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Why I don’t think the Avs should pursue Taylor Hall



BOSTON – I’ve tossed and turned with this one for a few days now, but have come to my own conclusion now on this at least: I don’t think the Avs should make a big trade to get Taylor Hall.

My reasons for this:

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  • I think this team might be good enough, the way it’s constructed, to win. Why does it need a Taylor Hall? I mean, sure, Taylor Hall on your squad is a nice thing, but he’s not the kind of guy they need. Where is he going to play? Top line? So, you’re going to move Gabe Landeskog down to a second line now, and play him with Nazem Kadri and Joonas Donskoi? So then you’re moving Andre Burakovsky down to the third line?
  • Have we not seen by now that Burakovsky is perfectly capable of playing well with good players? So you want to stop all that progress he’s been making by giving him fewer minutes on a lower line?
  • If you don’t put Hall on the top line, with a MacKinnon and Rantanen, now you’re going to make him a second-line left winger? Is that really where he’d best excel? Shouldn’t a premier talent like him play with the most premier talent around him?
  • I really like the Avs’ top six forwards as they currently stand. I love Joonas Donskoi on the top six. I think Burakovsky has top-six talent. Obviously, MacKinnon, Landeskog, Rantanen and Kadri have top-six talent. They don’t need a Taylor Hall.
  • And they especially don’t need a Taylor Hall at the expense of any of the following three prospects: Conor Timmins, Bo Byram and Alex Newhook. There is NO CHANCE I give up any of those three in a Hall trade. To me, those three guys are all going to be very good NHL players for many years to come, part of what I believe will be the next phase of the Avs’ young “core”, to add to the MacKinnons and Rantanens and Makars of the team.
  • A lot of people have been tossing around Timmins’ name, with the reasoning being: “Well, we’ve got Byram on the way, we’ve got Makar, we’ve got Sam Girard – Timmins is overkill, he’s the guy we can use to get an asset like Hall!”
  • I don’t do that at all, if I’m Joe Sakic. I keep Conor Timmins, absolutely I keep Conor Timmins. A young, smart D-man who can play 20-22 minutes a night, a right-shot D to complement, say, a Girard or Byram? A potential replacement for an Erik Johnson, whenever his career winds down? No way I trade him for a player who we have no idea whether he’d be around past July 1.
  • Hall is a potential UFA. Do you really think he’d sign an extension with the Avs before having the chance to go to the highest bidder July 1? Hey, maybe he would. I mean, why wouldn’t he want to spend the rest of his career, possibly, skating with Nathan MacKinnon and Co?
  • But let me ask you this: How are you going to fit Hall in at, say, minimum $9 million per (and probably more) and also fit in Landeskog and his new deal in two years? Then, how do you do it when MacKinnon can finally sign a new deal in three years? What about Makar’s next deal, which would be due after next season? You’re going to have four guys right there probably making at least $8  million per moving forward, and then have to fit a Hall bonanza contract in too. That’s going to be really tough to do maybe, to keep it all under the cap and still pay 18 other players.
  • I like Hall as a player. I do. But why are we assuming he’s going to light it up with the Avs? He’s got five goals in 28 games this season with New Jersey. Burakovsky has 11 goals in 25 games. “Well, that’s because he’s playing with good players Dater. Hall doesn’t have that luxury in New Jersey.”
  • Wait, so playing with Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri isn’t playing with good players? So, playing on the power play with guys like Hughes and P.K. Subban and Nico Hischier (when he’s healthy) isn’t playing with good players?
  • The only chance I do a deal for Taylor Hall is if the Devils don’t want the moon back. Maybe I give up a Martin Kaut and a draft pick. Maybe I think about giving up a Tyson Jost and a draft pick.
  • But even if I still do that kind of deal, now I’ve got Taylor Hall to give top-six minutes to moving forward, and I have to take away top-six minutes to guys like a Burakovsky or Donskoi, guys who have earned those minutes already. Now I’m risking altering my team chemistry, all to acquire just a guy who may only be a rental for a few months. I don’t think it’s the move the Avs need to make. Sure, it looks sexy in the headlines – “Avs get Taylor Hall!” – and will get fans buzzing. But this team is good enough up top as it is. To me, I look for maybe another strong D-man for the second half. Maybe another big, depth winger for the playoff grind.
  • Agree, disagree? Let me know why.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Robert Warren

I agree 100% with you on this one Dater. I want to see what this team can do with a healthy roster before tinkering with the chemistry


I’m definitely with you on this. Grubauer and Francouz also due contracts this offseason and next. Plus the expansion draft conundrum as to who to protect on the off chance he would sign longer term. Don’t mess with the chemistry the way the team is currently configured.



