LATEST HALL SPECULATION

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  • Lisa Dillman and Eric Stephens from The Athletic recently examined the pros and cons if the Los Angeles Kings made an unexpected free-agent splash by signing Taylor Hall.
  • The 28-year-old Arizona Coyotes winger and former Hart Trophy winner will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • They finally climbed out of salary-cap hell and are among the rare teams in a position to actually have the money to go after Hall.
  • Capfriendly.com lists the Kings’ projected cap space at $23 million for 2020-21.
  • The Kings could take advantage of possible bargains on the free-agent market.
  • And they could acquire an impact player without a player acquisition cost, which is a critical factor since they are intent on keeping their top prospects.
  • Now, Blake will have a club in position to start taking steps forward.
  • It’ll be flush with loads of cap room. And this can be the time to reward fans with their patience by moving toward icing a competitive team and starting another arc of playoff contention.
  • Signing Hall would be a major signal that the Kings don’t want to stay on a rebuilding plan forever.
  • This is not a flier on an aging Ilya Kovalchuk that’s coming back from the KHL.
  • This is a 28-year-old winger that still has quality years left in his legs and just two seasons removed from dragging New Jersey into the postseason and winning the Hart largely because of that.
  • Acquiring Hall without giving up any of their precious top prospects will reinvigorate franchise bookends Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty as they enter their final productive years.
  • It will cost quite a few dimes, no question.
  • But the Kings have no free agents that will be due significant salary bumps and could have more than $23 million available for 2020-21 along with being set up nicely cap-wise in subsequent seasons.
  • It’s possible that Blake could get Hall under a long-term deal that will keep him under the average annual value of Kopitar and Doughty so as to not disrupt the team salary scale.
Sources & Credits: Lisa Dillman, Eric Stephens, The Athletic
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