Deck the (Taylor) Hall(s)

An early slump has the New Jersey Devils considering saying goodbye to a star they recently traded for

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Deck the (Taylor) Hall(s)

Alison Goldberg, Co-Editor in Chief

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It’s been almost two months since the regular season began for the National Hockey League and teams are already being evaluated as if it’s the Spring.

Did the New Jersey Devils make the right pick drafting the USA native, Jack Hughes? Will the sidelined star forward, Pat Maroon, derail the St. Louis Blues’ season? Is Artemi Panarin living up to his contract for the New York Rangers? How about Sergei Bobrovsky? So many things to think about with so little time to judge. So, why not pretend it’s February and turn on the hot stove in the ice rink?

A name all hockey fans are familiar with is the 2017-2018 MVP, Taylor Hall. The left winger is a part of what many thought could be a powerful young team this year. Devils fans set their hopes high. All of the pieces had seemed to have come together but have somehow fell apart rather quickly. This is looking like just another lost season for the Devils. So, if we assume the team does not turn it around, Taylor Hall  looks like his days in New Jersey could be numbered. And this is not me trying to spread rumors as sources around the league have indicated the Devils are indeed listening to offers for Hall, even if the team’s preference is to keep him. 

Hall is in the final year of a seven-year, $42 million contract. He is definitely an elite player and worth a nice package in return. In 25 games this season he has 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists). His Hart trophy and 90+ point season only increases his value. 

For starters, a first-round pick most definitely will need to be the focal point of any proposed deal. If a team isn’t willing to give that up, they shouldn’t even bother to pick up the phone. So, which team do I think is willing to do this? I think the Colorado Avalanche is not only willing to make an offer, I also believe the team from the Mountain time zone is the best fit for Hall. With their already loaded roster, adding Hall would increase the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup chances tremendously. They also could fulfill the asking price with their multiple young assets. They also have the cap space to absorb his contract. Hall may just be the right guy to lead the Avalanche’s second line. 

Another possible landing spot for Hall would lead to a reunion. That’s right, the Edmonton Oilers might consider bringing back the star to Canada. The Oilers wasted away the first chapter of his career and traded him away for a low cost, but now they may pay up to get back their #1 overall pick from 2010. This would finally give fans an opportunity to really see the Connor McDavid-Hall combination. Plus, it would erase the problem of the Oilers constantly relying on their two best players.  The only issue that may come up is the cap space for the Oilers. But, to be serious Stanley Cup contenders, Edmonton needs another wing or two.

Lastly, I’ll be making the case for the Montreal Canadiens. According to the Montreal Gazette, Hall has recently been linked to the team with the most Stanley Cup titles in history. It’s easy to see how he’d be a perfect fit. The Habs have tremendous depth but lack an elite scorer. Hall would fulfill this role quite nicely. He’s a perfect fit and the Canadiens have the perfect package to give in return with their impressive pool of prospects. In addition, they do have more than enough salary cap space. 

So, will we see Taylor Hall in a new (or old) uniform come this February? Or will he stay put in New Jersey? Either way, I’m excited to see what he brings to the free-agent market after this season.