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Taylor Hall has been the talk of the town since it was reported he is in no hurry to sign a long-term extension with the New Jersey Devils.
Given his stature as a former MVP – and the team's history of losing high-end players to free agency – this has naturally caused quite a bit of concern inside the fanbase.
Personally, I don't think it is necessary. At least not yet.
Hall has played nine NHL seasons and made the playoffs just once. The lone exception the Devils slipped in as a bottom-seed. Realistically speaking, they never had a chance against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If I were to play nine seasons of quality hockey – even as a rookie, he produced at a 28-goal, 53-point pace – and have one playoff win to show for it, I'd also be very careful about signing with any team long-term.
It's his right to wait and see what kind of help Ray Shero is able to bring in before showing any urgency to get something done. He's smart to do so, too.
No matter where he's playing hockey in 2020-21, a boatload of money will be there for him. He's getting *at least* $10 million per, no ifs, ands, or buts. What's important to Hall is playing for a team he feels can compete sooner than later.
Adding Jack Hughes is a pretty great place to start for the Devils but they can't put all their eggs in the basket of a recently turned 18-year-old who might blow away if he walks outside on a windy day. They need to add more.
If they do, I think Hall will be more inclined to stick around. He does like New Jersey, and the extra $10-11 million he could get by signing with the Devils for eight years would no doubt help the cause.
If Shero can make some noise in the coming weeks, I think the chances of keeping Hall around are much greater.
Should Shero sit on his hands and fail to get much done...well, the already worried fans will be getting plenty of company.
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Four potential targets on TSN's trade bait board
Five pieces the Devils could use as trade bait this summer
Another word on Jordan Eberle
Nico Hischier or Elias Pettersson?
Don't sleep on Jesper Boqvist
The Kaapo Kakko blog™
The Jack Hughes blog™