Bruins

NHL rumors: Latest Taylor Hall updates with Bruins, other contenders quiet

Bruins

Many of the top NHL free agents remain unsigned with more than eight hours passed since the market opened at noon ET Friday, and that includes Taylor Hall.

The veteran left winger is the No. 1 ranked free agent forward in the 2020 class and only two years removed from winning the Hart Trophy as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

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Most of the league's contenders teams have been pretty quiet in free agency thus far. However, that doesn't mean conversations aren't taking place.

In fact, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Friday afternoon on NHL Network that Hall is generating plenty of interest.

"There were a lot of teams. I heard there were about 25 teams at least called to check on him," Friedman said. "I think, from Boston, to Nashville, to Columbus, to Montreal, possibly Calgary, possibly even a team like Toronto seeing if he would be willing to do something there. I think there was a lot of interest."

Jason Gregor of TSN 1260 reported an update on the expected timeline of Hall's decision.

The Boston Bruins absolutely should make a run at Hall.

One of the Bruins' biggest weaknesses is a lack of secondary scoring, particularly on the wings. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are Boston's only reliable top-six wingers, and they play on the same line. The Bruins must find a consistent goal scorer to put on the second line alongside playmaking center David Krejci. Hall's high-end offensive skill and power forward style of play would be an excellent fit with Krejci.

 
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The B's reportedly are among the teams interested in veteran right winger Craig Smith, who's scored 20 or more goals in five of the last seven seasons. Smith would be a solid add for Boston's third line, but he's not the kind of impact player that Hall would be for the Bruins. 

The Bruins have around $15 million in salary cap space with a few free agents of their own to consider re-signing, including defensemen Zdeno Chara and Matt Grzelcyk, as well as top-six forward Jake DeBrusk.

Now that Torey Krug has agreed to sign with the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins should prioritize using their salary cap space to pursue one of the top free agent wingers on the market, a list that includes Hall, Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov and Tyler Toffoli.

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The Bruins cannot go into the 2020-21 season with their current group of wingers if they expect to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. An upgrade must be made to bolster the team's secondary scoring. Hall is the best player to address that need.