Carolina Hurricanes: Top Six Forwards in Free Agency

Nino Niederreiter #21, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Nino Niederreiter #21, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Taylor Hall  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Taylor Hall  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Taylor Hall

So, I know the last thing I said was splashing the cash with some big names hitting the market next summer is not a great idea. However, Taylor Hall is not the normal run of the mill top 6 forward that decides to test the free-agent market. Hall would give Carolina a 4th duel threat option playing at the highest level in the league and really add a fear factor into the 2nd line.

Hall has had his career plagued with injuries, there’s no denying that. However, under the Carolina Hurricanes regime, there’s a lot of hope for Hall to be at his fittest and to have his body looked after. This speaks to the incredible job Bill Burniston does for the team as the head strength and conditioning coach. It would give hope to getting Hall’s body back to its athletic peak.

When Hall has managed to avoid the injury bug, his numbers have just been amazing. In 2017-18 he played 76 games with the New Jersey Devils. In that time he put up 39 goals, 54 assists for 93 points, and won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. He outscored his closest teammate by over 50 points. He can carry a team kicking and screaming to the playoffs.

Hall also has a handy trick with teams that miss the playoffs. Hall has been in the league for 10 years. We don’t know the lottery results this year, so let’s limit it to the 9 completed seasons and his draft year. Over those 10 years, he’s been on the team that has won the lottery 6 times. So win or lose with Taylor Hall, you’re likely going to win in the long term.

Now, the problem with Hall comes in the form of the GDP of a small Caribbean island it’s going to take to sign him. Hall currently makes 6,000,000 a year and could very well be getting something like 9 or 10 million a year in his next contract because he is that talented. However, Hall hasn’t had a great year this year with just 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points in 65 games. Maybe his value drops as a result?

This is the dream scenario for Carolina, that Hall signs for cheap and slots in perfectly. However, this one is incredibly unlikely mainly due to the fact that he is a former league MVP and Hall will just be offered more money by a team more desperate for high-end talent. Someone like his hometown Calgary Flames spring to mind.