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Shero squashes possibility of Devils trading Hall prior to the deadline

February 4, 2019, 10:57 AM ET [26 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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With a playoff spot out of the question and Taylor Hall's future with the New Jersey Devils a bit of an unknown, some wondered if the team might consider dealing Hall prior to the deadline.

The logic behind doing a trade now is simple. Any team acquiring Hall would have the potential for two playoff runs as opposed to one. In theory, the cost of acquisition would reflect that.

Still, Devils GM Ray Shero was quick to stick a fork in any talk of trading Hall now.

Excerpt from Saturday Headlines (transcribed on Sportsnet.ca):

“One of the rumblings was maybe New Jersey might think of trading Taylor Hall now as opposed to waiting until the summer,” Friedman said.

Devils general manager Ray Shero, who acquired Hall for Adam Larsson in a one-for-one swap with the Edmonton Oilers in 2016, told Friedman there is “zero chance” the teams trades Hall this season.

I have no problem with Shero coming out and saying that. In fact, I agree with it. Unless Hall indicates he's unlikely or unwilling to re-sign, Shero should act as if he will – at least publicly. If you let these rumors linger and allow people to think a trade is at least within the realm of possibility, it kind of gives the impression you doubt the relationship. By squashing this as soon as it surfaced, it shows the team is very serious about keeping Hall long-term and that's all they're focused on.

The Devils don't need to rush to a conclusion with the 2017-18 Hart Trophy winner. They have plenty of time here. I mean, their season is going to end in April. If Hall wants a few weeks to think things over then, by all means, take it.

While it'd be nice to know his plans as soon as possible, Hall could tell Shero in early June he doesn't wish to re-sign when eligible (July 1). That's still plenty of time to talk to any and all interested parties and drum up the best possible return prior to the draft.

In the summer, the Devils can't play the 'you'll have Hall for two playoff runs' card. They can, however, get more teams involved due to the roster flexibility that comes with an off-season. I have no doubt they'd still make out quite nicely in a trade.

Let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

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