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Islanders trade deadline (rumor): Lamoriello circled back on Taylor Hall

Jan 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Two days ago, the New York Islanders pulled off a big trade. They acquired both Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils for two picks (2021 1st and 2022 4th) and two prospects (AJ Greer and Mason Jobst). The Devils held 50% of both player’s salaries.

With Palmieri and Zajac added to the team, the consensus amongst Islanders fans is that Lou Lamoriello is basically done shopping ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. Maybe a depth defenseman but certainly nothing more.

It seems that TSN Darren Dreger has heard that Lou may not be done and that the Isles GM circled back to Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall and could still be in the mix.

New York Islanders still thinking about trading for Taylor Hall

On TSN’s Insider Trading last night, the hockey insider indicated that he’s heard Lou circled back on Taylor Hall after acquiring Palmieri and Zajac.

Why Lou would be interested is obvious. Hall is a former Hart Trophy winner and is a great player off the rush and in transition. He’s not just a top-six player but a top-line player. Adding him to this team should make them the team to beat in the NHL, at least on paper.

Now, making that move happen would, of course, be tricky. The Isles have ~$3 million worth of space on the cap due to Anders Lee‘s contract being on LTIR. Can the Isles convince Buffalo to hold between 25-50% of Hall’s deal? Lou did get the Devils to take 50% off Palmieri and Zajac.

With their 2021 first-rounder now gone the Isles don’t have much of value anymore. Would a few B-level prospects and a second-round pick do it for Buffalo?

So let’s say the Isles send:

Does that work? Let’s say the Sabres hold 25% of Hall’s deal in this scenario. That would result in a $69,167 cap hit to the Isles. This is doable. But do the Sabres say yes?

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It’s tantalizing to think about this. It’s also very surprising that Lou “I-like-stability-in-the-lineup” Lamoriello would go out and add three pieces to his team with only 16 games to play. We’ll see where this goes in the next few days. If Buffalo is adamant to get a first-round pick the game is over for Lou. But if he can get Hall in for less than that, he might as well try, right?

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