The trade has come down for Taylor Hall, and the Arizona Coyotes gave up a first-round pick, a conditional third-round pick (that could become a first if the Coyotes make the playoff and re-sign Hall), 6-foot-7 D-man prospect Kevin Bahl, 2015 first-round pick Nick Merkley and forward prospect Nate Schnarr to bring the former Hart Trophy winner to the desert.
It’s an understandable haul given up by Coyotes GM John Chayka, who needs to start seeing some results for the roster that he’s built up in Arizona.
He’s now spent assets to go get Phil Kessel and Hall as hired guns for this season to go with their young core group, and will gladly spend two first-round picks if that means the Coyotes A) get into the playoffs this spring and B) Hall likes Arizona so much that he ends up re-signing there.
But for all the Bruins fans clamoring that the Black and Gold should have gone all in and dealt for Hall this week?
Well, not so much.
The Bruins would have been forced to give up a comparable package of 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen, 2015 first-round pick Zach Senyshyn and 2016 first-round pick Trent Frederic along with what could been an end cost of two first-round picks for a player with no guarantees of sticking around beyond this spring.
Certainly Hall would have immediately brought offensive legitimacy to the B’s second line and realistically could be energized by a move to a place like Boston after languishing in New Jersey for the last couple of seasons.
He's only two years removed from 39 goals and 93 points, and can still at 28 years old be dominant and game-breaking as a left winger on any top-6 across the NHL. But he’s also had difficulty staying healthy over the last few seasons and has essentially worn out his welcome in two spots now (Edmonton, New Jersey) after being a first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
So is Hall worth that kind of haul?
To the Arizona Coyotes it’s wholly worth it to go all in, roll the ice and hope that Hall helps lead them back to legitimacy this spring. It’s also worth it to overpay and get the Devils to swallow half of his owed money so the Coyotes are only on the hook for a $3 million cap hit, which is something the Bruins would have absolutely had to do to make the deal as well.
For the Bruins, it’s wiser and more practical to pass on Hall, and wait on players like Ilya Kovalchuk, Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson and others who might become available ahead of the NHL trade deadline, or in the case of Kovalchuk much sooner than that.
Honestly, Hall isn’t even the best potential fit for the Black and Gold if they were looking to lift somebody from the Devils roster. That would be Kyle Palmieri, who's coming off four straight 20-goal seasons for the Devils with just a single season left on his contract for a Jersey team going nowhere.