The Taylor Hall sweepstakes is heating up, and while the Pittsburgh Penguins definitely have good reason to be interested, they might be doomed before the whole process even starts. Here’s what our friends at Mile High Hockey have on the situation:
Saturday night, Chris Johnston of Hockey Night in Canada had this to say about where the Hall trade negotiations stand:
“Some teams are thinking it might take as many as four pieces to get him (Hall) from the Devils...There are a lot of teams sniffing around this process but the feeling around the industry is that the Colorado Avalanche are the favorites right now. Pushing to get Taylor Hall, perhaps as soon as the Christmas break”
This corroborates what Mile High Hockey had been told about the situation last week. The four pieces would likely end up being two prospects a first-round pick and another pick that would be conditional on re-signing. This package would be very similar to what the Ottawa Senators got for Matt Duchene at the deadline last season.
A Duchene-like package is something that Pittsburgh just can’t match, and it is no surprise given their mountain of young players that Colorado has moved to the top of the heap for reported discussions on Hall. MHH eventually gets to this possible trade offer:
From what I’ve heard, there is a very strong possibility that the Avs want the final deal to be Martin Kaut, Drew Helleson, Colorado’s 2020 first round pick and a 2021 pick that is conditional on Hall re-signing with the Avalanche in the summer. While the Devils insist on it being Timmins and Kaut
Kaut was the 16th overall pick in 2018. Helleson is almost a Brian Dumoulin clone of a prospect (tall, lanky defender that goes to BC, drafted in mid-second round). And this Colorado perspective doesn’t see them giving up other high-end prospects like Connor Timmons or Tyson Jost. And they don’t even mention having fourth overall pick from last summer Bowen Byram or 16th overall Alex Newhook anywhere near the negotiations.
Long story short? Pittsburgh better have a backup plan off of the big fish in Taylor Hall, because to the world it certainly looks like the more loaded Avalanche can easily present a better bounty to New Jersey. And surely the Pens will be able to move on, whether that be Tyler Toffoli or onto the next player available. If the Hall deal is made early as seemingly it’s looking like now, that could be a blessing for Pittsburgh to be able close that door completely and move it along.
The Pens have been lucky to make big splashes and acquire some sensational players through trades, whether it was Jarome Iginla, James Neal or Phil Kessel. This time around with Taylor Hall, any interest Pittsburgh has is likely going to be superceded by a team out west with a lot more to offer. That’s not necessarily the worst development, it could be a blessing in disguise for the Pens to keep their top prospects like Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Calen Addison, Nathan Legare and Samuel Poulin, as well as their first round picks in the future. While the reward of getting Hall would be immense, the cost for being able to acquire him would be astronomical when dealing with a club like Colorado that has so much more in quantity and quality to offer for New Jersey.