During the 2016 off-season, the New Jersey Devils sent Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers in return for Taylor Hall. The trade took the hockey world by storm as a lot of folks just didn’t understand it.
For Devils fans, it was a light at the end of the tunnel. Since then essentially the only thing Devils fans had to celebrate was Taylor Hall winning the Hart Trophy and one playoff victory. So whose job is it to get out of the tunnel?
Fans like to talk about Hall saying “he has to re-sign”. No matter your line of work everyone wants to rise to the top, its a way of life. Hockey is no different, except the top is winning the Stanley Cup. Staying at a job with no room for advancement isn’t what most people want in life. Hall has said numerous times he wants to win, he wants to compete, so why would he stay in a place that isn’t moving in that direction?
In order for the Devils to make any kind of advancement towards winning, they need to show Hall they’re serious about it. This summer there are a lot of big names in free agency. Without getting into the names and statistics because they all speak for themselves, its all about finding the proper fit for the team. Some free agents coming up have been labeled as “overrated” which may not necessarily be true. For one example, Jacob Trouba. Lots of talks that he is an overrated D-man and that may be the case on a higher ranked team but on one of the bottom feeders? Maybe he’s not, its all about the right fit.
In addition to a lot of spending the money available this off-season, the Devils have the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. The closer the draft gets the more it looks like New Jersey will be selecting Jack Hughes. Let’s not forget about Ty Smith, Jesper Boqvist and Jeremy Davies, all four have a shot at the main roster next year. Hughes and Boqvist have the potential to add offensive power, meanwhile, TY Smith along with Jeremy Davies can absolutely add some depth on Defense.
Hall and Ray Shero agree on at least one thing, and that’s the fact that Jersey needs more Talent. Without Talent you don’t win, if you don’t win, Hall doesn’t stay.
This may be the most important off-season in Devils franchise history, just because it can literally be the rise or fall of the future. The reason to panic that Hall won’t stay isn’t here yet, however, if negations aren’t looking more promising in December…it’s time to open trade talks regarding Taylor Hall.