San Jose Sharks: Taylor Hall would be nice, but a trade is unrealistic

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks could certainly use a player of Taylor Hall’s caliber, but the odds of them landing the star winger remain slim to none.

There’s no question that the San Jose Sharks would love to add another offensive playmaker to their roster. And with New Jersey Devils star Taylor Hall reportedly on the trade block, one would think that they’d show some interest.

Only things aren’t always that easy.

It goes without saying that Hall would be a huge boost to a Sharks team that has dealt with its fair share of struggles scoring goals this season. At the time of writing, the Sharks rank 21st in the NHL with just 2.74 goals per game.

They went into this season banking on the continued development of some of their young players, but that strategy has seemingly failed them to this point. Both Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier were counted on to fill bigger roles this season and both have been inconsistent at best.

Evander Kane has been great and Barclay Goodrow has been a nice surprise, but the Sharks just haven’t gotten the offensive production they’ve been looking for. That’s where a player like Hall could step in.

The Devils winger is having a down year by his standards, but he’s just two years removed from a 39-goal, 93-point season. And an offensive output anywhere near that level of play would be highly-coveted in San Jose.

Unfortunately, a partnership just isn’t likely to happen.

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The Sharks don’t exactly have the capital nor the space to make a possible trade work. New Jersey would likely want a first-round pick in return and San Jose gave their 2020 first-rounder away in the Erik Karlsson deal.

And while they still have the following year’s first-round pick, that doesn’t seem like a wise selection to be giving away given their recent history with trading away draft picks. On top of that, the Sharks don’t have a second-rounder in 2021 either which makes that move even more foolish.

If not draft picks, the Sharks are going to have to find a way to package a collection of prospects and players to get a deal done.

The Devils are reportedly interested in acquiring a young defenseman in return and while Ryan Merkley is still held in high regard by the Sharks’ front office, it’s unclear how he’s viewed by the rest of the league.

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And even if the Sharks could put together a package of players that the Devils accept, they’ll still have to deal within the confines of the salary cap. San Jose is currently just over $500,000 under the salary cap, per Cap Friendly, and would need to surrender plenty of money to take on all of Hall’s salary.

They could always ask the Devils to retain some of his salary but it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to do so. Especially when you consider the fact that the Sharks aren’t the only team interested.

Teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche have been heavily rumored to be interested in acquiring Hall. Both could likely offer better packages in return and wouldn’t ask the Devils to take some of his salary.

The only thing providing a glimmer of hope for Sharks fans is that general manager Doug Wilson hasn’t been one to shy away from high-profile moves such as this. See the Erik Karlsson trade.

But even if the desire is there. it’s unlikely the Sharks have the resources to make a deal.

Instead, the San Jose Sharks will have to resort back to their original Plan A — the one they trusted going into the season. Players like Meier and Labanc must step up and perhaps the team could still make a different move before the trade deadline.

Next. San Jose Sharks: 3 driving factors behind the team’s recent turnaround. dark

Just don’t expect it to be as high-profile or impactful as a trade for Taylor Hall.