All of the talk in the National Hockey League right now surrounds New Jersey Devils star forward Taylor Hall and for good reason. It has become clear to everyone inside and outside the New Jersey Devils' organization that the star winger's time with the team has come to an end, and a trade now seems like an inevitable outcome.
In fact many suspected that a trade would be forthcoming over the weekend when Hall was made to be a healthy scratch in back to back games by the Devils, something that is usually reserved for a player of Hall's status in order to prevent an injury before an eventual trade. In spite of Hall being held out in consecutive games however that trade never materialized either due to the fact that the Devils were merely bluffing to try and generate some more offers from rival teams, or due to the fact that a potential trade hit a major roadblock in the process of being consummated.
Either way there are now legitimate questions about what will happen with Hall moving forward for the remainder of the season, especially given that a player of his stature will want to be playing in what is a contract year for the former Hart Memorial Trophy winner. There is reason to believe however that Devils general manager Ray Shero will continue to protect his prized asset by instructing Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine to continue to scratch the forward, and it sounds like the National Hockey League is perfectly happy to let them do so.
The Athletic's Scott Burnside had this to say this morning:
For those curious, the NHL's position on Taylor Hall is that the New Jersey Devils have the sole and exclusive right to play or not play him as they see fit as long as they continue to pay him as per his contract. League won't be meddling in that relationship which makes sense.
If the National Hockey League did try and step in here it could open up a whole can of worms that I do not believe the league has any intention of touching. Although it may be unfortunate for Hall given that he is undoubtedly frustrated with his current season already, this seems like it is simply the cost of doing business as this stage of his career.