Report: Coyotes making ‘serious effort’ in potential Taylor Hall trade
Multiple teams believe the Arizona Coyotes are making a “serious effort” in the pursuit of a potential trade with the New Jersey Devils for star winger Taylor Hall, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
In his “31 Thoughts” blog, Friedman touched on the trade rumor mill surrounding Hall and said trade talks for the 28-year-old and 2010 first overall pick have “intensified.” According to Friedman, a league GM said of Devils GM Ray Shero, “He’s trying.”
Friedman’s report went on to state that the Devils would want first-round picks — plural — and/or high-level prospects in return for Hall, who is under contract through only this season but could potentially re-sign. He noted Colorado as “the perfect trade partner,” as the Avalanche have defensive prospects to fill a need for New Jersey.
Several teams believe Arizona is making a serious effort. Hall is what they need, too. It’s believed Dallas and St. Louis are among other pursuers.
Hall has four goals and 18 assists for 22 points this year on the Devils, a struggling team that just this week fired its head coach. The former Edmonton Oilers star is nearly a point-per-game player in his career and has scored 20 or more goals six of the nine seasons he’s played, and all of the years in which he failed to reach the 20-goal mark were seasons in which he didn’t play close to a full slate of games. He scored a whopping 39 goals in 2017-18, winning the Hart Trophy (league MVP).
In other words, he’s a high-skill, offensively-focused point-producer, which is exactly what the Coyotes need. His 22 points this year are more than anyone has on the Coyotes at time of this writing, though his four goals on the season would be tied for 10th on Arizona. The Coyotes rank 23rd in the NHL in goals per game entering Wednesday.
It would cost the Coyotes a lot to get Hall, and perhaps more if they were to re-sign him (Friedman noted that the Devils were willing to discuss conditional trade scenarios on that front).
New Jersey was said to need defense. Arizona already dealt defensive prospect and 2017 first-round pick Pierre Olivier-Joseph over the summer along with Alex Galchenyuk to get Phil Kessel. Other defensive prospects in the Coyotes pipeline include Victor Soderstrom (who appears highly unlikely to be dealt and was only drafted this year, 11th overall), Kevin Bahl, Kyle Capobianco, Cam Dineen and Cameron Crotty, among others.
As far as draft picks go, the Coyotes own all of their picks in the upcoming draft except the third-round selection, according to CapFriendly. They don’t have any additional picks from other teams. Their first-round pick, given the success of the Coyotes in the early going of this season, projects to be later in the round.
“You only go after him if you can get him for a long-term contract,” former Coyotes forward Shane Doan told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
“You don’t even think about it if you’re going after him without the contract already signed. I don’t even think – you don’t even look at him unless he says, ‘Yeah, I’ll sign with you guys, and this is what I’m asking for.’ The hardest thing is, when you haven’t been in the playoffs, it’s dangerous when you start making trades to get into the playoffs. Because you need to have a core that is capable of getting you there before you start trying to add pieces to get there, in my mind.”
The salary cap situation also becomes an issue for Arizona, as they have only about $2.14 million in room to spend at the moment. Hall is on a deal with a $6 million cap hit. That would mean the Coyotes would have to free up space to acquire Hall — perhaps by sending one or more players currently on the NHL roster to New Jersey.