Fri, 03 Jul 2020

Focus for Coyotes' Hall on playoffs, not free agency

Field Level Media
01 Jun 2020, 04:19 GMT+10

Arizona Coyotes forward Taylor Hall has no qualms about playing the waiting game.

Hall could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but the pause in the NHL season due to the coronavirus pandemic has altered the timing of both the playoffs and the offseason.

"It's a variable for sure, but I think you look around the world and there's people that are in much tougher spots than I am," Hall told Sportsnet. "And it's completely out of my hands, so, whether I'm going to become a free agent or not, I think it's nice that there's hockey left to be played, and I can really just focus on that and then see what happens from there."

One variable that changed was the Coyotes' position in regard to the postseason. Arizona (33-29-8, 74 points) was four points out of a postseason berth when the season was paused on March 12, however the NHL's 24-team Return to Play Plan allowed the Coyotes to secure a berth in a qualifying round series against the Nashville Predators.

"I think everyone's timeline's been thrown off," Hall said. "I just consider myself lucky that I play on one of the 24 teams that's going to have a chance to play for the Stanley Cup ... and we'll see what happens from there."

Hall, who is in the final season of a seven-year, $42 million contract, recorded 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 35 games for the Coyotes. Arizona acquired the former Hart Trophy recipient from the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16.

The 28-year-old Hall was the league MVP for the 2017-18 season after posting a career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) while leading the Devils to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2012. He had six goals and 19 assists in 30 games this season for New Jersey.

Hall has collected 563 points (218 goals, 345 assists) in 627 career games with the Oilers (2010-16), Devils (2016-19) and Coyotes since being selected by Edmonton with the first overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

--Field Level Media

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