Let’s have a bit of fun by ranking all of the trades involving Boston Bruins forward Taylor Hall.
“Dude, what just happened? How did you guys do that?”
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That was the text I got as soon as the news broke my New Jersey Devils traded for Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers back in 2016. I opened Twitter to find that legendary tweet from Bob Mackenzie that the tweet was, in fact, “one for one”. That’s when it became one of the most hilariously lopsided trades in NHL history, and it looked like my team was on the winning side of it.
Fast forward a few years and Taylor Hall’s stock seems to have fallen mightily. After that 2018 Hart Trophy season, where he recorded 93 points (39 G, 54 A) in 76 games, he looked like an $11 million man (the max contract value allowable under the then current Collective Bargaining Agreement). I was about to break into Lou Lamoriello’s old office to find an old copy of Ilya Kolvalchuk’s Devil’s contract to just replace the name of the “retired” Russian winger with the Canadian superstar.
That was then, this is now. Now Taylor Hall has put on a jersey for his fourth team in two seasons. He’s been the centerpiece of three notable trades in his NHL career. Let’s take a look and rank all of them.
Ranking every single Taylor Hall trade
No. 3 Being Traded to the Boston Bruins from the Buffalo Sabres In 2021
This might be the greatest thing to happen to Boston sports since some guy named Tom Brady was taken in the Sixth Round of the NFL Draft decades ago. Maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but you still feel that Buffalo didn’t get anywhere near the return they wanted.
Just a few days’ prior, Hall’s former Devils teammates in Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac netted a First Rounder as part of a package deal with the New York Islanders. Maybe that hurt Hall’s market a little bit? Who knows? Maybe that Second Round pick acquired from Boston can become the next Buffalo superstar to lead the city of chicken wings back to the Playoffs.
Until then, this trade is reminding me of the New York Islander’s ill-fated trade for Thomas Vanek. Remember back in 2014 when the Islanders shocked the hockey world by trading for him, only to find out he wouldn’t sign an extension so they flipped him to Montreal for pennies on the dollar at the Deadline? Yeah, that’s the trade.
No. 2: Being Traded to the Arizona Coyotes from the New Jersey Devils in 2019
Unable to live up to his Hart Trophy winning season from 2018, Taylor Hall’s days in New Jersey were coming to an end. It was a minor surprise to see him shipped off to the Arizona Coyotes for a First Round pick and a few prospects, namely Kevin Bahl and Nicholas Merkley. Who “won” the trade is still up for debate.
Arizona ended their lengthy postseason drought, but seemed destined to do that with or without Taylor Hall. Hall also left the Coyotes in Free Agency that summer. The prospects Arizona sent to New Jersey haven’t made much of an NHL impact yet, and the First Round pick that was sent over to the Devils was used on Dawson Mercer, who made a name for himself at the World Juniors and continued elite production in the QMJHL.
#1: Being Traded To the New Jersey Devils from the Edmonton Oilers in 2015
The trade that made all other NHL General Managers sit back and ask “how did he do that?” Definitely Ray Shero’s crowning achievement as the New Jersey Devils General Manager, which granted he didn’t have a lot of. Of course we know how the Devils made out. They broke a Playoff drought and had their first Hart trophy winner in franchise history in 2018.
The “one for one” trade actually ended up working out for both teams. Yes, I said it. Edmonton Oilers fans are still mad they didn’t get a larger return for Hall, and they’re right. Still they can’t say they were affected in the long run. Edmonton not only broke their postseason drought, but went on a deep Playoff run to the Conference Semi-Finals that season. Sure, Edmonton fans can be mad they only got Adam Larsson, but Edmonton’s future without Taylor Hall seems a lot brighter than it did with him.
And we’ll see if Taylor Hall can get his career back on track with the Boston Bruins.