If you’re a fan thinking there is anything to the recent rumblings of Taylor Hall to the Edmonton Oilers, don’t get too excited. Not only is that unlikely, this rumor all started because NHL insider simply answered a question about what he would do, in a hypothetical situation, if he were the Oilers GM. Friedman was a guest on the 2 Mutts podcast and was asked what three things he would do if he was to take over as general manager. Around the 47-minute mark of the show, he said, “I am finding out what Taylor Hall’s future is… If I get the sense that he is going to free agency, I am telling the organization that my plan is to bring Taylor Hall back.”
Remember, this was just Friedman’s opinion. Unlike many of his other interviews and posts on social media, he was not stating he had any inside information, nor was he suggesting there was discussion inside the Oilers management team of the franchise making a run for Hall. The buzz that came after this interview aired was the result of fans in Edmonton simply hoping for something that probably won’t happen. They did so, likely because the team just reacquired Sam Gagner and why not bring more of the former offensive weapons Edmonton used to employ?
I miss Taylor hall . A LOT pic.twitter.com/nfuaQ8Y55Q
— gggaaabbbbb (@hall_aboardd) February 20, 2019
Taylor Hall Is Not Aching to Leave New Jersey
In a recent NHL.com article, Mike Morreale cited comments from Hall’s agent Darren Ferris:
I recently met [Hall] in Montreal and we had a great chat and he loves the New Jersey Devils, he loves the fan base there. I think this type of discussion, at the end of the year, is something where he’s going to sit down with his family and with [general manager Ray Shero] and strategize to say, ‘OK, how is this going to look going forward’ and then probably make a decision there.
This is strike one when it comes to the likelihood Hall leaves the Devils for any team, nonetheless the Oilers. If Hall is happy, the first order of business would be to see if New Jersey would be willing to re-up him on a deal that would pay him fairly and help him avoid free agency altogether. It would make sense for the Devils to consider an extension as well. Without Hall in the lineup, the team simply isn’t very good. His 37 points in 33 games still has him third on the team in points despite playing nearly less than half as many games.
The Devils may be considering a rebuild of sorts but Hall, at 27 years old, is hardly a piece you’ll want to move. If Hall chooses not to want to partake in a rebuild, that’s one thing but there’s no sign that’s what’s going on in New Jersey. At least not yet.
Why Would Hall Choose the Oilers?
I understand why Oilers fans would love to see Hall back, but you have to ask yourself, why would he choose Edmonton? Sure, he has a history with this city, but it’s not exactly positive. When he left the team, he was upset because he felt the organization gave up on him. They started to turn the corner in terms of not finishing dead last in the standings and he wasn’t going to be around to enjoy the success after sticking with this team during the low points. Worse yet, the Oilers didn’t actually turn the corner. This season, and last, hasn’t exactly been one the organization would brag about. They’ve fired a coach, a GM and it doesn’t appear as though many bright days are ahead.
— John Smith (@NJviDs) February 12, 2019
Even If He Chose Edmonton…
Let’s suggest for a second that Hall did choose the Oilers as he approached free agency. That won’t happen next season but the season after and the Oilers have contracts they might not be able to move, they have players that need extensions and signing Hall might mean removing a player like Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Should Edmonton actually consider that? I wouldn’t.
Plus, the Oilers still have players like Milan Lucic, Andrej Sekera and others on the books. Those aren’t exactly easy contracts to move.