Coyotes aren’t sitting on their hands with possibility of new deal for Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall. Arizona Coyotes. Credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Taylor Hall. Arizona Coyotes. Credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images /

The Arizona Coyotes have a unique opportunity to talk about a contract extension with Taylor Hall, and they are taking advantage.

The NHL season is currently suspended, with no clear idea when or if it will resume, but that doesn’t mean business can’t get done. According to Craig Morgan of The Athletic (subscription required), Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka has had discussions with the agent for Taylor Hall.

With an eye on ending a seven-year playoff drought, the Coyotes acquired Hall from the New Jersey Devils in December. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent, so there was an immediate element of risk in making an all-in move if it didn’t work out.

Hall has produced a solid 27 points (10 goals and 17 assists) in 35 games for the Coyotes. But they are just 14-17-4 since acquiring him, due in part to an injury that sidelined goaltender Darcy Kuemper, which put them four points out of a playoff spot when the season was suspended.

Per Morgan, it doesn’t sound like contract talks have gotten very far yet.

“Obviously, our intent was always to get through the season and not having any conflict with Taylor’s play,” said Chayka. “This leaves us in a bit of a limbo where it’s obviously not technically the end of the season, but it also wouldn’t conflict with his play to talk. All I would say right now is that both sides are gathering information and having some discussions. Where that goes I’m not entirely sure today. As we talk, we’ll see where things go.”

The NHL salary cap will go up some, but the Coyotes are projected to only have $4 million (CapFriendly) or $5 million (Spotrac) in cap space right now depending on the source. Hall carries a $6 million cap hit this year, and he’d be in line for at least that on his next contract.

A new contract for Hall, who will turn 29 in November, doesn’t have to be crippling long-term for the Coyotes. But they will have to find a way to offload some money to get it done, ideally without subtracting any notable pieces.

Of course there are also the questions of what Hall will be looking for in his next contract, and what the market will bear in terms of that as well as other suitors. But the Coyotes have an opportunity to get talks going with no competition, and without pesky games to get in the way, and they are taking it.

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