The New York Islanders could be a missing piece away from hoisting the Stanley Cup this year. A scoring winger to fill in for the injured Anders Lee could be that piece. However, there are pros and cons to trading for Taylor Hall.
The New York Islanders are a buyer and number one on their list is a scoring winger. Hall could fit the bill. First, let’s look at what an Isles – Sabres trade could look like. Hall will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, so this would be a pure rental for the Islanders.
Cons of New York Islanders trading for Taylor Hall
Hall was the best player in the league back in 2017-18 when he won the Hart Trophy and carried the New Jersey Devils to the post-season that year. Hall scored 39 goals and put up 93 points.
But since then Hall has declined. In 2018-19 Hall was a point-a-game plus player (11 Goals, 37 Points in 33 games) but missed more than half the season and his goal production was way down. Last year for both New Jersey and Arizona he put up points (52 points in 65 games) but was not a difference-maker.
This year Hall has been part of the train wreck in Buffalo. He only has lit the lamp twice this season so far (as of March 26th Hall has 2 Goals & 17 Points).
While one can’t blame all of Buffalo’s troubles on Hall he has to take his fair share of the responsibility given that he is a top player for them. He did play with Jack Eichel for a good chunk this season and looked very ordinary during that time.
Another consideration is would Kyle Palmieri but just as good as Hall if not better and probably cost a lot less than him in terms of trade. It’s doubtful New Jersey will land a first-round pick for Palmieri. Palmieri would also be a rental as he is a UFA at season’s end.
Finally, have to consider Hall is just in an absolute swoon this season. Based on what he has gone through in Buffalo and when Hall gets traded it will be his fourth team in a little over a year.
There is only one pro one can think of and that is if Hall returns to his Hart Trophy play when he dons the Islanders blue and orange.
If Hall were able to do so that just wouldn’t make the Islanders a major contender but quite possibly the team to beat. But how realistic is that given Hall’s play the last two years?