As of right now, the Devils are doing everything they can to keep Taylor Hall around after the 2019-20 season. Hall will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season if the Devils are unable to extend his contract with the team.
Of course, everyone wants Hall to stay, but the lingering feeling of him leaving is a genuine concern. Even if the Devils make the playoffs this year, Hall might still decide to leave. Now to the point of the title of this article, the case for trading Hall.
Trade him at the trade deadline. I guarantee all of you who read that just questioned what your reading and my sanity. But let me explain why the Devils should do this. Hall should only be traded at the deadline if the Devils are out of a playoff spot and aren’t going to make it. Now to many that still isn’t a reason to trade him. I get why you say that and I applaud your optimism, but Hall will not stay if the Devils don’t make the playoffs. He might not stay even if the Devils make the playoffs. Which is exactly why the Devils should trade him at the deadline (baring that they won’t make playoffs).
There are a few reasons why the Devils should move Hall if they do fall out of playoff contention. First off, the return for Hall would be ridiculous. Take the Matt Duchene trade for an example. Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic was able to get three picks (one of which ended up being the fourth overall pick in 2018), three A ranked prospects, and a fringe starter goalie. This is a fantastic haul for Matt Duchene, but Taylor Hall was the former league MVP. If the Devils only got this much the trade would be a failure. Hall is worth at least two first-round picks, two A ranked prospects, and a solid goalie prospect, and a top-six forward. Or the Devils can trade for an elite goalie, which they desperately need. The Devils would have lots of options for a Taylor Hall trade and GM Ray Shero would have the find the right trade for the team.
Second, the reigns to the team would go to Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. With Hall gone, the team would now belong to the two upcoming superstars. With the 1-2 punch of Nico and Jack, the Devils are going to be set for the next decade at the center and one of them will be the captain of the team. They will be the ones to lead the team and with the rest of the prospects like Ty Smith and Jesper Boqvist leading with them.
And finally, the Devils can actually improve by trading Hall. Yes, I know that sounds insane, but the Devils will improve without Hall. This is because there isn’t as much pressure on the team and it will give the prospects even more time to mature into great players. Plus the Devils can take more time to get even more prospects. Many people think that the rebuild is over and it should be, but if Hall leaves it could be set back by a year or two. Also, the coaches can take more time with the prospects and make sure they understand the Devils system.
Overall, as controversial as this, this would only happen if the Devils are out of the playoffs. Hopefully, the Devils can resign Hall and he helps lead them to the promised land, ultimately winning the Stanley Cup. But that’s most likely a few years out.
The goal right now is to get Taylor Hall under a new contract and trading him is the last resort (until the deadline).