Hall expected to give Coyotes a huge scoring boost

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Taylor Hall wanted out of New Jersey. The Coyotes needed a scoring boost.

Arizona’s deal with the Devils turned out to be a perfect match for both.

Taylor got the change of scenery he wanted, to an up-and-coming team in contention for a playoff spot, no less. The Coyotes got a top-line scorer without having to give up much in return.

“To keep the group together, it was almost too good to be true, and we were very fortunate and opportunistic,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said during Hall’s introductory news conference on Wednesday. With support from ownership, these things come together, and so far it’s been great.”

The Coyotes have undergone a shift, both philosophically and financially, since Alex Meruelo became majority owner this summer.

Typically the franchise watching other teams go after the biggest names on the market, Arizona made the largest splash of the off-season, trading for highly-productive forward Phil Kessel. The move came 10 days after Meruelo was approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.

The Coyotes are off to one of their best starts in years behind two superb goalies and a steady defence. They still have struggled to score despite the addition of Kessel, so instead of sitting back and trying to grind out wins, they went out and tried to find an immediate fix.

Taylor fits that bill perfectly.

The 28-year-old has scored at least 20 goals in six of his nine NHL seasons and eclipsed 25 assists seven times. He had 39 goals and 54 points while winning the 2018 Hart Trophy as the league MVP and had six goals with 20 assists before the trade.

Hall had an immediate impact on his new team, setting up the winning goal in Arizona’s 3-2 win over San Jose Tuesday night.

I just know when John told me we acquired Taylor, the juice — not so much for the coaching staff — just trickled down,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “The excitement that you acquire a guy like him is something that I think the fanbase is so excited about. I know John made a point: They deserve it.”

The Coyotes have not made the playoffs since reaching the 2012 Western Conference Finals, but have taken steps to rebuild the past few seasons under Chayka. Arizona added players like Nick Schmaltz, Derek Stepan, Carl Soderberg, Antti Raanta, Darcy Kuemper and Michael Grabner. Arizona also drafted Clayton Keller, Jakob Chychrun and Barrett Hayton under Chayka.

The Kessel trade was an eye-popping move by the franchise and they shook up conventional wisdom again by trading for Hall.

“Between Phil Kessel and Taylor, it’s a paradigm shift in how we’re operating and the things we’re doing here,” Chayka said.

The trade gives Hall an opportunity he’s rarely had during during stints with Edmonton and New Jersey: to play in the post-season.

Hall played on a team that reached the playoffs just once, with New Jersey in 2017-18, and that lasted just five games.

The Coyotes lead Vegas by a point in the Pacific Division heading into Wednesday night’s game and don’t appear to be a team that’s going to fall off very far.

“There’s definitely a sense of guys know their role,” Hall said. “Guys are comfortable in their own skin in the room and on the ice, and that’s a really good situation to come into as a player like myself.”

The trade was a pretty good fit for the Coyotes, too.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey textile artists creating hand-made masks

Group has also been helped out by a local business

People ‘can count on’ Alberta RCMP amid COVID-19 pandemic, says deputy commissioner

Albertans “can count on the RCMP every day” during the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

Central Albertans win big in 2020 STARS Lottery

A few central Albertans won big in the 2020 STARS lottery. Jeff… Continue reading

107 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, 5 additional deaths

More than 1,000 cases in Alberta total

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Taste of home schooling generating new interest among parents

Selena Valencia is on the fence when it comes to home-schooling her… Continue reading

‘The Charter still applies’: Canadians urged to monitor civil liberties during pandemic

Civil rights advocates say citizens need to be vigilant about how authorities are using new powers

Essential workers talk about how COVID-19 affects them

Health-care workers, grocery store staff, transit drivers and food delivery workers are… Continue reading

Sister of woman found dead last month is accused of first-degree murder

/COQUITLAM, B.C. — A first-degree murder charge has been laid against the… Continue reading

Trudeau announces more financial help for country’s most vulnerable

$40 million will go to Women and Gender Equality Canada

Most Read