NHL Trade Rumors: Top Buzz on Taylor Hall and More as 2021 Deadline Approaches

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 10, 2021

Pittsburgh Penguins' Brian Dumoulin (8) defunds as Buffalo Sabres' Taylor Hall (4) pursues the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

For the second time in less than a year, Taylor Hall is one of the most coveted hockey players on the trade market.

Prior to the offseason, Hall was viewed as the top free agent. He opted to sign a one-year, $8 million deal with the Buffalo Sabres. With Buffalo having a historically bad season, Hall appears to be available ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Hall is the most coveted forward on the trade market, but he may not be the player in highest demand, with Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard generating interest from a handful of contenders.


NHL Trade Buzz

Taylor Hall

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Thursday that "multiple teams are in" on the trade discussions for Hall.

Any contender that can put together a viable trade package should give Buffalo a ring since Hall could provide a boost to any forward line during the playoff push and in the postseason itself.

Dreger mentioned the New York Islanders as one of the teams with interest in Hall, but they just sent a package including a first-round draft pick to acquire Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils.

"Now, the Islanders were in pretty heavy on Taylor Hall, and there are some out there who believe that maybe Lou Lamoriello isn't done and he circles back on Taylor Hall and the Buffalo Sabres, so it's a developing story," Dreger wrote.

TSN's Frank Seravalli reported that as of Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs were not considering a move for Hall.

"I'm told the answer to that is no," Seravalli wrote. "Now, could that change? Yes. Of course the Maple Leafs are going to monitor what the price on Hall continues to be until the deadline hits."

Hall's first year in Buffalo has not gone as planned. He has two goals in 37 games for the worst team in the NHL. The lack of goals can be blamed partly on Hall, but the Sabres are not doing enough offensively to generate a bulk of quality chances in every game.

Hall had 16 goals and 36 assists between the Devils and Arizona Coyotes last season, and he was a consistent 20-goal scorer at the beginning of his career with the Edmonton Oilers. If a contender, like the Islanders or Leafs, is willing to splurge on Hall, it could pay off massive dividends in the playoff race.

If he lands somewhere else in the East Division, he could change the complexion of the playoff race since six teams are separated by 12 points.


David Savard

According to The Athletic's Murat Ates, the Winnipeg Jets are "among three or four teams" talking to Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen regarding a Savard trade.

The Blue Jackets are mired near the bottom of the Central Division, and it looks that they will trade Savard given he was held out of Thursday's game with the Tampa Bay Lightning for precautionary reasons.

Winnipeg makes sense as a destination for Savard since the Jets need to add quality defensemen to deal with the plethora of talented forwards it will face in the North Division playoffs.

Savard's offensive numbers are nonexistent this season because of how poorly Columbus has played. He has one goal and five assists in 40 games. Savard entered the campaign with seven straight 10-assist seasons.

The 30-year-old's defensive statistics are in line with his typical totals, as he has 95 hits and 89 blocks. He usually has more than 100 in both categories. If he lands with a Stanley Cup contender, Savard should be able to extend his 10-assist run for another season and provide the necessary defensive skill to shore up any unit that needs help.

Savard is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, so it's likely teams will not have to break the bank to land his services.


Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference.