When word was out that Taylor Hall was on the trade block, many fans clamored for Doug Armstrong to work a deal to acquire him, cap and stable of prospects be damned. When the Arizona Coyotes won the sweepstakes for a fairly average deal (Nicholas Merkley, Nate Schnarr, defenseman Kevin Bahl, a conditional first-round pick in 2020 and a conditional third-round pick in 2021), many fans questioned why the Blues couldn’t’ve acquired him at such a reasonable price.
One eight game winning streak later, and you’re not hearing anyone even say his name.
The Blues, as they’re built right now, don’t need Hall. They’re winning, winning decisively, and are sitting at the top of the Western Conference one year after they finished in the basement. The Blues have 56 and 123 points wins in this calendar year, more than any team in the NHL. They’re beyond well-oiled. Why throw someone into the mix who could disrupt all of that?
The Coyotes, despite a losing home record of 8-10-1, are in third place in the Pacific Division. They’ve lost their last three games and only have four players with ten or more goals (Conor Garland is leading the team with 13). An argument can be made that they’re riding the strength of their goaltender Darcy Kuemper. He has a 15-8-2 record with a 2.12 GAA and a .929 save percentage, and will be representing the Coyotes at the All-Star Game next month.
If the Blues can get to him early, they may close out the best year in franchise history with a win.