Just a few days ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks are already making some big moves. The Hawks added Taylor Hall and the rights to UFA Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the rights to RFAs Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
For the Bruins, this constitutes a necessary salary cap dump to clear up space for a ton of pending free agents. Tyler Bertuzzi is one player that comes to mind, as is players like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, both of whom do not have contracts for next season.
After the trade on Monday, the Bruins now have $10.9 million in projected cap space according to CapFriendly, that is plenty of space to get some work done. Chicago ate some salary, but they also got one heck of a player to play alongside a generational talent like Connor Bedard.
Adding Taylor Hall was the perfect move for the Blackhawks
During the 2021-22 season, Taylor Hall put up 61 points in 81 games for the Boston Bruins. Hall is a former first overall pick from the 2010 NHL Draft, and he has a Hart Trophy to his name as he won in 2017-18 as a member of the New Jersey Devils.
Highlights from Taylor Hall’s Hart Trophy season:
Over the course of his 13 year career, Hall has played in 822 games putting up 693 points and scoring 264 goals during that time. The Blackhawks will now have him under contract for the next two seasons, through the end of the 2024-25 season.
It is no surprise the Blackhawks needed to add a talented forward or two this summer. Chicago is set to add a generational talent on Wednesday at the 2023 NHL Draft. Assuming the Hawks pick Connor Bedard the team will need some skilled players to play alongside Bedard. Now they have that covered for the next two years with a guy like Taylor Hall.
Hall is not going to just be a skilled winger on Bedard’s line. He also is someone Bedard can learn from. Hall knows a thing or two about being drafted first overall and the pressure that comes with it. He also knows what is like to be one of the best players in the league and can be someone who can help ease the pressure off of Bedard throughout his rookie season.
I guess it stings a little that the Blackhawks did not acquire some draft pick or prospect for taking on the salary of Taylor Hall, but at the same time, this is a move that benefits the Blackhawks. There is not going to be a player as good as Hall available in free agency this summer. Chicago added him for next to nothing as Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula were not going to be getting much of an opportunity in Chicago next season.
This is a major trade to take place right before the 2023 NHL Draft. Now it will be interesting to see if there are any other big deals in the coming days. Maybe a potential Kevin Hayes trade to St. Louis could be in the works.