Could the Toronto Maple Leafs Potentially Sign Taylor Hall?

Taylor Hall #91 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Taylor Hall #91 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs could land a massive free agent this offseason

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a strong start to the 2020 offseason.

With the recent signing of KHL star Mikko Lehtonen, the case for Toronto being a considerable destination for high-end free agents has increased immensely.

While a lot of the rumours regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs offseason targets has made defensemen Alex Pietrangelo the top priority signing, Taylor Hall sparked interest in the Leafs community yesterday after a post on Instagram showed he purchased a new property in the city.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Taylor Hall

Naturally, social media was set ablaze when Hall posted this, setting the location as Toronto and causing many Leafs fans (including myself) to build absurd scenarios in their heads as to how this team could possibly make the two biggest free agent signings in recent NHL history.

The more I thought about it, I realized that there is definitely a strong argument to make as to why Taylor Hall could sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and there are some reasonable ways that Kyle Dubas could make it happen.

While I do not believe that this should be Kyle Dubas’ number one priority when free agency occurs, If Taylor Hall shows interest in the club over other major free agents, there’s no question that the Toronto Maple Leafs should adjust their financial situation by making some moves to sign him.

Since there are a pool of cheaper and better defensive options, building the blue line should definitely be the primary concern for remaining competitive. Although, Kyle Dubas hasn’t been shy about trying to build the offensive powerhouse that he has, and Taylor Hall could be another high caliber piece to the roster that fits the mold of his strategy.

Following his 2018 Hart Trophy season, Hall was on a torrid pace for another fantastic year with the New Jersey Devils where he recorded 37 points through 33 games before undergoing knee surgery which kept him out for the remainder of the season. Since then Hall’s production has dropped significantly, and while his totals over the past couple of seasons have warranted a worthy raise for his next contract, his inability to remain consistent could alter the willingness for teams to give him the money and term he is asking for.

The Cap Situation

Slotting Taylor Hall in as a number one left wing option would obviously mean some roster changes would have to be made. With some decent depth on the left side that includes Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnsson, Pierre Engvall, and the interchangeable Kasperi Kapanen, there are tons of trade options that the Leafs can move in order to free some cap space.

Bringing in Hall would make a lot of the wingers on this team expendable, as the cap situation would only become more complicated for the coming seasons, as the Leafs will eventually have to prepare to sign some important players like Morgan Rielly and Frederik Andersen.

For an offensive talent like Taylor Hall, who is 28 and has bounced around a lot of teams, you can expect him to want some length on his deal. Based on his production, he’ll probably want an average of $7.5-8 million a season.

With the Leafs expected to have a large amount of cap space freed up this summer with Nathan Horton and David Clarkson’s contracts expiring, and the likelihood of Tyson Barrie leaving in free agency, the Toronto Maple Leafs could still make a run at the star winger come July 1st.

If Hall is willing to take a pay cut in order to not totally sacrifice the core of this roster moving forward, then I can see the Toronto Maple Leafs having a great shot at landing him, creating without a doubt the best offensive core in the NHL.

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Just even being mentioned in the same breath as someone as great as Taylor Hall or Alex Pietrangelo is a great sign for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the club continues to remain a competitive destination for the league’s best to consider joining for years to come.