3:46 PM — NBC Sports’ Joe Haggerty reports that Boston has offered a short-term contract to bring in Hall. However, that could be a problem financially with the team still needing to sign Debrusk, Grzelcyk as well as bringing back Zdeno Chara.
3:08 PM — There are plenty of unrestricted free agent forwards parked, waiting for Taylor Hall to make a decision on where he intends to play next season. Hall, the top free agent forward on the market is considering short-term offers with contending teams and is hoping to take that and bet on himself to cash in on a bigger contract after the pandemic settles down.
While many were expecting that the Colorado Avalanche would be high-stakes players in landing Hall, that isn’t expected to happen now, according to Adrian Dater of ColoradoHockeyNow, who writes that with the acquisition of Brandon Saad from Chicago Saturday, it’s extremely unlikely the team will spend even more money on another high-priced forward, even on a short-term deal.
Saad’s acquisition likely fills the team’s need for forwards and it’s likely that if the team does go after another free agent, it’s going to be on defense. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline also adds that the Columbus Blue Jackets are not likely a candidate to sign Hall despite the available cap room that the team has.
Dater writes that the two leading candidates to sign Hall are the Nashville Predators and the Boston Bruins.
Nashville makes sense as the team has traded away or bought out several players, including Nick Bonino, Kyle Turris and Austin Watson, while also allowing Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith to depart via free agency. The moves opens up a potential fit for the Predators. On top of that, Hall is believed to be close to both Ryan Ellis. The two played junior hockey together for three years and won a Memorial Cup together. He also has spent time playing alongside center Matt Duchene, who he played in the Ivan Hlinka and in U-18’s with.
Boston already signed Smith to a three-year deal, but the addition of Taylor Hall would be a big boost to the Bruins’ second line and for a big run with the veteran players they already have on board. The team does still have $11MM in cap space to work with, although they do have a number of restricted free agents to sign, including Jake Debrusk and Matt Grzelcyk.