Buffalo Sabres scratch Taylor Hall as trade talks heat up

The NHL Trade Deadline is less than a week away and it’s already having a major impact on lineup decisions. One prime example was the NJ Devils scratching one of their best players, Kyle Palmieri for “precautionary reasons”. Now Taylor Hall has been scratched tonight.

As teams fight for playoff spots and positioning, these moves loom large with potential huge implications.

Taylor Hall trade is looming; healthy scratch

nhl rumors taylor hall
Jan 22, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) shoots the puck on Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

According to top hockey insider Darren Dreger talks for Hall have escalated. The Sabres play tonight and Hall will not go. It makes sense and is an age old practice in the NHL. Teams regularly pull/scratch players that they are close to trading in order to avoid any injury that could jeopardize the deal.

Of course; this means weaker lineup for sellers. Normally not a big deal but the Devils lost to the Capitals yesterday 5-4, would the result have been different if he played? Washington moved back into sole possession of first place in the East thanks to the win.

If Hall is pulled all this week they play the Devils twice before facing the Capitals on Friday and Flyers on Sunday before the deadline. That could have meaningful implications to the Islanders and Penguins battling for first. As for the Flyers game; well I’m sure the Bruins and Rangers won’t be pleased as they fight for fourth.