Let’s preface this by noting that this is speculation on the part of Doug MacLean, but the former NHL general manager said while talking to CHED radio with host Reid Wilkins, the Edmonton Oilers are, in fact, one of the teams talking with the Buffalo Sabres about acquiring Taylor Hall before the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12th.
If you’re like me and asking how is this possible, MacLean adds that a reliable source said that Edmonton isn’t just looking at trading for Hall, but immediately signing him to an extension, along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
“I also heard yesterday they’re in on the guy from Buffalo that everybody wants: Taylor Hall. I’m thinking: How is that going to work. How could Taylor Hall go there on a deal? The guy told me they’re looking at a deal that would have them both done for less than $12 million for both of them (Hall and RNH), and it would work next year…It was a reasonable source that said it.”
So, if we’re understanding this correctly, MacLean is suggesting that his source notes that Hall and Nugent-Hopkins will extend in Edmonton for $12 million total and on long-term deals. That means each would come in around $6 million or Nugent-Hopkins just over and Hall just under (that’s our guess as to how that might go, anyways.)…
Is Hall to Edmonton Really a Thing?
We’ve covered the Taylor Hall discussion ad nauseum over the past few weeks and the Oilers were always sort of lurking in the background. But, the expectation was that nothing would come of it, simply because the Oilers don’t have the cap space and all signs point to it being a quiet deadline in Edmonton.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal weighed in on the rumor and noted, “MacLean makes clear it’s just speculation.” He adds, “But there’s no doubt Hall is on the market and it makes sense Edmonton would look at Hall, especially on a trade-and-sign deal, even as Hall is having a crappy year.”
What the Oilers would be shipping out to make Hall’s salary work this season is unclear. Would the Sabres take a player like Zack Kassian or James Neal and a lower-end contract to make the salaries match up? If the Sabres have struck out on landing a first-round pick and Edmonton is willing to move theirs, who knows.
Some have suggested this is the year to give up your first-rounder if you think that a lack of scouting is going to make the draft a real question mark. And, for the Oilers, it’s not going to be a Top 15 pick. That really makes the NHL Draft a crapshoot.
We don’t see it. While it’s technically possible, there are so many ‘what ifs; and moving parts to this deal that it would be incredibly tricky to pull off before Monday. Would it give the Oilers what they need? In theory, yes. But Hall isn’t having a great season.
Does the idea of a team-friendly long-term extension change things. It would if Holland knew he had it in his back pocket. Again, the Sabres need to be game to take on salary, Hall needs to be game to take a discount and commit to Edmonton and Holland needs to know he’s got a Nugent-Hopkins extension worked out for the same money the player is making now.
Realistically, we still think the New York Islanders, Boston Bruins or Colorado Avalanche are more likely.
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