If you ask Taylor Hall how long three weeks is, perhaps he’ll tell you fifteen days. That’s how long the superstar New Jersey Devils winger has been out since undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. As Andrew Gross pointed out on Twitter, and Hall hinted at yesterday, the Devils have activated him from injured reserve today, likely meaning he’ll make his return tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks. The team announced that Reid Boucher has been placed on waivers to make room.
Unsure of when exactly the injury took place, Hall showed up to the rink on the 15th complaining of pain in his knee. When an MRI revealed that surgery was needed he underwent a procedure by team physician Dr. Michael Shindle and Dr. Jonathan Glashow, the Devils’ Chief Medical Officer for a torn meniscus in his knee. His original timeline was 3-4 weeks, but obviously that has been accelerated.
Hall was acquired in one of the biggest trades of the offseason, straight up for Adam Larsson on the most infamous day in recent hockey history. His season started as well as it could have, with twelve points in fourteen games before suffering the injury. He’ll now rejoin a team that has lost six of its last seven contests after winning five straight. A 10-7-5 record currently has them fifth in the Metropolitan division, and still in a wild card position.
Boucher, on the other hand, is an interesting waiver case as his relative youth (he just turned 23 in September) and AHL success seem to point to an effective depth forward. The former Sarnia Sting has 105 points in 164 career games at the lower level, and was an impressive goal scorer in his USHD and junior days – even scoring 62 in his final year with Sarnia. For a team looking for an offensive boost, he may provide the perfect answer. If not, he’ll likely return to the Albany Devils and wait for his next opportunity in the NHL.