A few days ago, it looked as if St. Louis was looking towards selling but things may have changed. They sit one point out of the final playoff spot in the West Division and are coming off a 9-1 thrashing of Minnesota on Friday night. With that in mind, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Blues have inquired about one of the top rentals available in Buffalo winger Taylor Hall.
Hall’s struggles this season have been well-documented as the 29-year-old has just two goals along with 17 assists, hardly the type of production that he or the Sabres were expecting this season. It’s also nowhere near close to justifying his $8MM price tag which is why Buffalo is expected to retain as much as the maximum 50% to facilitate a trade between now and Monday’s trade deadline. Hall is also willing to entertain extension talks as well, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported on Thursday (Twitter link).
St. Louis doesn’t have the cap space to take on a $4MM deal after retention but they do have a winger who appears to be on the outs in Mike Hoffman. He has also struggled with his new team, notching nine goals with a dozen assists in 36 games, well below the 36 and 29 goals he tallied in each of the last two years when he was with Florida. If they were to include him in a trade for Hall and Buffalo retained half, there would be no cap change on either side.
Of course, the question would then become what other asset(s) would be added by St. Louis to make such a move palatable for the Sabres. While it’s possible (if not probable) that Buffalo would turn around and flip Hoffman in this particular scenario, they’d still be looking for other picks or prospects.
GM Kevyn Adams has been seeking a first-round pick for Hall but so far, there haven’t been any takers. If that doesn’t change over the next couple of days, a move like this that would yield another piece or two plus whatever they can get by flipping Hoffman could become more of a legitimate possibility while St. Louis could become a very intriguing team in the playoff chase in the process.