ST. LOUIS – Well, we won’t be hearing about Taylor Hall again for a while. Until the final week of June and into July 1st, that is.
I think the Avalanche won a trade today, and it’s one they had no involvement in whatsoever. The Avs did NOT give up a package of prospects, picks and/or roster players for New Jersey rental winger Hall. He was dealt, finally, to the Arizona Coyotes this afternoon.
I don’t think the Avs were ever heavily involved in this thing. Do I think the Avs and Devils talked, maybe exchanged a proposal or two? Yeah, probably.
But in the end, it just never made sense to give up good prospects for a guy who (1) might have gotten away for free this summer and (2) didn’t really fit a need the Avs might have/had anyway.
I really like the Avs’ forward group, especially the top six. Adding a Taylor Hall would have meant a guy like Andre Burakovsky or Joonas Donskoi having to drop down to the third line – and would that have been justice? No. Both guys have DOUBLE the goal production so far than that of Hall.
What I think makes far more sense is the Avs being a player for Hall this summer on the free-agent market. If he becomes available, that is. But even then – I just have too many questions about how necessary that would even be. Plus, the Avs’ cap situation is going to get a lot tighter starting next summer.
Don’t get me wrong: I like Taylor Hall as a player. I mean, having Taylor Hall on the roster wouldn’t have sucked. But at what price? If the Avs had traded any one of the following three players: Conor Timmins, Bo Byram or Alex Newhook – I would have instantly pronounced the trade a loss for Joe Sakic. To me, all three of those guys constitute your “next wave” of young core guys, who should be here for many years to come.
To have just frittered any of them away on a rental player – a forward that would have perhaps affected team chemistry in a negative way, with those he supplanted feeling hurt/disappointed/bitter after having a great first half – would have potentially altered the course of a franchise that I otherwise feel will go in only one direction: up.
Rental trades almost never work, folks. Yeah, the Avs won a Cup with a rental trade in 2001, by getting Rob Blake (and Steve Reinprecht, who never got enough credit for what he added to that team), but let’s not forget the Avs re-signed Blake after that. Nashville thought they were going to win the Stanley Cup when they gave up a passel of goods to get Peter Forsberg in 2007, and they were out in the first round. Columbus thought they were on the way to a Cup last spring when they got, among others, Matt Duchene, at the deadline. They won one round.
I could go on and on. Bottom line: This team did NOT have a glaring weakness in their top six. They didn’t need a Taylor Hall, not at the expense of top prospects.
Let’s just keep enjoying the really good young team we already have – with more home-grown reinforcements on the way.