Before this article I was all in on Taylor Hall but I agree with everything you say. Still a little timid about Timmons but the thought of that young core with a Graves, EJ and Z is dangerous


Agree fully. If the Avs were middle of the pack and lacking spark and energy, Joe should explore. Right now, that’s a lot to give up for a UFA and then you have to slot him in at the expense of someone. If Taylor really really really wants to play with MacKinnon and Co., we can talk in the offseason and see it it makes sense.

Rich Solomon

100%! It’s a great buzz, but this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. The potential downside seems worse than the potential upside.


Fully agrees with this. There’s the hint of unknown potential glimpsing through. It almost gives you goosebumps with the anticipation of what may be.

I just can’t see him fitting the Avs style, something just doesn’t mesh.

Ari Sachter-Smith

Timmins has 13 points. Bowers, Kaut, Henry and Greer have 14 points combined.


I agree. Sure, the Avs can get better NOW by acquiring an elite player but I’d argue a) they most certainly have a chance to win it all with the roster they have, and b) by not making a huge splash now via trade have the potential to be even better (for a longer time period) if they just exercise patience and trust the process. The core is now in place and is elite. GMJS has demonstrated he knows this by the trades and signings he has made over the last 2 seasons. He should make trades to supplement the… Read more »

Paul Thompson

Great piece dater. Agree whole-heartedly with so much of this especially the fact that if Hall isn’t just a rental, we’re giving up the ability to have the depth roster that so many people are praising Joe and the Avs for right now.


I think Sakic should look into acquiring Byfuglien instead. He obviously wants out of Winnipeg. I hear he’s getting close to return from a bad ankle.
I definitely wouldn’t trade Timmins or Byram for anyone. Timmins will be a stud in 2 years.

Dwayne Hall

I think the sensible thing is to pass on Hall. I think if ANY move is made at the deadline it’s for a good playoff tested veteran who can add to the room, and add a little more depth for a playoff run.
Only way I add Taylor Hall is if one the top 6 goes down for the season. Please let that not happen.


One million percent agree. It would either be a rental that we’ve given up too much for or throw us into cap hell.

Agree. Joe Sakic has different attitude towards rentals and free agency. How many players In NHL who signed contracts in 30-ies meet expactations? Recently Avs GM only signed or trade for younger players. I hope he will not make such mistake and trade for Hall and then sign him long term. First like AD says having chemistry brake it and even sign player past his prime for a lot of millions.


I fully agree with all the points. What I would counter is that all of this assumes a fully healthy lineup which we have had anything but. Basically he becomes a very expensive insurance policy for your top 6. I mean honestly how slick would it have been to plug him in after rants (and then landy) went down. If we are fully healthy then sure it’s overkill but if you are thinking cup or just do you not go all in especially when your dealing from a position of strength ?

Thomas Babbington

SoCalAvsFan, I can see your point with the injuries argument but the boys have weathered the storm very well despite the shortage of name players on the roster. When it comes to playoffs though, the Tynans and O’Connors aren’t going to put us where we need to be at that point in the season (not saying the potential isn’t there with them but the lack of experience/production especially in a playoff setting would diminish the depth of the Avs) I’d rather see them sign a solid bottom six player for the run than a top six guy like Hall. Think… Read more »


kaut is garbage.

sarasota curt

Perfect analysis. It would be a headline maker all right. So was Avs get Theo Fleury.


Agree, let other teams weaken themselves in the longer term for a rental. If it pushes them over the edge, then so be it, but the Avs got what they need.


100% AD. At first I was on the “Trade for Hall train” train big time. Not only do I think he doesn’t really fit on this team now, but why in the hell would we sign him to 7-8 years at $9mill? year 3 of that contract would look AWFUL! and be a black hole in our cap space.

Not to mention the dude has never won anything anywhere he went…. and people say he’s kind of a Matt Duchene in the locker room….


he won the lottery very often 😀

Joe Manzanares

I have to agree with you on this… We have no need for a part-time rental. This team can win now.

John Mauss

The other posters said it all, but I want to add another vote to the count. AD is 100% on the mark.


