We are going to say it bluntly: Taylor Hall was never going to end back in Edmonton.
On Monday, Hall was acquired by the Arizona Coyotes with forward Blake Speers for a 2020 top-three protected first-round pick, a 2020 conditional third-round pick, as well as prospects Kevin Bahl, Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland confirmed he checked in with the New Jersey Devils “a few times” before the deal got done with the Coyotes, but he couldn’t stomach giving up first-rounder for a rental. Even if he is Taylor Hall.
“Yes, I did talk to them a few times,” said the GM to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
The insider went on to speculate that Holland was unwilling to mortgage the team’s future on a potential rental.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug speculated prior to Monday’s trade that the Oilers were unwilling to give up too much for Hall, which he believed could have included prospects Philip Broberg and Evan Bouchard or a first-round pick.
While fans in Edmonton would have loved to see a reunion with Hall at the centre of it, we bet they’re pretty pleased to hear that Holland was not willing to make this move to get him just for a few months… Holland was not going to give up a bunch of assets to get a player for 45 games.