Listen, I don’t like crediting other media people for stories involving my team or potentially involving my team. I like to break the news and have other people credit me. But, well, I’ve gotten nothing but total crickets from any of the people I’ve thought might be able to give me something on the Taylor Hall situation.
But hey, you can’t win ’em all, so right now I’m pretty much just sitting here eating my popcorn reading what some others in the hockey media say is their reported opinion: that the Avs are quietly the leader in the clubhouse to land Taylor Hall as a free agent.
First, it was a writer from The Score in Canada that said matter-of-factly that Hall would sign a short-term contract with the Avs.
Tonight, another hockey media person from Canada, Jason Gregor in Edmonton, tweeted this:
I never mentioned Leafs…no clue why you think I only talk about them….Hall has said he love to play in Canada again, but right now I think Col, Bos and NSh are front runners. Maybe Habs can surprise, but I wouldn't bet on them.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) October 9, 2020
Colorado, Nashville and Boston. Those three teams on Hall’s short list, Gregor thinks. Jason Gregor is a very plugged-in media guy up there, a guy who was around for Hall’s several seasons in Edmonton and knows him fairly well.
It’s believed the Avs and Bruins have made shorter-term offers to Hall, while the Predators are offering more term and maybe more money.
While Joe Sakic did say the other day that the Avs wouldn’t be making any really expensive offers to any unrestricted free agents, he did say they’d be flexible and he never said anything was written in stone on everything. He just basically really said there wouldn’t be some seven-year, $60 million offer or anything for anybody.
But what if Hall wants to sign a prove-it one-year contract at his going market rate of $6 million and play for a fun, young, winning team probably still on the rise? Then he can have a great stats year, maybe win a Cup to boot and sign a huge deal next year somewhere?
Well, that’s what those two other Canadian media people seem to think. I have tried hard to contact Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, but have gotten ghosted so far. Same with some people around the Avs.
I think it would be a smart move by Hall myself. I don’t see Hall as much a fit in Boston as I do the Avs, and I don’t think Nashville is quite a team on the rise. I think he’d have more fun playing in Denver than Boston, for a team I think is on the decline too.
I’ve said all along I think the Avs should definitely get Hall if they can – at a reasonable price and term. This is a team that was playing Valeri Nichushin and Vladislav Namestnikov in their top six in important second-round playoff games. If you can add another quality talent to the top six, that lets others slide down into more appropriate skill sets.
I think MacKinnon and Hall would be dynamite together, or I also think Hall would look great next to Nazem Kadri. I’d love to see a power play of MacKinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog/Kadri, Hall and Cale Makar out there. Holy hell, could that ever be fun to watch. Can you not just see MacK, Makar and Hall whipping the puck around like a laser beam out there?
I think adding a Hall would add quite a bit more swagger to this team. I think he’d fit in well with this team. He’s not the selfish, bad influence-in-the-room guy some think. He’s actually become quite mature and thoughtful in his later years, and you can tell – or at least I could when I’ve actually talked to him myself before – that he really wants to win. He’s played in the playoffs only twice in his career, with the last series being a blowout against the Avs. His teams have a long history of getting No. 1 draft picks and, no, he’s not amused by it anymore.
Hey, if he and the Avs can mutually use each other to their benefit, and that’s all it was – a one-year affair – then so be it. If you both can get a Cup out of it, that’s plenty.
Hey, I hope the other reporters cited here are right in the end. I’ll keep trying to find that out myself and maybe we’ll all have some exciting news to report soon.