In light of a string of injuries, particularly to players who provide offense, there was some rumblings in the hockeysphere for the Penguins to pursue winger Taylor Hall when it became apparent the New Jersey Devils had him on the trading block. That didn’t happen.
There’s no indication the Penguins were in the hunt, but Hall will be joining a couple former members of the Penguins organization. He will be a teammate of Phil Kessel and play for coach Rick Tocchet.
Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes along with forward Blake Speers, with the Devils getting the Coyotes’ 2020 first-round draft pick, 2021 third-round draft pick, forwards Nick Merkley and Natt Schnarr, and defenseman Kevin Bahl. New Jersey will retain some of Hall’s salary.
“Taylor Hall is one of the elite talents in the game today; a Hart Trophy winner, a high-end playmaker and one of the NHL’s most talented forwards,” Arizona general manager John Chayka said in a statement. “We are beyond thrilled to add Taylor to our team as we continue in our mission of bringing a Stanley Cup home to Arizona.”
“There is a lot of momentum and positivity surrounding our team this season, and Taylor Hall is a critical addition pushing us forward toward our ultimate goal,” added Coyotes President and CEO Ahron Cohen. “This is an exciting day for our entire organization and our great fans throughout Arizona as we constantly look to make our franchise second to none.”
Hall, 28, has six goals, 25 points in 30 games. He was the first overall draft pick, by Edmonton, in 2010 and has more than 200 goals and 500 points in his career, including six 20-goal seasons. He was the NHL’s Hart Trophy winner in 2017-18.
The Penguins hosted Arizona earlier this month — you might recall the Kessel tribute video and ovation — and play at Arizona Jan. 12.