The New Jersey Devils seem ready to move Taylor Hall, and the Arizona Coyotes have emerged as a suitor.
The New Jersey Devils have fallen so short of expectations early this season that they’ve already made a coaching change. Taylor Hall is an easy trade chip as a house cleaning possibly looms, and according to Darren Dreger of TSN the Arizona Coyotes are definitely interested in the contract year winger.
The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers have been rumored suitors for Hall, among many teams who could enter the mix as general manager Ray Shero is apparently ready to listen to offers. TSN’s Bob McKenzie added that New Jersey’s has not set any parameters (first-round pick, top prospects, young players, etc.) in terms of Hall’s asking price.
While the Devils have the second-lowest point total in the NHL right now (22 points; 9-14-4 record), the Coyotes are atop the Pacific Division with 38 points entering Friday’s action (17-9-4). They have a seven-year playoff drought going, and their start this year is promising.
The Coyotes are one of the top defensive teams in the league, allowing 2.27 goals per game (second-fewest in the league) with an adequate penalty kill (81.4 percent; 16th in the league). But their offense has languished, as they’re 23rd in the league in goals per game (2.7). Their power play, however, is ninth-best in the league (20.7 percent). Offseason acquisition Phil Kessel has struggled thus far, with just 17 points, but two goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night could signal the start of a patented hot streak.
Hall has scoring acumen, as he posted 93 points in 2017-18 on his way to winning the Hart Trophy. He leads the Devils with 22 points this season, albeit with just four goals.
A move to add Hall, and the remainder of his $6 million cap hit for this season, would be an all-in proposition for Coyotes general manager John Chayka. Arizona is projected to have just $785,000 in cap space next season, so unless they send some salary back to New Jersey in a deal (or offload salary via other moves) re-signing Hall long-term will not be on the table.
But with that playoff drought in mind, the Coyotes should be ready to add one of the top rentals on the trade market and stay competitive in the Western Conference.