With the New Jersey Devils closer to winning another NHL draft lottery, the wait to trade Taylor Hall is more painful than ever.
Two months ago, it didn’t sting as bad.
No, not the New Jersey Devils’ 0-4-2 start to 2019-20, nor MacKenzie Blackwood and Cory Schneider’s combined save-percentage through the first month of the season.
The past few weeks have been painful for not only the entire Devils organization but Jersey residents who pay to enter the Prudential Center to watch a bunch of skaters who might not be with the team by the end of the season.
There was pushback and scoring, but too many mental mistakes led the #NJDevils to fall 6-4 to the Predators in their first game on a four-game road trip. @TheChrisWescott reports. pic.twitter.com/rUKSwMg30G
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 8, 2019
With that being said, it’s more painful to watch forward Taylor Hall take to the ice in a Devils uniform.
No, it’s nothing against his performance on the ice or him personally, but the fact that everyone around the league, no matter which NHL arena it is, are all aware No. 9 will be traded. On top of that unsettling reality is watching him take the ice as a Devil while the team spirals downhill, loss after loss.
It’s worse after each passing game.
However, it’s more painful waiting for general manager Ray Shero to trade Hall than watching the Devils ride losing streak, after losing streak.
Get it over with already. There’s nothing more to wait for—the former 2018 Hart Memorial Trophy winner’s value has been at its peak since the miserable home opener loss to the Winnipeg Jets, so rip the band-aid off that should have been removed last month.
Prior to this season, fans knew there was a good chance Hall was going to leave New Jersey, whether it was via trade or unrestricted free agency this offseason. Yet, most of the Jersey faithful reacted in shock when Pierre LeBrun reported on Nov. 30 that the Devils “started to listen from teams” on a potential trade for Hall.
Hearing that the Devils have started to listen from teams on Taylor Hall. Doesn't mean they will for sure trade him but given their place in the standings and the magnitude of a potential deal, GM Ray Shero is now in listening mode…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) November 30, 2019
Tell us something we didn’t already know once October rolled around…
What fans don’t know is where or when Hall will be traded. Either way, it’s been a painful wait.