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Taylor Hall, Coyotes agreed on ‘mutual parting’ for unrestricted free agent

Taylor Hall #91 of the Arizona Coyotes skates out onto the ice before the NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Gila River Arena on February 22, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Lightning 7-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Taylor Hall, an Arizona Coyotes forward for the second half of this past season, is all but gone after general manager Bill Armstrong said they have agreed to move on from the unrestricted free agent.

“I had a conversation with his agent and I just basically said to him that we wish Taylor the best. I think it’s a mutual parting between two parties where he at this point in time wouldn’t be a good fit for the Coyotes in the direction we’re moving,” he said.

The Coyotes may not have made the playoffs this past season if not for the NHL restructuring its playoff format to give Arizona a play-in round. The Coyotes got in but were eliminated in the first round, doing so in embarrassing fashion with back-to-back 7-1 losses to end the series. That, combined with Hall’s stature as a former MVP winner on a Coyotes team with limited cap space, likely did little to help that fit Armstrong spoke of.

The acquisition of Hall was a spark plug of excitement around the Coyotes, who were in first place when former GM John Chayka dealt prospects and draft picks to get Hall from the New Jersey Devils. Between New Jersey and Arizona, Hall finished the year with 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points in 65 games played. From his trade to the desert until the end of the season, he led the Coyotes in points with 27 and tied for first in goals with 10.

On his new team, Hall will look to regain the form he had in 2017-18 when he won the Hart Trophy with 39 goals and 54 assists for 93 points.

In August, Hall told reporters that his biggest priority for a destination to continue his career is being able to win.

“I think honestly it’s probably all winning,” Hall said. “Any player at this stage in their career that’s had the career that I’ve had — 10 seasons, only making the playoffs twice — that’s really what I’m after. So we’ll see what happens there. I think the Coyotes have a bright future. They have some great guys, some good young players.

“I don’t think the money’s going to be what it was before COVID or before this season. But that’s fine. I think we get paid a lot of money to play a game and we’ll see what happens.”

To get Hall, Arizona dealt defenseman Kevin Bahl, forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr (all three of those players were prospects, not NHL players), a 2020 first-round pick and a 2021 conditional third-round pick. The Devils retained half of the salary left on the final year of Hall’s contract. Arizona also got minor-league forward Blake Speers.


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