With the New Jersey Devils on the verge of trading Taylor Hall, fans will remember the transaction as the biggest in franchise history.
After clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs just once since 2011-12, the New Jersey Devils and their fans still aren’t used to this.
Fans were alerted seconds before puck drop on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche that Taylor Hall wasn’t going to dress due to “precautionary” reasons. The former 2018 Hart Memorial Trophy winner was originally slotted in his normal spot for the contest on the team’s top line with Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri. Yet, that wasn’t the case and the Devils earned themselves another “tough loss.”
It’s been a painful wait as Devils fans anticipate the inevitable Hall trade, but it appears the drama is on the verge of coming to close. After a Western Conference road trip—it seems that Colorado or the Arizona Coyotes have emerged as frontrunners to land the valued winger who has a mere six goals on the year.
Hearing the Coyotes are the lead dogs in the race to acquire Taylor Hall from the Devils. Deal may soon be nearing completion.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 14, 2019
Finally, this saga has progressed far too long with way too many rumors that have transformed the internet into a larger junk-drawer than it already is.
A Taylor Hall trade is a unique transaction for an organization that was on the other end of blockbusters for decades. Acquiring legitimate talent in exchange for draft picks and prospects was the norm for the Devils. Yes, the three Stanley Cup banners hanging up in the wonderful city of Newark speak for themselves.
The Hall trade is arguably the biggest in the Devils’ history—and it hasn’t even transpired, yet.
It’s fair to say that New Jersey has never experienced this type of publicity for an anticipated trade and the superstar skater’s resume speaks for itself. Hall is a former No. 1 overall selection (2010) and the franchise’s only MVP award winner. No, not even Scott Stevens or Martin Brodeur accomplished that feat.
There were occasions when notable Devils such as Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Zach Parise, Brain Rafalski, and David Clarkson, among others were bound to leave for unrestricted free agency but were never dealt in exchange for future assets to benefit the team moving forward.
That’s not the case this time around. The Devils are sellers in the NHL trade market and producing headlines in different ways than New Jersey has during past trade deadlines. Not so long ago, the Devils acquired Hall for Adam Larsson and prior to that blockbuster, they landed Ilya Kovalchuk at the trade deadline in 2010.
Not next season, or arguably the year after, but three to five years down the line fans are going to look back on this transaction and say, “that was the biggest trade this franchise has ever made.”
That’s when the “future assets” Devils fans are eagerly waiting for in exchange for No. 9 will shine—alongside Jack Hughes and Hischier.