By: Andrew Taverna | Follow me on Twitter @andrewtaverna
The Bruins are en route to a massive offseason. With rumors flying that Jake DeBrusk could be a trade chip, the Bruins are checking in on Oliver Ekman-Larsson, which would likely lead to moving Brandon Carlo. All signs point to the Bruins are gearing up to make a splash on the market. Additionally, with Torey Krug’s contract negotiations being up in the air, one of the most intriguing scenarios this season would be Taylor Hall coming to Boston.
First mentioned by Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan in their ESPN article on each playoff team’s offseason, the idea of Hall to Boston is a “pipe dream.”
“Our favorite Bruins pipe dream? That Taylor Hall decides to take a page out of the NBA and chases a Cup for one season in Boston, serving as the talented left wing Sweeney has coveted in his lineup for years,” they write.
#ASKBNG What are the chances the bruins actually go all in for someone with the skills of taylor hall or similar to boost the offense?— DiPerri (@AjDiPerri96) September 12, 2020
While I understand the idea may be a “pipe dream,” as Wushynski and Kaplan describe it, there are two scenarios where this could potentially work. If Hall is willing to take a short-term, one-year deal to play for a Cup contender or he would be willing to take a mid-term deal in a higher pay range, the Bruins could feasibly be part of that conversation.
One-Year Deal Scenario
A one-year deal seems like pure insanity, but Hall put that rumor out there himself by insinuating a cup is more important to him than the money, especially during a flat-cap year. More specifically, when speaking to the media, Hall said, “Any player at this stage in their career that has had the career that I’ve had, 10 seasons, only make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs twice, that’s really what I’m after,” The 28-year-old continued to say “But yeah, I’d say it’s pretty much all winning. I don’t think the money’s going to be what it was maybe before COVID or before the season, but that’s fine. I think we get paid a lot of money to play a game, and we’ll see what happens.” There’s a lot to unpack here, including the usage of phrases like “I don’t think” and “pretty much,” but at the end of the day, if Taylor Hall is serious about going to a Cup contender, Boston could be an option.
Why a one-year deal? Hall is coming off arguably two of his worst seasons since joining the NHL ten years ago and has taken a significant slide since his 2017-2018 Heart Trophy, 93-point season. That kind of performance for a top-line scorer could lead to him wanting a gap year while the world settles down around him. If that is the case, the Bruins are in their prime to be making a final push, and Hall would undoubtedly help add that offensive upside missing from the last two seasons. The question then comes down to, would Sweeney prefer to pay Krug or Hall 7.5 – 8 million?
Wouldn’t mind making a run at Taylor Hall— Josh Durand (@JoshDurand) September 9, 2020
Mid-Term, High Dollar Deal
The second scenario, and one I think is slightly less realistic, is a multi-year deal in the 8 million dollar range. Scott McLaughlin from WEEI puts it best, “The Bruins certainly won’t be the team that offers Hall the most years or money. But if they don’t re-sign Krug, they could potentially jump into that pool of Cup contenders who might be hoping Hall is willing to take something along the lines of five or six years worth maybe $8 million a season in order to have a real shot at winning the Cup.”
In which I explore an exciting possibility that I think is unlikely, but not completely crazy. https://t.co/RujmO0LPgh— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) September 16, 2020
With many teams in tight situations and the Bruins looking to potentially do something dramatic, signing Hall and letting Krug walk is a valid option. Hall could help bring down the team’s age slightly and solidify scoring on the team’s core for a few more runs at the ultimate prize.
Ultimately, if Hall’s goal is to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup high above his head, the Bruins are a legitimate team where he could do that. The value he’d bring to the table with his ability to score and his ability to allow the Bruins to shuffle lines around might be just enough for Don Sweeney to make a move.
It may all seem like a “pipe dream,” but if the Bruins are looking to make a splash in the UFA market this offseason, then they should explore this opportunity.