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Coyotes reportedly a leading team to trade for Devils F Taylor Hall

New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall (9) skates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Arizona Coyotes’ interest in Taylor Hall was first reported more than a week ago, but reports that linked Arizona to the Devils star intensified on Friday night.

John Shannon, formerly of Sportsnet, reported that the there was interest in Hall from multiple teams, but that St. Louis and Arizona were “at the top of the list.” TSN’s Bob McKenzie followed that up by saying:

I’m not saying Hall will end up in ARI, but I would say Coyotes appear to be one of the teams with notable interest in him and likely have the motivation/wherewithal to perhaps get it done. Though I suspect they are not alone on those counts.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Hall would be held out of his team’s game Saturday, coincidentally, at Arizona. That’s the second night in a row he’ll sit out as a trade could be on the horizon. Hall also didn’t play on Friday night at Colorado.

It’s not clear what Arizona would have to give up to get Hall, and mentions of specific names thus far have been purely speculative. But from Friedman’s report on Dec. 4, it’s believed New Jersey wants first-round picks and/or high-level prospects, and badly needs defense. Victor Soderstrom, who seems unlikely to be traded, Kevin Bahl and Kyle Capobianco are among Arizona’s top defensive prospects.

If the Coyotes moved a first-round pick in the deal, keep in mind that their on-ice success this year means it will likely be a late-round pick.

One variable to the trade noise is Hall’s contract situation. The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, which means that a team acquiring him would have to see him as a rental unless it gets a contract extension done in concert with a trade.

Bear in mind, too, the Coyotes’ cap situation: Arizona doesn’t have an abundance of cap space — only about $1.6 million, according to CapFriendly — which adds a hurdle to a trade by the Coyotes. Hall’s cap hit is $6 million.

Acquiring Hall would fill a need for the Coyotes at the right price, since Hall is a former 39-goal-scorer and won the Hart Trophy (league MVP) only two years ago. The Coyotes rank 23rd in the league in goals per game entering Saturday.

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