While analysts are thrilled with Craig Smith’s signing, many Bruins fans seem upset that the team hasn’t made more noise.
After all, with a player like Torey Krug coming out, you want someone great to come along. It is quite natural.
Luckily for this crowd, there are numerous reports / rumors that the Bruins are very “in” on Taylor Hall, to the point where they have in fact made him an offer.
Looks like the Boston Bruins have presented Taylor Hall with a short-term contract offer today. There are other contenders. I believe he is still considering his options.
– David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) October 10, 2020
Let’s eliminate the usual caveats:
- These are rumors. Rumors can be triggered by the truth, or they can come out of nowhere.
- There are also rumors that several other teams have offers at Hall.
- None of the rumors mention the Bruins as Hall favorites.
OK, now that this is no longer the case… SPECULATE.
Why would the Bruins want Taylor Hall?
Because it is good.
His point totals were down a bit last season, with 52 points in 65 games split between New Jersey and Arizona. However, he was better than a points-per-game player over the previous two seasons, including his 93-point MVP-won season in 2018.
He’s a left winger too, and the Bruins could always use another scoring wing.
I could go on, but you already know why the Bruins would want Hall.
General manager Don Sweeney was asked about Hall and Alex Pietrangelo today.
“We are comfortable having conversations with the remaining free agents who we think would help our club. I do not have full disclosure in this case, I have not had a discussion with the Pietrangelo camp. We think our right side may not be the best choice for our club. Very respectful of the player, elite player of the National Hockey League. This is not the discussion we had. When it comes to other players, we certainly get interest from both sides and see what we can potentially integrate. “
If you want to read between the lines, Sweeney was asked about Pietrangelo and Hall, confirmed that the team were not interested in Pietrangelo, and went on to say that they “generate interest” on “others. players ”.
Why would Taylor Hall want to play for the Bruins?
This is the first time in his career that Hall has been an unrestricted free agent.
The 28-year-old forward has been an elite talent for years, but it’s remarkable that last summer’s bubble hockey marked his second time in the playoffs.
Since it is coming to the open market for the first time, you can’t fault it for wanting to cash in. However, considering he’s only made the playoffs twice, he’s got something else on his mind: winning.
“Any player at this stage of his career who has had the career that I had, 10 seasons, is only [Stanley Cup] Twice playoffs is really what I’m looking for, ”said the 28-year-old. “So we’ll see what happens there… but yeah, I would say it’s pretty much everything. I don’t think the money will be what it maybe before COVID or before the season, but it’s fine. I think we’re paid a lot of money to play a game, and we’ll see what happens.
It should be noted, of course, that we have heard all of this before. Plus, wanting to win doesn’t necessarily mean a guy will take a million dollar contract just to play for a good team.
However, if winning is really important to Hall, he’ll likely be willing to take a little less money from a team with Cup potential rather than winning a mega deal with a background club.
The Bruins are a good team. While they may not be THE favorites, they will be mentioned among the potential Cup winners heading into next season.
They need a scoring wing, and Hall would do.
The hall will take place on November 29. If, as Dominic Tiano mentioned above, the Bruins’ offer is 3 years old, Hall would have a few months under 32 in the end.
That would probably give him three real kicks in the box for a Cup, and he would still be young enough to get a decent deal in the end. He’s probably willing to bet on himself that his performance in this short trade would earn him another good deal on expiration.
For Hall, this temptation might be worth carrying in the wallet.
How could the Bruins afford Taylor Hall?
At the peak of its free market value, they couldn’t.
Hall’s latest deal carried an AAV of $ 6 million, and he would get a raise in the market. However, if winning is what matters to Hall, he probably knows he’ll have to take a slight pay cut to be a part of a good team.
For the sake of argument, let’s say Hall agreed to take $ 7 million AAV.
Per CapFriendly, the Bruins currently have just over $ 12 million in ceiling space.
It’s important to remember that this is without signing Zdeno Chara, Matt Grzelcyk and Jake DeBrusk. Obviously, if the Bruins bring Hall, there’s really no way these three guys will return.
With Hall has LW and the frontline LW slot quite busy, DeBrusk may end up being consumable.
The Bruins could, for example, regroup DeBrusk with John Moore in exchange for a young defenseman; Moore’s contract move would free up an additional $ 2.75 million in space.
Similar salary cap machinations could take place with any profession, be it Tuukka Rask, Brandon Carlo, Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, etc.
Simply put, the Bruins are going to have to let some guys go if they want to get Hall to Boston. It’s just a question of whether the juice is worth it.
While most agree that giving up DeBrusk wouldn’t be great, losing him to get three years of Hall and legitimate Cup shots with that “core” might be worth it.
If you trade DeBrusk and Moore, you have about $ 15 million in cap space.
If half of that goes to Hall, you have the rest to split between Grzelcyk and Chara. Not the worst position to be in.
However, it’s important to remember that the Bruins must give Carlo a new deal after next year, and re-deal Charlie McAvoy the following year. Foresight is important in the world of salary caps.
How easy would it be to bring Hall? No, but it wouldn’t be impossible either.
Because of this, the rumor mill will continue to spin.
Let’s have fun there!