The New Jersey Devils have scratched winger Taylor Hall over the last two games as they work out a trade and it seems the New York Islanders are one of the teams in the mix.
Taylor Hall was a healthy scratch against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday and was made a healthy scratch again as the New Jersey Devils play in Arizona. It seems that trade discussions have picked up between the Devils and a few teams, one is rumored to be the New York Islanders.
According to NHL Networks Bryan Lawton, six teams are in the mix for Taylor Hall: the Arizona Coyotes, the St Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche, the Montreal Canadiens, the Nashville Predators, and the New York Islanders.
Of those six teams, none have a better record than the Islanders. After a 3-2 afternoon win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, the Islanders have the second-best record in the NHL with 46 points from 31 games.
Need Offense, But At What Cost?
We all know that the New York Islanders need help offensively. After putting three goals past the Sabres, the Islanders have the 24th ranked offense in all situations and the 27th ranked offense at 5on5 (they leapfrogged Columbus).
Even with one of the worst offensive records in the league, the Islanders are still the second-best team in the league. Wild. Imagine what they could be if they added a top-tier player.
Now, Hall has his detractors, and rightfully so. With a year left on his deal, he’s at the very least a rental player that could very well be gone at the end of the season. Signing him long-term would be difficult with the Islanders impending cap crunch after signing RFAs Mathew Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews.
There’s also the question of just how much he’s going to cost in order to rent? You have to imagine a roster player, a top prospect, and a first-round pick. But with five other teams in the hunt, that price surely rises with the increased demand. Is it a good idea to mortgage a significant piece of the Isles future for a rental?
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I think it’s worth it for the Islanders to acquire Hall (or someone of equal quality). Again, the Isles are the second-best team in the NHL. Adding a top-tier winger to the mix immediately makes them contenders.