Taylor Hall is available and the Islanders are reportedly interested. But should they be?
The Islanders would be an attractive destination for Hall. He has familiarity with the Islanders playing close by in Newark. He has his good buddy in Jordan Eberle locked up for multiple years. And the biggest attraction, the new arena at Belmont Park is coming very soon.
But Hall would require a lot of assets, especially given since he is in the Metropolitan Division.
Trading for Hall would be the easiest way to get the winger to come to Long Island. Unfortunately, this would require the team giving up major future pieces.
A return the Devils may want would likely be centered around young defensman Noah Dobson, who is the Islanders seventh defender and usually sitting in the press box while the team plays.
But we already know the Islanders are likely unwilling to give up Dobson for Hall. If not Dobson, the Islanders would probably have to exchange a load of picks and other young assets, possibly Oliver Wahlstrom, while also throwing in a veteran to complete a deal with the Devils.
Another question is whether or not Hall himself is even worth pursuing. Let’s look at the numbers.
Hall is currently in his age-28 season and his production for the Devils has not been great. In 27 games, Hall has scored just four goals and 18 assists. Worst of all, Hall is a -11 this season (all statistics as of Friday, Dec. 6).
We know how Barry Trotz feels about minus players. Now, there is reason for Hall’s dip in production. He is playing for the Devils who play poor defensively and do not have a stable goaltending situation. But, a superstar like Hall is supposed to help the team win games so there is not an excuse for his poor performance this season on and off the ice.
The most important red flag of Hall is his injuries. The winger has been on injured reserve (IR) at least once in every season since he joined the Devils in 2016 and his injuries caused Hall to miss 49 games last season, a career high. And if your are going to give someone a boatload of money like Hall will get, he better stay healthy.
So should the Islanders pursue Taylor Hall? Sure, he is a great player and is not far removed from an MVP season. And sure, he gives the Islanders a dynamic offensive player to co-exist with Mat Barzal.
But, why give up assets and lots of money for a guy who has a history of being on IR? There is no denying how good Hall is, but his constant injuries are why the Islanders should stay away from the Taylor Hall saga.