After spending the first few months of the season obsessing over him, few want to see Taylor Hall’s name back in the rumor mill. Fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be likely. Even though the Arizona Coyotes have failed to improve since acquiring the star forward from the New Jersey Devils in December and are far from a lock for the playoffs this season, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun confirmed on tonight’s segment of “Insider Trading” that the Coyotes have no intention of flipping Hall before the deadline. Although holding on to the high-profile impending free agent is a risk, the team remains intent on re-signing Hall, with the full backing of new owner Alex Meruello. In fact, LeBrun reports that Meruello, GM John Chayka, and Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, all recently met and are on the same page that Hall will not be dealt this season and that extension talks will begin once the Coyotes’ season has come to an end, whenever that is. LeBrun believes that Arizona’s ability and willingness to offer Hall and eight-year term on his next contract could tip the scales toward the former Hart Trophy winner staying in the desert.
- TSN colleague Darren Dreger reports that even after trading away long-time forward Jason Zucker to the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, new Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin may not be done dealing. Dreger states that the team is still listening to offers for young defenseman Matt Dumba, who has popped up in rumors over the last few weeks, as well as fellow rearguard Jonas Brodin. With that said, a trade of either skilled defender seems more likely to occur in the off-season, as Dreger believes the asking price for both would be a top-line center or a second-line center plus a pick or prospect. No contender will be in position to make a deal of that magnitude ahead of the trade deadline, but suitors could circle back this summer, perhaps even before free agency opens and the Wild have to make a decision on captain Mikko Koivu.
- Another deal that could take place this summer is a resolution in the crowded net of the New York Rangers. Alexandar Georgiev was the name suggested by many as being available for trade, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie does not see a deal happening this season. He reports that the Rangers continue to listen on Georgiev but are not actively shopping him and head coach David Quinn is content to carry three goalies and ride the hot hand. However, the best keeper of late has been Igor Shesterkin, not future Hall of Famer Henrik Lundqvist. McKenzie wonders if Lundqvist will be content in New York moving forward if he is playing more of a backup role to Shesterkin or if he could ask for a trade this summer or perhaps even at the deadline.
- The insiders wrapped up with LeBrun relaying word from sources around the league that the Carolina Hurricanes are openly offering a first-round pick in exchange for a top-four defenseman with term. The Hurricanes are owners of two top picks, their own and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ from the Patrick Marleau trade, and GM Don Waddell clearly feels that he could part with one of the two if it means landing long-term help. Even after trading Justin Faulk before the season, the Hurricanes are still considered one of the deeper blue line units in the NHL. Yet, they have been on the hunt for a Faulk replacement much of the year and that search was amplified by the injury to Dougie Hamilton. In that vein, LeBrun adds that the team has had talks on rentals Sami Vatanen of the Devils and Brenden Dillon of the Sharks as a short-term fix with Hamilton out, but owner Tom Dundon has encouraged Waddell to avoid rentals and target term if he is going to trade a first-rounder.