Islanders: Why Not Trading for Taylor Hall was the Right Decision
By Ryan Grosso
There were many indications abounding over the weekend that Taylor Hall would not be a New Jersey Devil for much longer. Hall was dealt Monday afternoon to the Arizona Coyotes. I’m sure there were a few New York Islanders fans disappointed by the news. But was Hall really the proper target for the Islanders?
Taylor Hall is an Arizona Coyote. Elliotte Friedman broke the news Monday afternoon around 5 p.m. on Twitter. Details followed soon thereafter. The New York Islanders made the right move in the end. Here’s why.
It’s certainly an interesting haul Arizona sent to the Devils for Hall. The 28-year-old winger and the former Hart Trophy winner has been on everyone’s mind for the past few weeks. So how would this deal have looked had it been the Islanders dealing with New Jersey?
The Trade Package
Here are all the moving parts to the trade:
*Devils keep 50 percent of Hall’s cap hit
This year’s first-round pick was always going to be part of the mix. The conditional third is interesting in that if either Hall signs with the Coyotes or Arizona wins a playoff round, it becomes a second-round pick. If both happen, it becomes a first. These details also from Friedman.
The Devils could’ve also decided to press the Islanders more with the picks. They could’ve asked for a conditional second-rounder, along the same lines in conditions.
From the Coyotes, New Jersey received bruising 6’6″ defenseman Kevin Bahl, the injury-prone but promising forward Nick Merkley, and Nate Schnarr, a 6’3″ center who really blossomed in 2018-19 with the OHL’s Guelph Storm.
I’ve seen differing opinions online about the trade. Some say Arizona fleeced the Devils with a crop of unproven prospects. Some say the Coyotes gave up a lot for what could be only 50 games and a playoff run of Taylor Hall.
I’d say parting with one of Oliver Wahlstrom or Noah Dobson would’ve been mandatory in Ray Shero’s demands. He wasn’t going to let Hall come to a division rival without receiving at least one A+ prospect. Considering the Devils’ defensive deficiencies, I think it would’ve been Dobson.
Parting with Dobson alone should sour any trade from the Islanders’ perspective, especially when sending him to a division rival. Dobson has future top-pairing two-way defender written all over him.
I’m happy the Islanders didn’t send this kind of package to New Jersey. 50 games of Taylor Hall, plus a playoff run, is not worth mortgaging the future. Hall has 25 points in 30 games this season, with six goals. He’s only ever broken 30 goals once in his career, his 2017-18 Hart Trophy-winning season. Hardly the dead eye sniper many have made him out to be.
Compiling that with Hall’s general inability to stay healthy, this would not have been a worthwhile deal.
Now that it’s off the table, the question will turn to who the Islanders chase going forward. J.G. Pageau has been a notable name, and he would fill the Islanders’ third-line center need quite nicely. But that question will be answered in time.