Wanted to do additional work on Taylor Hall.
What a unique situation. Anyone who thought he would fly back to New Jersey on Saturday evening after being scratched in Colorado and Arizona could be happy.
My elimination of fantasy soccer set Sunday free to rethink the situation. Here are a few ideas on where this is and where we are going:
WHO IS IN?
I always ask myself: What don't I know? In the craziness of the past 24 to 48 hours, it didn't seem like there were a lot of teams in the Hall Derby. Compadre Chris Johnston reported Arizona was the favorite, and he wasn't the only one who believed it.
According to several sources, the Coyotes did not offer any of their last two first-round drafts, namely Center Barrett Hayton (2018) and defender Victor Soderstrom (2019). Both should play at the upcoming Junior World Championships. I had heard the two teams haggle over another Team Canada player, 19-year-old Kevin Bahl from OHL Ottawa. He was drafted 55th by the Coyotes in 2018.
I assume that the package contains more, but I don't know the details. However, it is believed to be more of a futures-based offering. GM John Chayka would not comment on Sunday, but some teams believe Arizona will go in a different direction if it takes too long without a solution.
Since the show on Saturday, some sources have tried to make one or two offers to the Devils related to current squad players. We are not talking about 30-year-olds at the end of their careers, but rather younger, established NHLers who are under team control. I lack details, but it does show that New Jersey director general Ray Shero has to consider two different ways – a futures offer versus a "hockey trade" that can generate talent immediately. Or can he do a little of both with these suggestions?
At least we have learned to rethink our timeline. When Hall was scratched back to back, I thought this trip was coming to an end. So do some clubs that kicked the tires. Now it is less certain – especially if you consider another variable …
IS SOMEONE COMING TO SPEAK WITH HIM?
During the headlines on Saturday evening, I reported that until now, no one has been given permission to speak to Hall or Agent Darren Ferris about an extension.
I mentioned several times that I don't think Hall will sign during the season, and New Jersey is well aware of that. However, this does not mean that the devils will not allow entertainment when they receive an offer that they believe is dependent on an offer. Not every team will think this is essential, but a few might.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people in the hockey world and then tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
THIS IS… MISCELLANEOUS
We are used to eliminating players shortly before the close of trading. When New Jersey hosted Ottawa on February 21, five men – Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Marcus Johansson, Ben Lovejoy and Mark Stone – did not dress. All have been treated. That's life in the big city.
We don't see that too often in December. It's good for social media buzz, but I can't imagine Hall making it fun.
So what happens if he's still a devil on Wednesday? This is New Jersey's next game – home game against Anaheim.
Owners David Blitzer and Joshua Harris also run the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. This league experienced a wild scenario in 2018/19 when the New Orleans Pelicans refused to play superstar attacker Anthony Davis for nine games before the close of trading. Davis wanted to get out and the club didn't want to risk injuries. When the deadline expired without an agreement, the pelicans reportedly threatened to sit him the rest of the season just to get the NBA's call to reinstate him.
It was a farce in which Davis hardly played 20 minutes a night before playing the last seven games of the year. It was eventually traded to the Lakers.
If Hall was not treated, will New Jersey resume him? I have to think the Devils are doing exactly the same as last weekend – if there is enough traction right now, this is in the best interests of the team and the player. Does Hall agree? What about the NHL and NHLPA? We are still a long way from the trading deadline. If you're forced to put it on, is it just sitting on the bench?
Something else to see in the next few days, a suddenly more interesting time than we thought.