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Hall, Coyotes talking contract with NHL season paused: report

Use 'unique' situation to discuss pending free agent forward's future, GM says

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Taylor Hall and the Arizona Coyotes have used the NHL season pause to talk about a new contract, general manager John Chayka told The Athletic in comments published Saturday.

The forward, who was acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He had 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 35 games for the Coyotes before the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. 

"I have shared some calls with (agent) Darren [Ferris]," Chayka said. "I think we're both just trying to get our head wrapped around this scenario here and how it affects the Coyotes; how it potentially affects Taylor. It's unique. I don't have an answer for you other than to say, no, we haven't exchanged numbers or anything like that.

"Obviously, our intent was always to get through the season and not having any conflict with Taylor's play. This leaves us in a bit of a limbo where it's obviously not technically the end of the season, but it also wouldn't conflict with his play to talk. All I would say right now is that both sides are gathering information and having some discussions. Where that goes, I'm not entirely sure today. As we talk, we'll see where things go."

The Coyotes traded forwards Nicholas Merkley and Nate Schnarr, defenseman Kevin Bahl, a conditional first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft for Hall and forward Blake Speers. The conditional terms were that if Arizona's first-round selection in the 2020 draft was in the top three, the Devils would receive the Coyotes' first-round pick in the 2021 draft. The third-round pick in the 2021 draft would become a second-round pick if Arizona won a round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or if Hall re-signed, and it would become a first-round pick if the Coyotes won a round in the playoffs and Hall re-signed.

Video: ARI@CGY: Hall wires home wrist shot from the circle

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told NHL.com on Friday that the League has not reached the point where it has ruled out finishing the regular season and staging the playoffs in full after pausing the season, and Chayka said there hasn't been any discussion as to how the pause may impact the conditional draft picks from the Hall trade.

"Bill Daly has a whole bucket of things that need to be addressed," Chayka said. "The list is extremely long, and it obviously goes well beyond the Coyotes situation. It's League-wide. It's the timing of the draft and free agency and qualifying offers. It includes dealing with conditional picks, dealing with performance bonuses, dealing with immigration status of people. Bill has to deal with the [NHL Players' Association] on that.

"Bill always does a great job for the League in terms of coming to practical solutions for some of these issues, but there is nothing direct I can tell you for how that impacts the Coyotes right now."

The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, Hall has 563 points (218 goals, 345 assists) in 627 games with the Oilers, Devils and Coyotes.

"It is definitely a weird time to possibly be a free agent, but there's so much uncertainty throughout the League ... throughout the world, really," Hall told Sportsnet this week. "So I'm not as worried about free agency as I am about getting back to hockey and hoping that we can somehow get into the playoffs. I think everyone just wants some normalcy back in their lives."

Tweet from @TheAthleticAZ: Status of team ops, the @ArizonaCoyotes ice, Taylor Hall's trade particulars and future with the team, and much more in the latest Neutral Zone from @CraigSMorgan https://t.co/2h7zk3XdYG

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