With recent news that Anders Lee is on LTIR, the New York Islanders find themselves in a bit of pickle. Lee was one of the Islanders more potent offensive weapons on left wing and with the Islanders atop the MassMutual East standings, losing him for an extended period of time could create problems.
As such, there’s some steam to the idea the Islanders might look at other options before the NHL Trade Deadline and one of the names being tossed around is Taylor Hall.
While Hall has said he’s open to re-signing in Buffalo, the chances of him being moved are just as likely as him being extended and if the offers are right for the Sabres, one would have to think they’d consider a deal. All signs point to Buffalo being out of the playoffs and they’ll be some serious changes coming in the next couple of weeks.
Hall is having a less-than-stellar year — two goals and 16 points — and he certainly didn’t mesh with Jack Eichel the way many thought he might. That said, he’s still one of the top forward targets in this year’s trade market and he’s got some history with a player or two on the Islanders roster, namely Jordan Eberle. He’d be a pure rental, his cap hit is not exactly, but close and he’s a quick plug-and-play type player.
What Hall would cost the Islanders is unclear, but it might not be as much as some expect. Considering there aren’t a ton of teams that can fit Hall’s salary and have a dire need for a top-line left-winger. It might take a first-round pick, but it’s hard to argue more than that. And, if the Islanders wanted to throw in a player with a bit of salary, they could actually get some cap relief allowing them to do other things.
This Almost Makes Too Much Sense Not to At Least Look
Before the Lee news, the Islanders wouldn’t have been able to consider a player like Hall. Now, the team is being offered some salary flexibility as Lee’s cap hit of $7 million gives the team plenty of room to make a deadline addition.
Taylor Hall on a line with Matthew Barzal and Eberle would have to tempt Lou, no? Arthur Staple of The Athletic writes:
If the Islanders could somehow get the Sabres to take Hickey along with a first- or second-round pick (or two seconds), they’d be able to replace their top wing with the top wing available.
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