The New Jersey Devils have been concerned for quite a while that they might have trouble re-signing Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall to an extension. Despite recent rumors that New Jersey management and Hall were going to discuss a possible new contract, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman poured some cold water on that during Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada segment, suggesting that an extension in New Jersey appears bleak.
“I think the Devils now know it’s unlikely they are going to be able to get a contract done during the year,” said Friedman. “I think it’s up to (Devils GM) Ray Shero who is going to have to decide what the Devils’ course of action here is going to be, because I think it’s very unlikely he agrees to sign with them during the year.”
Hall, who won the Hart Trophy in the 2017-18 season, after posting 39 goals and 93 points and almost single-handedly leading New Jersey into the playoffs, has said in the past that he wants to play on a playoff contender before his star status begins to fade. The Devils are currently in last place in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-7-4 record, not exactly what the team envisioned when it went out and brought in Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds and Nikita Gusev. Hall has fared well, scoring close to a point per game this year with two goals and 14 points in 15 games, but is far from his Hart Trophy season two years ago.
Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, is also known for advising his clients to wait until as late as possible to truly gauge the market for his clients’ services. If that’s the case, the Devils cannot take a chance that Hall might opt to walk away on July 1 for nothing, meaning the team will likely have to consider a trade to a team that Hall is willing to sign with. That trade could come sooner than later with it being more unlikely the team would wait until the trade deadline to make a decision.