The trade market just got more interesting on Thursday when NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed some stunning information out of Buffalo. The Sabres are more than struggling : on Thursday night, they were handed another loss, their 16-game losing streak is the longest in the salary cap era.
They are expected to be sellers at the upcoming trade deadline, however, Friedman explained on the air of WGR550 that the players are struggling so much that their values have gone down.
And this includes the value of forward Taylor Hall. Friedman explained how he does not believe the Sabres will demand a first-round pick in return for Hall, who commanded that much and more when he was traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Arizona Coyotes in 2019.
This proves to be more than enticing for interested teams out there. The Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, have been mentioned more than once at considering adding Hall to their roster for an all-in season for the Stanley Cup.
Just this week, Leafs insider Jonas Siegel of The Athletic listed Hall as the Number 2 target GM Kyle Dubas should be after. Here is how he puts it:
“Hall would be quite the upgrade to the Leafs’ top six — more so than any other name on this list. Imagine the damage he could do with Matthews and Mitch Marner? But I’d like to see him join forces with Tavares and Nylander. His speed and offensive instincts would spice up that line in a way that someone like Kerfoot cannot.”
There is no doubt that Hall would be hungry for the postseason : he’s been in the league over a decade now and suited up in a mere 14 playoff games. But the Leafs might struggle to give him under the cap after the postseason or might spend too much and lose him to free agency in the summer. On Thursday, Hall revealed he would for sure listen if approached by GM Kevyn Adams that another team is interested in trading for him before the deadline.
Again Siegel: “The real challenge in getting a deal done for Hall is making the money work, which is no small task. He has an $8 million cap hit this season with free agency ahead this summer. Can the Leafs entice the Sabres to retain half of that money? What’s that sweetener? Is Buffalo interested in Kerfoot for the next two seasons to make the deal work?”
We now know that the Sabres are willing to lower their tarde chips’ value, but retaining salary might not fit in their plans. Or could it?