“And if you’re Arizona, isn’t the best, best, best thing you can do for your franchise is to acquire high draft picks or prospects that will be tied to your organization for the duration of their entry-level contracts (and they’ve had success keeping those players)? Wouldn’t trading Hall provide you cheaper talent that’s going to stick around?”
This is not a made up sentence. This is one writer suggesting the Arizona Coyotes move Taylor Hall just weeks after acquiring him in an effort to take a longer-term macro view of their organization and where it’s at.
Justin Bourne of The Athletic (subscription required) wrote those words as part of his piece on Friday. He added, “Yes, I know they just traded picks and prospects. But you can recoup those and improve on them, otherwise, you don’t do a deal.”
It sounds absurd that the Coyotes would essentially put a halt to their playoff aspirations by making such a move but, perhaps, it’s hard to know exactly what GM John Chayka is thinking and if another team has come to him and had this conversation, willing to up the take he gave away to acquire Hall in the first place.
And, if you’re Chayka, and you don’t think your team is really a “playoff-winning” team, is this something you consider?
What This Would Say to Coyotes Fans
The Coyotes are first in the Pacific Division and certainly in the conversation for the playoffs this season. A fan base that doesn’t often have a ton to cheer about has had the option of rooting for a team that’s been in the thick of it all season long. If you traded Hall today, tomorrow or before February 24th, any goodwill you might have built would likely be long gone.
What this also says to your team is that you don’t have faith in them. You went out and got arguably the best rental on the market, but you still don’t think your team can hack it when it counts the most. Not the best message to be sending.
In the end, moving Hall also diminishes your chances of winning. You won’t find too many GM’s willing to do so while they’re a postseason team.
The Argument to Trade Hall: He Isn’t Staying
The reality is, if you’re Taylor Hall, you’re looking at every available option this summer as an unrestricted free agent. Saying “Hall isn’t staying” might not be fair; there is a chance he could. That said, the odds are quite low and Chayka must know that even if both Hall and he have agreed not to discuss an extension until farther down the road.
How far does one push the conversation?
The Coyotes would love to have Hall on their roster, even if he hasn’t lit the world on fire since he arrived. But, how much are they willing to pay for him? A team that’s never considered a cap-ceiling team, is Hall the player they choose to back up the Brinks truck for?
If not, what are you doing holding onto a player that you believe will leave and that you can treat like an investment, one that allowed you to buy, turn and sell for more than you paid?
What Side Do You Fall On?
In the comments section of Bourne’s article, a number of readers called him out for even suggesting the idea and that there needed to be a far better reason than collecting picks a prospects to steal away and chance for the Coyotes to do something meaningful this season. That sentiment is probably a common one.
But, sometimes you have to take a good hard look at what you are, what you stand to lose and where your team needs to go to make the best long-term decision for the franchise.
I’m not sure if trading Hall is the right call or not but I wouldn’t want to be in Chayka’s shoes if GM’s are actually coming to him with trade offers far better than what he spent to get Hall in the first place.
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