The New York Islanders have been linked with a move for former first overall draft pick Taylor Hall this offseason. It’s an interesting link, but one that Snow will ultimately shy away from.
The New York Islanders start the first official week of the offseason with rumors of players moving to and fro, either through free agency or via trade. Some have credibility while others are simply noise in a sea of information.
An emerging link is Taylor Hall to the New York Islanders. The move in-and-of-itself makes sense. It’s been rumored for some time that they’ve placed players like Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the trade block.
The Islanders are themselves looking for an elite level winger to pair up with John Tavares on the top line and left-winger Hall fits the mold.
Hall has played six years in the NHL scoring an average of 0.86 points per game. He’s coming off a season that saw him score 65 points on a terrible Edmonton team. And at 24-years-old Hall is entering the prime of his career.
Hall is just going to get better. Place him on a line with John Tavaresand the sparks should fly. Should is the operative word here. We’ve all seen what can happen when two stars are on the same line (ie: Crosby-Kessel). It doesn’t always work.
But rather than ask could this partnership between Tavares and Hall we should really figure out if the trade itself could work.
Can the Islanders Work Out a Deal?
It’s great to link two clubs with analogous needs and requirements and state that they should do business with each other. But it’s another thing to make that deal work.
The Islanders need an elite forward and the Oilers needs defensive help. That much is already clear. So how does each team bridge that gap with Taylor Hall being the center of a trade headed to New York?
That’s where things get very difficult for the Islanders. Reports have already emerged that Hall could go for a number of big name targets. The Hockey Writers thought that he could fetch Lundqvist if he were to go to the Rangers, Ben Bishop if Tampa Bay became interested or the likes of John Gibson, Francois Beauchemin, and Sami Vatanen if Anaheim wanted to deal.
If the Islanders were to get involved one of Travis Hamonic, Nick Leddy, or Johnny Boychuk would have to be involved, if not more than one going to Edmonton. Which would leave an awful hole in the Islanders lineup. One that isn’t easily filled, if at all, from within the Islanders system.
So rather than give up another blue-chip defenceman the Isles would likely have to sweeten the pot with a decent prospect like Joshua Ho-Sang or Anthony Beauvillier and or high draft picks.
Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle?
Hall is a great player. His 0.86 points per game production over the length of his career is something that the Islanders could truly use to round out their roster. His $6 million cap hit is also quite palatable based on his production.
But the ask from Edmonton is likely to be rather unpalatable. The potential of losing a top two defenseman as well as a great prospect would push the Islanders back rather than forward.
There is another option. And that’s Jordan Eberle. Another Oiler likely to be heavily shopped in this offseason. As we’ve reported before Eberle has a great production average with a 0.78 points per game ratio.
Eberle’s cap hit is the same as that of Hall but expires a year sooner. It’s also likely that the ask from Edmonton for Eberle would be less. We’ve speculated that a straight trade of Jordan Eberle for Travis Hamonic would be fair for both sides.
The loss on the Oilers side is acceptable considering the return. Unlike what would likely have to occur to acquire the services of Taylor Hall.
It would be hard to imagine that Islanders GM Garth Snow would jump at the chance of losing two important pieces of his team in both the present and future for a return of Taylor Hall. Especially when he can acquire a similar player for less.