though the Bs are our arch rivals ..I have a TONE of respect for the Boston organisation and Management for how they created this team…controlled contracts and made trades and brought up quality players through the system !

      They did not make many mistakes over the past 5 years or so …they really did an amazing job and the players on your team play with heart determination… physicality …and simply play each game the right way …I think your bottom 6 is the best in the league …they just do the job right every night …as a Hockey fan…its nice to watch ..a bit envious I say ..


    • Ritchie will do.

      • Ritchie has size and that’s where it ends

    • Pastrnak is no shrinking violet, he’ll be fine. When someone crosses the line, not just a face wash or an extra bump, whoever is on the ice will step in.
      B’s have always been that way, at least as long as I have been alive and watching hockey.
      Having some bruiser playing on your 4th line won’t protect Pastrnak because they aren’t on the ice when it happens. Which is why the idea of Lucic giving Gaudreau and Monahan more time and space was such a brain dead idea. Ain’t gonna happen unless you put Lucic on the same line, which would be even dumber.

    • Hi Joe

      You may be right

      I had posted yesterday that if there was a miracle move or moves that could have Backes out AND Hall in ; NOTE with little disruption to the balance of the team (basically all assets given up for Hall are picks and prospects)…. then SC is closing in fast for Bruins

      Re Grit and size:

      Reaves not really producing so far ; but huge fan fav in LV….don’t see them moving him

      Stewart (Flyers) …. cheap Cap hit …. but that’s prob why they want to keep him

      Not that I wish to give a Bruins fan advice on grit acquisition (as Leafs also in need) but……

      Need big boy “protectors” on 3rd/4th line AND D…. see what Ducks want for the pairing of Deslauriers and GudB (total cap between them… $4.95 M)

      • @ Pengy

        Ovi & Sid have no problem protecting themselves …both dropped the gloves early on this season …and do just fine in there 30’s ..lol !

        Dont see any reason with Chara, Marchand Dubrusk to go out an get a tough ( er ) guy..lol
        still have a deep team who does not shy away from anything ..Backes Kuraly Grzelcyk Wagner….

      • Don’t need Hall.
        We’re good on the left side.

    • Sabres interest in Hall should be dependent on cost to acquire. They already have Olofsson and Skinner at LW not to mention Vesey and Sheary. Hall would be a considerable upgrade but likely a rental unless Kruger can convince him to stay. So if the cost is right it’s worthwhile but the better choice is probably finding less costly RW depth or a 2C with term that can be had for a Dman like Risto.

    • to CHI: Backes, & a solid pick
      to BOS: Saad

      CHI buys out Backes year end

      he would help with scoring, has size and some speed no? no head issues either and no ties long term

      Would look good for their playoff run

      Good for both teams?

      • I think if I was Boston and making a trade with Chicago that involved Backes going the other way, i might try and get Shaw. He is big, pysical, plays RW and can get you 20 goals.

        To me the kind of guy that could flourish with Kreciji.

      • Methinks Chicago would want a lot to take Backes contract on.
        I think they still want to win with Toews and Kane.
        Crawford comes off the books next season and they will need that $$ instead of spending it on Backes or a portion on his buyout.
        Having said that I would think Saad or Shaw would fit well in Boston.

      • I’d be nervous with Shaw and his head history though

        i hope the holiday deadline is interesting this year

    • Scandella in Buff for Moore and prospect ???

  3. If Hall doesn’t intend on signing but Devils want to get value, it would make sense for him to be traded for a (relatively) low acquisition cost but with a high conditional addition if he re-signs.

    That makes me wonder, though: What if a team only wants him as a cheap rental, to truly push to get the Cup this year, but doesn’t actually intend on re-signing him?

    Might any contender (Avs, Bruins?) bait the Devils with a quite low acquisition cost but VERY high “if he signs…” conditional, even if they (unbeknownst to NJD) have actually zero interest in re-signing him?

    Just musing on the Wednesday morning…

    • IF Van did not give up a 1st to TB i’d say they could use that in part of a package to entice NJ & Hall.

      maybe they have some prospect that NJ wants?

      to NJ: Ericksson & some good prospect and good picks NJ wants

      to VAN: Hall

      but alas NJ won’t want Eriksson even with good prospects and VAN may not have their first due to the TB trade

      • Quinn Hughes and Eriksson for Hall.

  4. Lyle – 2 questions: Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) is explained this way “If a player has an injury that will prevent him from playing for at least 10 NHL games and 24 days in the NHL season, the team may place him on Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR), which can be used to exceed the salary cap.”

    So how can Vancouver (according to CapFriendly) place Antoine Roussel on LTIR on Dec 1 and then activate him from LTIR two days later on Dec 3? Does that mean it can be used for any length of time?

    • Maybe it was because he was unable to play prior to Dec 1 and that time exceeded 10 games?

