Toronto Maple Leafs: Taylor Hall Rumours Heat Up as Sabres Sit Star

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 22: Taylor Hall #4 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 22: Taylor Hall #4 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

There is just one week until the NHL Trade Deadline, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are poised to act anytime now.

It was announced earlier today that Taylor Hall was being held out of the line-up in anticipation of a trade and the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the rumoured teams to be in on trade talks.

The Buffalo Sabres are supposedly asking for a first round pick to pry Taylor Hall from their club, but rumours of a lower price have also been mentioned. If you look at his production this season, it may seem like a big as, but Taylor Hall is not just any player though, we’re talking about a former Hart Trophy winner.

Prior to this disastrous season with the Sabres, Hall has been a consistent point producer. In 627 career games before this season Hall has accumulated 563 points which is an impressive 0.9 pts/game over a long stretch of games( per ). Considering Hall has been on mostly bad teams this level of consistent production cannot be understated.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall would undoubtedly be a massive addition to any team that has hopes of a long Stanley Cup run, and there are several potential suitors.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers have plenty of cap space and prospects/draft picks to lure Hall away from the Sabres. And even though the Oilers don’t have a whole lot of cap space to fit in Hall I think the hockey world’s collective minds might explode at the prospect of Hall returning to Edmonton.

Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins are another two teams that haven’t necessarily been rumoured to be making calls to Buffalo but with some maneuvering they could find a way to add Hall and become a pretty scary offensive power.  The scariest offensive potential of all though may be his addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently have $831,881 in deadline cap space ( per ), so they would need to get creative to fit Hall onto their roster. There are a few teams falling out of playoff contention with plenty of cap space available to take on cap dollars with a potential three-way trade, much like the Maple Leafs did last year with Chicago and Vegas retaining a small portion of Robin Lehner’s contract.

This year it could be Chicago returning the favour by first acquiring Hall, with Buffalo retaining 50% of his salary, and then flipping Hall to Toronto while also retaining 50% of Hall’s cap hit. After all that the Leafs would still have to move some dollars out, the likeliest candidate being Alex Kerfoot and his $3.5 million cap hit.

We already know Buffalo had asked for a first round pick in exchange for Hall, and Chicago will surely want at least a prospect for the part they will play in the transaction. This brings the Maple Leafs assets going out at a first round pick, a prospect ( potentially Timothy Liljgren ), and Alex Kerfoot to retain Taylor Hall and solidify their top 6 as the most dangerous in the NHL.

The question then becomes, is it worth it? In my opinion Hall may be too much of a wild card to give all of that away and essentially ignoring any other areas of need. Two goals in 37 games this season is concerning, but on the other hand, the underlying numbers with Hall are always fantastic and he is a truly elite player.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a solid team right now, and at 4th in the league in goals they are not exactly hurting on the offensive side of the puck. Zach Hyman fits in perfectly on that top line and Alex Galchenyuk has shown chemistry with Nylander and Tavares so far on the second line.

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be better to use those assets to add defensive depth and to help ease all of our minds by adding another goaltender so that Michael Hutchinson will not need to start a playoff game for Toronto.

Next. Does a Taylor Hall Trade Make Sense?. dark

Of course all of this could be done in addition to adding Hall but that would require Dubas to continue to hack away at a roster that to this point has played very well as a team. Having said all that though, if Kyle Dubas does pull off a trade for Taylor Hall, the Toronto Maple Leafs would instantly become the odds on favourite to win the Stanley Cup.