I disagree with dater. I think the avs will make the move but later in the season. My reasoning is that when sakic was a player, pierre lacroix would make trades all the time to get better for a playoff run. Some were duds. Tanguay for Derek Morris still makes me cringe. Fleury left after one playoff run. But Roy? Bourque? Blake? Sakic knows what those types of trades can do. He may surprise us and make a move for someone else other than hall. Byfuglien was mentioned by another commenter. I’d approve that idea. Dustin brown might be a… Read more »

The PG

I agree. Some of your points I have made and others I haven’t considered before. For the record, I have side-eyed Hall through all this drama, but never got on the train.


Goodbye girard and donskoi we need to get by st Louis if they can sign hall I’m for it

Jesse Tohill

Happy Birthday Larry Legend!

Heath Mathis

Agree …. spot on analysis


We absolutely must pursue him. To what extent is the question. If he’s willing to sign an immediate extension I think we should pursue him very heavily. If he’s just a rental? I hope we don’t win that auction. Someone is going to give up a lot more than I’d like to see from us. I agree with much of what you say. Mainly just disagree with how he fits. He’d be perfect on the 2nd line. Tons of cup winners split up theirs superstars. Hall would be great as a play driver on his own line, something I don’t… Read more »


Agree. He’s not worth the long term cap hit. I think they have the top 6 talent already


Agree. He’s not worth the long term cap hit with who we need to pay going forward.


In my opinion, Sakic sticks to the plan by building within. No need to upset the team chemistry.

peter martin

AJ & Co. made a good point: Hall is getting moved, probably to the West. A lot of our rivals could use Hall. But a Byram or Timmins is a hefty price to pay. Kaut, a 1st, and roster player sounds palatable now. We’re prob gonna lose Z or JT to Seattle, so either would be fine to include. If its Z, I would send something additional to rent Vatanen, bc we’ll need Z’s replacement right now & I’m not comfortable rolling into the playoffs with Timmins. Another point: MacK’s championship window is open for the next four years; Avs… Read more »


Whole heartedly agree unless he can transition seamlessly to goalie overnight… I’m no expert, still learning the game, but what we’ve done with who we have with all the injuries, and now getting healthier & the dynamics our guys have, I don’t think he fits our team.

The Heretic

I’ve been against it and watching Makar walk down the tunnel reminds me of why you don’t trade away good young D when your top 6 is already rocking. This team has overcome a lot this year. They can overcome St. Louis in the playoffs too, without Hall.


I am against obtaining Hall. Paying for him now with prospects+draft picks, not to mention the hefty contract next year hurts us more than help us. Avs are so young overall that there will be a lot of natural internal growth as the youngsters gain experience. Avs would be better off letting the youngsters gain experience and grow their skill and chemistry with each other. Also I want them to be proactive with locking up Nichuskin and Zadorov to a long term contract before their price goes up. Not losing the blossoming talent we have is more important on taking… Read more »


Thank you !!! I agreed 100% we don’t need Hall.would be a waste of money

Eric Hervieux

100% well said.


Agreed. I don’t wanna mortgage the future to win right now. Let this team continue to grow instead of causing animosity by moving well liked players now.
With what Sakic did in the summer, this team is winning games it wouldn’t have with the injuries they’ve sustained. This is a team to fear now.


In my opinion there are 2 reasons why you make the trade: 1) Hall gets you a bonafide one-two punch, which is something that Sakic believes in dating back to the magic of the Sakic/Forsberg years, and which I am sure he believes is necessary to make a serious run at the cup. Furthermore, let’s face it, ever since we let go of Duchene, and since we missed out on Kakko/Hughes in the draft this summer and then Panarin in free agency, we have been looking to add a bonafide superstar to our top 6. Yes we got Kadri, Burakovsky… Read more »

[…] (Denver Post) said Hall would be the perfect addition to Nathan MacKinnon’s left-wing but Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater reckons re-signing Hall could offer problems when it comes time to re-up the Avs’ other big […]

Chris DeMott

AD, You changed my mind to being totally against acquiring Hall. Looking at his stats, outside of the one fluky Hart trophy year, the guy is a poor man’s Matt Duchene. Why give up many future seasons of a key prospect for 2/3rd’s of one for a guy who likely play’s on the second or third line? Right?

[…] Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey NOW:  The intriguing theory is that Colorado may arguably be good enough without Hall. There are more obvious reasons too. The biggest one may be the salary cap. If Colorado extended Hall for $9 million AAV, how does one pay Gabriel Landeskog in two years? The Avalanche arguably have enough top-six talent to avoid plugging in a first-line winger into a second-line role. […]

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