    • If a player in on IR for longer a team expects and they will exceed the 10 games and 24 days a team can put them on LTIR and back date it to when the first day, or game, the player was injured. Plus I believe this has some sort of effect on the teams cap hit as it’s calculated by day, so on those days the player was on LTIR that lowers the teams cap hit because players who are on LTIR aren’t counted towards the cap, or something like that. I find it confusing on how the cap is calculated throughout the season.

      • It’s retroactive to when the injury occurred, George.
        Very much like creative accounting.

        “Capoligests” have a tricky job.
        Dream job, nonetheless.

      • Heh. Sounds like when a committee wrote crappy rules and a 12-year-old found a loophole

  5. Any team who signs Hall this coming offseason is going to quickly regret it if it’s anything above $9 million a season.
    Injury prone and only broke the 80 point mark in a season twice in 8 years, not including the lockout season. in 9 seasons he finished 4 of them at a point per game or better.
    Who would you rather have on your team a player who has a career .905 points per game a season, but only averages 62 points a season in 8 seasons. Or a player who has a career .864 points per game a season, but averages 84 points a season in 8 seasons? I didn’t use the lockout point totals from the 2012/13 lockout year.
    Here is a hint on who these players are, they were drafted #1 and #2 over all in the same draft year.

    • That’s the Oilers own stubborn fault.

      Why in the name of all things good, would they draft the winger over the Center?

      Bruins needed the winger (Taylor)
      Oilers needed the Center (Tyler)

      The Oil would have wrecked a 2 car parade back then.

      • IF the Oilers did not trade Hall for Larsson
        the oil would have hall in their top 6 within the cap .

        think that former boston gm made that trade no? lol

        a move like that ya’d think lowe, mactavish or one of the gang might have…

      • At the time the Oilers already had a young Gagner and Cogliano plus Horcoff at centre. That is why they went with Hall at wing.
        Also can’t blame the Oilers for the careless abandon Hall plays the game with and injury issues. 😉

      • Ya, PC should have gotten more than he did for Hall.
        But, there was more going on at that time. The Oil’s blue line was a joke, and they made the playoffs the following season, even won a round. Also the culture wasn’t great, and Hall wasn’t viewed as helping. To take me wrong, come game time Hall always played hard and wanted to win. At practice, not so much. A couple players from that team, no longer on it, have spoken about it. Not the leader type.
        Still should have got more, but they weren’t thrilled with Hall at the time.
        We will see what Shero gets for Hall, but as it sits today would you rather have Larsson for the remainder of this season and next at $4.16 or the return for Hall at the TDL?

      • Ray,
        To be honest I would rather Larsson and Eberle over just Hall. It was the Eberle trade that hurt the Oilers more than the Hall for Larsson trade IMO.

      • Sorry, that should say I would rather Larsson and Eberle over Hall and Eberle.

      • @KevJam, I stand firm with my assessment of the Taylor/Tyler draft.
        As you noted, the Oilers center depth at the time left a lot to be desired. Not exactly a quality line up,hence the plethora of 1st overall picks.
        Can’t rewrite history though.

    • Could not agree more. There is a lot of risk in signing Hall long term. No more than 9m and for no more than 4 years. Not withstanding his Hart season, there are issues to consider including his injury history, in the dressing room, off ice, and his age. While the dressing room and off ice references are speculative, where there is smoke there is often fire. When he is on his game he is very, very good. Those days have been few and far between recently and his whole body of work doesn’t suggest he will get better going forward. You just have to look at his teammate on the blueline to see why it would a bad idea. That said, a fantastic rental for teams on the cusp.

  6. The whole Hall trade is blown outta proportion. Nobody was saying how one sided it was the first season. Then in the second season after the trade, Hall had an abnormal career year and won the Hart with the Oilers having a big disappointing season. When in fact the major difference in the Oilers roster between the 2 seasons was Eberle.
    Yet today after Hall’s 32 game 2018/19 season people are still saying how one sided the trade was. Larsson had a bigger positive effect on the Oilers season last year than Hall would have.
    IMO the trade that had the biggest negative on the Oilers was the Eberle trade. If that trade wasn’t made the Oilers still would have Eberle on the roster who is a RWer, the position the Oilers are needing in their top 6.

    • Ya Kevjam, there are a few to pick from during the PC era. Even the smaller deals.
      Trading Strome for Spooner?
      How about Caggiula for Manning?
      Either one of those guys would help today.

      • Great signings in Leon and the Goalie though.

        I thought he was both good and bad during his tenure in Edmonton.

      • Ya Shoreorrpark, every GM has the good and the bad. Your point about Koskinen is a good one. The big man has been great all season this year. PC got roasted after he made that deal, and Koskinen didn’t play well in the last part of last season and it started almost immediately after he signed the extension.
        We’ll see if he keeps it up but so far he is looking like a bargain.

    • Everyone and their mothers were saying it was lopsided the second it was announced…