According to an article on NHL.com, Taylor Hall does not believe that his contract is the Devils’ most pressing need right now.
“I’m not the priority right now and I don’t really want to be the priority right now” he said to the Athletic Tuesday according to the article on NHL.com. He continued: “They have bigger things to worry about than me” referring to the upcoming first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The Devils have ten picks overall in the Draft, which takes place on June 21-22 in Vancouver.
Hall would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2020, but “can sign an extension of up to eight years with the Devils beginning July 1” of 2019. The 27-year-old signed a “seven-year, $42 million contract” with the Edmonton Oilers on August 22, 2012 before being dealt to the Devils on June 29, 2016 one-for-one for Adam Larsson.
Clearing up some rumors that have made the rounds of late, Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, “told NHL.com Monday that he and Devils general manager Ray Shero have been in communication.” He said: “I’m in contact with Ray, and he and I communicate regularly, and out of respect to the process, I really can’t provide any details or any conversations that we engage in.” Ferris acknowledged that “(i)t’s a decision the player will have to make in time, and there’s no pressure into making it. It’s just a discussion that is going to be ongoing.”
The NHL.com article quoted Hall as saying, “(w)e never really looked at July 1 as a deadline and Ray hasn’t looked at it like that either. The Devils have never been anything but great with me.”
The rumor I was alluding to up top came from The Fourth Period, who reported on Monday that Hall was “not interested at this time in signing an extension with New Jersey.” Shero had this to say about the rumor/possible click bait via a text message to NHL.com: “No idea where [the website] got that from aside from a ‘source.’ Nothing on our end has changed and I have never heard differently from Taylor or Darren Ferris.”
The article on The Fourth Period kicked off a frenzy of debate and, yes, a bit of worry on Devils social media, message boards and other places where fan congregate to talk and discuss the team.
Of course we will have to wait this out to see how all of this plays out over the summer. The real time to panic is if Hall begins the 2019-20 season without a contract extension in place. Then you are looking at Shero trying to possibly trade him to get maximum value for a player that they cannot come to terms with. But otherwise, we still have some time.
The 2018 Hart Trophy winner “missed the Devils’ last 47 games and had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose fragments in his left knee in February.” However, “Ferris said Hall’s rehabilitation is going well and he remains on target to be ready for training camp in September.”