The Bruins have a really good chance of making their second trip to the Stanley Cup finals in two years. Right now the Bruins are leading the NHL with 80 points and are as healthy as they have been all season. Another thing going for this team is the play of Halak, allowing Rask to take on a lighter load keeping him fresh for a long playoff run. The cherry on top of all of this could be a chance at adding former MVP Taylor Hall.
On December 16th the Devils and Coyotes agreed to a trade. The Devils would get a conditional first round pick this year, a third next year as well as three prospects Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley, and Nate Schnarr. The Coyotes would add Taylor Hall and Blake Speers. Arizona was first in the Pacific Division at the time and looking like they could be a surprise cup contender. Flash forward 24 games and Arizona is hanging on to the last wild card spot by a thread with four teams within six points of them. Hall has not been the problem, with 20 points in those 24 games. Hall he also been leading the teams forwards in time on ice and shots by a wide margin.
The Trade Part 2?
With Arizona falling in the standings, mostly due to injuries ,a re-evaluation of the teams standing could force them to make a trade. This would be an attempt to regain some of the assets they gave up just two months ago. Hall is a free agent this summer and it is highly unlikely he would resign with Arizona, especially if they miss the playoffs. Even if he is still considering it money will likely play a big role in him leaving the desert. Hall will command a massive contract possibly north of $10 Million per year and Arizona does not have the cap space readily available to make such an offer. That means making moves to shed some of their larger salaries on a team already having some defensive and offensive depth issues. Arizona went all in, and good for them for trying, but it’s not worth giving up three prospects drafted in the first three rounds of their drafts and then another first and third round pick for missing the playoffs and watching Hall walk this summer.
How the Bruins Fit
The Bruins have been looking for a wing to put on the right side of Krejci for years, and while Hall plays left wing he should be talented enough to make the switch to the right side. The Felger and Mazz show brought this rumor up today on their show with mixed feelings, but they weren’t the only ones. A TSN clip was played during the segment also mentioning the Bruins as a possible suitor for Hall, mentioning our high level prospects as possible targets for Arizona. The Bruins also have control of all of their draft picks the next two years except this year's fourth round pick. The Bruins have a number of high level prospects with plenty of young talent already on the big club. So the time could be right to cash in some of those assets and go for a potential final push with this core of veterans still intact. Could a package of our first round pick, Trent Frederic and Jeremy Lauzon plus another mid round pick next year or a depth player like Karson Kuhlman get a deal done? It’s well worth the inquiry, and if not we still have other prospects we could add like Studnicka, Senyshyn, Zboril or Axel Anderson. Would it hurt to lose three of those prospects? Yes, but this team is poised for a Cup run and Hall could be the piece that gets this team over the top.
Hall does come with his share of red flags. He was the number one overall pick and could potentially be on his fifth team by the start of next season. After Hall was initially traded out of Edmonton there were reports of clashes with coaches, and Hall was even labeled as an un-coachable player. It’s been a few years since then, but questions about Hall's heart and effort level still persist to this day. Felger even mentioned talking to a former teammate of Hall who said Hall was a terrible teammate and he would put forth a fake effort in games. If you have been a Bruins fan for a little while these might bring back memories of a very talented former Bruins player Phil Kessel. Kessel has been called lazy, his effort has been called into question and his one dimensional style is what led to him being shipped to the Leafs. Despite all of these red flags the Penguins trusted they had the locker room in place that could get the best out of Kessel, and now he is a two time champion. The Bruins have a great core strong leadership and should be able to get the best out of Hall for the short amount of time he will be here. Yes, we would be giving up a lot for a rental player, but when you have a chance at the Cup you take it because you never know when you will get that chance again. Keep checking back for all the trade news and updates on all your favorite Boston teams.
Featured image courtesy of Joe Camporeale USA Today Sports