The Taylor Hall trade watch ended Tuesday when the New Jersey Devils shipped the 28-year-old winger to the Arizona Coyotes. The ripples from that move continue to resonate throughout the league.
Following the trade, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun listed seven clubs – the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, and Montreal Canadiens – believed to have inquired into Hall’s availability. Most were unwilling to match the Coyotes offer of a first-round pick, conditional third-round pick that can become a first and three prospects.
It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on those clubs in the coming weeks. That they expressed interest in a big fish like Hall suggests some of them could be buyers leading up to the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
The Boston Bruins were also linked to Hall prior to his trade to Arizona. NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty believes they were wise not to go all-in for the former Hart Trophy winner. He feels they will be better served using their assets to pursue affordable options such as Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli or Columbus Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson.
Devils GM Ray Shero, meanwhile, might not be done dealing this season. Haggerty’s colleague Nick Goss suggests defenseman Sami Vatanen or winger Kyle Palmieri could be available.
Vatanen, 28, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. Palmieri, on the other hand, is signed through 2020-21 at $4.65-million per season. Shero isn’t under pressure to move the 28-year-old winger by the trade deadline, though he could consider it for the right price. Palmieri’s eight-team no-trade list could be a sticking point.
ANY TAKERS ON KOVALCHUK?
Ilya Kovalchuk’s unhappy tenure with the Los Angeles Kings ended Tuesday. After clearing unconditional waivers, both sides mutually agreed to terminate his contract.
With the 36-year-old winger now an unrestricted free agent, there’s speculation over where his next NHL home might be.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Kovalchuk’s agent, J.P. Barry, will try to find a short-term deal for his client worth around the league’s $700,000 minimum salary. Colleague Darren Dreger tweeted several teams have already made inquiries, with one club “keenly interested.”
Express-Sport’s Igor Eronko believes that team could be the Bruins. The Hockey News’ Jared Clinton, meanwhile, suggested the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders as potential destinations.
No one was interested in the aging Kovalchuk while he carrying a $6.25-million cap hit through 2020-21. Now that he can be had for a bargain-basement price, someone could take the gamble on a one-year deal, especially those – like the Bruins – with limited cap space.
GALCHENYUK OR BOGOSIAN MOVED BEFORE FREEZE?
With the NHL’s week-long holiday roster freeze beginning at midnight ET on Dec. 19, a couple of players could be on the move before then.
Recent reports suggest Pittsburgh Penguins winger Alex Galchenyuk could be the odd man out once their roster gets healthier. Last week, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Penguins were testing the 25-year-old’s value in the trade market. Friedman believes the Buffalo Sabres kicked tires on Galchenyuk. The winger was also linked to the Ottawa Senators, but Friedman said that conjecture was dismissed.
Galchenyuk could be enticing to clubs seeking a playoff rental winger. So far, there’s no indication the Sabres are stepping up their rumored interest in him. The Senators, meanwhile, are a rebuilding club unlikely to be interested in someone who could depart next summer via free agency.
Speaking of the Sabres, the Buffalo News cited TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting Zach Bogosian had requested a trade. The oft-injured defenseman is slated to become a UFA in July.
Bogosian, 29, declined to comment on the report, saying he preferred keeping any discussions between himself and Sabres management in-house. He was reportedly unhappy over being a healthy scratch from last Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. He was also scratched from their following two games.
A lack of no-trade protection provides Sabres management with plenty of potential destinations for Bogosian. However, his injury history and $5.14-million cap hit could make him a tough sell.
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