NHL Rumors: Taylor Hall to Oilers seems highly possible; and Avalanche trade for Patrick Nemeth with more deals coming

The NHL Trade Deadline is just a two days away and I’m ramping up the coverage. Expect a series of articles today and tomorrow in preparation for Monday, April 12th.

Bookmark our NHL Trade Bait Tracker too.

Taylor Hall back to Edmonton Oilers rumor becoming more plausible

We are all still waiting for the Sabres to trade former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall. There’s a few reasons why that’s difficult and it isn’t just his struggles offensively on a very bad Buffalo team. Hall makes $8 AAV on the cap and will be a UFA this season.

He’s currently a rental but Darren Dreger recently noted that there are some trade and sign options on the table. Then a former NHL GM, Doug MacLean gave this bit of info on a recent radio spot:

“I also heard yesterday they’re in on the guy from Buffalo that everybody wants: Taylor Hall. I’m thinking: How is that going to work. How could Taylor Hall go there on a deal? The guy told me they’re looking at a deal that would have them both done for less than $12 million for both of them (Hall and RNH), and it would work next year…It was a reasonable source that said it.”

Edmonton Journal
taylor hall trade sign
Apr 3, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

At first I somewhat dismissed it, but Oilers GM Ken Holland made some recent comments that make me think there’s something there. “I’m not going to trade a first for a rental,” he explained. “I guess if a player had some term, I would be open to it.”

Holland didn’t just stop there as he addressed his obvious issue which is zero cap space. “We’ll try again this year to make us better but we’re certainly at the cap. I’ve gone on record to say it’s dollar in and dollar out,” he noted. “If I want to add a $3-million player, I have to move money out. Pretty simple.”

So if the Sabres are willing to eat the max 50%, and I believe they are it will certainly land them Edmonton’s first round selection. It still doesn’t solve Holland’s cap issue unless they take back Zack Kassian’s $3.2 million. Do the Sabres want the 30 year-old with three more years left on his deal? The Sabres do have to field a hockey team next season so it’s possible. Then the Oilers just need to find another $800,000 to fit in into their cap this season.

It’s plausible. And don’t forget that Hall never wanted to leave Edmonton; same for Connor McDavid.

Avalanche bring back defenseman Patrick Nemeth

Per the team’s website:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the Avs’ fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

Nemeth, 29, was in his second campaign with the Red Wings and has tallied eight points (2g/6a) this season, ranking third among Detroit blueliners in points and average time on ice (18:24). He is second on the club and first among Red Wings defenders in average short-handed time on ice (2:09).

While the Avalanche are said to be in the market for goaltending insurance; this was a logical move after trading away Ian Cole. Nemeth adds solid depth to the defense and is familiar with the team having played there before. Keep an eye on the Avalanche as they have been quiet but could maybe be the surprise team of the deadline.