By: Joey Partridge | Follow Me On Twitter @joey_partridge
It’s no secret that there are a lot of rumors flying around the National Hockey League right now. One of the biggest free agents to be is Taylor Hall. The Boston Bruins and the Arizona Coyotes find themselves in similar situations. They both have star unrestricted free agents who they are having a hard time signing. There is a recent report that the Coyotes may be looking to move Hall’s rights, just like the Torey Krug rumor last week.
Sources say the Arizona Coyotes are shopping the rights to Taylor Hall.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 5, 2020
Now there is a catch to this. When you look at Hall’s production and value, he will command a large contract in terms of money. While his past two seasons have been sub-par for his standards, he is still a top scorer in the league. Don’t forget, too; he is just two seasons removed from his MVP season in 2017-2018.
Can the Bruins afford that contract long term? The flat out answer is probably not. While the Bruins are in an okay spot in terms of their cap, they can’t just drop Taylor Hall money over the course of five-plus years. Here is where it gets interesting. There was a report over the weekend that he would look into signing a one to two-year deal somewhere.
Chris Johnston on Headlines says Taylor Hall will entertain 1 or 2 yr deals.— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) October 4, 2020
If you’re the Bruins, this has to be on your radar. Secondary scoring has been the Bruins biggest issue in the last few years as contenders. If they have an opportunity to get a proven NHL goal scorer on a short-term deal, they have to give that a shot. Whether that means forfeiting a mid-round pick to get his rights before free agency opens up on Friday, or waiting until Friday to offer, I do believe this is on Don Sweeney’s radar.
There is another reason why this is so appealing to the Bruins. If you take a look at their veteran core players, they are on the backside of 30-years-old. This is not saying that they won’t still be impactful, but the truth of the matter is they aren’t getting any younger, and the Bruins are contenders right now, so they have to take a shot at something. Patrice Bergeron is 35, David Krejci is 34, Brad Marchand is 32, Tuukka Rask is 33, and obviously, Zdeno Chara is 43, so time isn’t really the Bruin’s best friend right now.
In terms of contracts, Krejci and Rask’s contracts expire after next season. With all the rumors circulating the Bruins and Rask, who knows if he will be back. The cold truth is that the team isn’t getting younger, and they only have a limited amount of time with this core in black and gold.
When you look at the guys in that locker room, this core group of guys deserve to win another Stanley Cup. The fact that they have come so close on numerous occasions but not able to win it again is upsetting. Then you look at the young core, which has done everything that has been asked of them, and this team has outstanding balance. There is just some secondary scoring missing, and Hall brings it.
Another point to mention is that Hall has only been to the playoffs twice in his ten-year career. He is 28-years-old and is probably at the point in his career where he wants to win. He probably sees himself signing with a contender over a rebuilding team, and in the short term, the Bruins fit that contending description.
The Bruins are going to have to take some risks if they want to win. However, on a short-term deal for a proven NHL goal scorer, they limit their risk and increase their reward.