The New Jersey Devils and star forward Taylor Hall appeared to be destined for a split in the very near future and the first signs of the cracks that may be causing in the locker room may have finally started to show.
New Jersey Devils reporter Amanda Stein was in attendance Monday morning when the Devils and Taylor Hall took to the ice for their regular morning skate, this time ahead of facing the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, but there was something very different about the formations that were trotted out onto the ice today. There was a glaring absence on the team's top line with the aforementioned Hall being nowhere to be seen, in fact Hall had been completely removed from the organizations top 6 group of forwards.
If you take a look at the notes that were provided here by Stein it clearly shows that Hall has been demoted all the way down to the team's third line by head coach John Hynes and you have to wonder what the motivations behind such a drastic move could be.
Hall has not performed up to the form he showed when he captured the Hart Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League's most valuable player and this could merely be a way for his head coach to attempt to light a fire under the veteran winger. On the other hand the trade rumors around Hall have been running rampant and no one would be surprised to learn that Hynes had been instructed by general manager Ray Shero to do his best to protect Hall from suffering any kind of injury prior to a trade materializing.
Just the weekend Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman shared some details regarding the asking price for Hall as well as some possible locations he could end up via a trade.
"It is believed that New Jersey is looking at least a couple of first rounders and one of them could be conditional on do you resign him or how well you do in the playoffs and maybe a high prospect as well," said Friedman. "But the other teams will argue if you can't sign him or don't know you can sign him it's going to be a lot less. Maybe Ottawa getting one excellent prospect... in exchange for Mark Stone."
"I do think the Oilers are one of several teams with the likes of Colorado, Montreal, and St. Louis who will be in this. I think a lot of it depends on price for the Oilers and anyone else who may bite."