If you are a fan of the New Jersey Devils and you were hoping to see star forward Taylor Hall sign a long term deal with the organization, it may be time to start seriously tempering those hopes.
On Saturday night during the weekly "Headlines" segment on Sportsnet, National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman revealed his belief that it is now very unlikely that the aforementioned Hall will sign a new deal with the Devils prior to the end of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season. When you consider that Hall will be arguably the top unrestricted free agent come the summer of 2020 that now puts tremendous pressure on the New Jersey Devils organization to get something done involving Hall, one way or another.
"The agent here from Taylor Hall, [Darren] Ferris from Quartexx, he has a history and his history is he tells his clients 'I don't believe you should sign until as late as possible so you can an idea of what the true market is for your services'. I have no reason to believe that his advice to Taylor Hall is any different in this particular situation, so I think the Devils now know it is unlikely that they are going to be able to get a contract done during the year."
That of course puts the ball firmly in the court of New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero who now has to be seriously considering the possibility of moving Hall to another team prior to the upcoming 2020 NHL Trade Deadline. The Devils have been by far the worst team in the NHL's Metropolitan Division this season and the odds of them having any chance at making into the playoffs seem almost laughable this early on in the season. The Devils have secured just 4 wins in their first 15 games of the regular season and, given how upfront Taylor Hall has been about his desire to play for a winning team, the writing seems to be on the wall here for Shero and his Devils.
Friedman doubled down on his comments regarding Hall stating flatly that he does not see a world in which Taylor Hall chooses to remain a New Jersey Devil for the long term.
"I think it's very unlikely he agrees to sign with them during the year."