Every New York Islanders fan is on high alert right now. The NHL trade deadline is just days away and teams are starting to keep players out of the lineup as they work a trade.
The New Jersey Devils did it with Islanders target Kyle Palmieri just the other day. The veteran right-shot winger and pending UFA was kept out of a 5-4 loss to the Washington Capitals.
Today, the Buffalo Sabres have stated they will keep winger Taylor Hall out of the lineup as a precaution.
New York Islanders potential trade target Taylor Hall scratched ahead of deadline
Leading up to the Sabres game against the New Jersey Devils, the Sabers will keep Hall off the ice while they try to get him moved ahead of the April 12th deadline. According to Darren Dreger, trade talks involving Hall have escalated recently.
It hasn’t been what you’d call a “banner year” for Hall. In 37 games with the Sabres, Hall has two goals and 19 points. That’s a pace of 42 points over a full NHL season. That would be his worst year in the NHL since his rookie year in 2010-11.
With an $8 million cap hit, it will take considerable retention for the Buffalo Sabres to get a first-round pick for Hall. Even from a team like the Islanders who could use his services in their top-six.
Hall would be a good fit with the Islanders gap in the top six with Anders Lee out for the year. He might not be the same player he was before that season-ending injury in 2018-19, but he’s only 29-year-old. He ain’t done yet.
But that doesn’t mean any buyer has to send a first-rounder for him. The Isles know that few teams have the ability to absorb Hall’s cap hit and are a true contender. Remember, Hall has a full no-move clause so he could veto a trade to whatever he deems as an undesirable location.
The Island may have been undesirable a few years ago but that’s no longer the case. The Islanders hold the seventh-best record in the NHL since 2018-19, made the Eastern Conference Finals last year, and are poised to make a deep playoff run again. Would he OK a trade to the Island and reunite with his old Oilers teammate Jordan Eberle? Probably.
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As Elliotte Friedman said in his 31 thoughts blog today, just because Hall is a healthy scratch doesn’t mean a trade is imminent. But it certainly means one is coming, so Islanders fans, let’s see where this goes.