Most will agree that the Nashville Predators may be a big piece away from getting over the hump, but desperately reaching for Taylor Hall isn’t the answer.
The Nashville Predators have some solid assets to offer from their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals to be active in the trade market. They also have Kyle Turris sitting around to possibly be offered on the trade market, if someone is willing to take on his massive contract.
My thought is the Predators need defensive help more than anything. They have the offensive weapons to hang with anyone in a high-scoring affair. My problem with them is they’re not consistent enough on defense.
The big player on the trade market right now is Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils. The former first-overall draft pick in 2010 and the NHL MVP for the 2017-18 season. But what he may be asking for in a long-term deal could end up being a huge risk for whichever team decides to take him.
Is this former MVP and 90-plus point scorer worth entertaining for the Predators, and do they have the right assets to work out a deal with the Devils?
What Hall could bring to his new team
It’s been a disastrous and letdown of a season so far for the Devils. They’re near the bottom of the NHL standings and could now be ready to deal the star winger, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and CBS Sports. Let the speculation begin on Hall’s best possible landing spots, and the Predators will be one of those teams mentioned.
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Anywhere Hall ends up going could end up being for just a rental. He’s a free agent this summer, and the teams that want him should be teams that feel that they’re one big piece away from really making a deep push in the playoffs. Can we classify the Predators to being in that category? I believe we can.
Hall is risky for two reasons, with the biggest one being if he’s really going to be worth it as just a rental player? He’s most likely going to want a long-term deal, meaning a team is going to really have to invest in the 28-year-old.
Outside of his MVP season, is he really going to be worth the contract he’s going to demand? The Predators can’t afford another bad long-term contract on the books.
For any team looking to add a scoring punch to their top six forwards, Hall is an intriguing option. He definitely brings an elite ability to score goals and ignite an offense. However, the risk remains that you’re selling off a lot of assets for a player who really lives off of one big season.
Predators should probably stay away
Turris is the big asset that the Predators probably want to move. The only way you’re going to get me on board with making a deal for Hall is if Turris’ eyesore of a contract gets moved off the books. I’m not sure the Devils would be willing to take on the entire contract from the Predators.
There’s also no way the Devils are going to take just Turris for Hall. The Predators are going to have to dip into their prospect pool if they really want to make a risky deal for Hall. This proposition scares me because I’m a big fan of what the Predators have in terms of prospects.
Could prospects like Eeli Tolvanen, Rem Pitlick or Daniel Carr be included in a deal like this? I could see that happening, but I’m not crazy about that scenario.
The last thing I want to see the Predators do is mortgage their future for a player that’s a high-risk, high-reward kind of guy. A player that is also injury prone and nearing age 30. It just screams “bad contract” to me.
Bringing in Hall wouldn’t really address what the two biggest weaknesses are plaguing the Predators right now. It’s definitely not their ability to generate offense or score goals. It’s their defensive lapses and their inconsistent goaltending. Hall wouldn’t fix that.
For me the high risk involved in trying to make a deal to get Hall far outweighs the potential reward in return. He may only end up being a rental for the rest of this season, and would that be worth future assets for the Predators in terms of prospects and draft picks?
There are so many other teams in the Taylor Hall sweepstakes right now. The Colorado Avalanche seem like one of the most likely destinations:
As if Colorado needs anymore offensive weapons. Either way, I don’t think the Predators are going to be able to pull off this deal, and quite frankly I’m just fine with that. The Predators need to focus on bolstering up their second and third defensive pairings with more muscle and physicality.
The NHL trade deadline isn’t until late February, so there’s plenty of time for this to gain more steam. I don’t see it getting that far before someone pulls the trigger on Hall and what he may bring to his new team, which is elite offensive numbers that can boost someone’s top six in hopes of pushing for a Stanley Cup this season.
The Predators do fit that mold of being a team ready to win now and make a deep push in the playoffs, but only missing one more big piece. We thought that was Matt Duchene, and maybe it still proves to be the case.
Unless they figure out a way to unload Turris on the Devils, this deal isn’t happening. And that’s perfectly fine with me. Go get a veteran defenseman to fix the second or third defensive pairings.