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Hall 'very interested' in staying with Coyotes, Tocchet says

Forward can become unrestricted free agent after season

by @NHLdotcom

Rick Tocchet said he's confident the Arizona Coyotes will be in the mix to sign Taylor Hall after this season.

"I'm not saying he is going to sign here, but I definitely think we're a team he's very interested in staying with," the Coyotes coach told the ESPN On Ice podcast.

Hall, a forward who can become an unrestricted free agent, scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 35 games for the Coyotes this season. The 28-year-old was traded to Arizona by the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16 and totalled 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) before the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

He won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP following the 2017-18 season with the Devils and is playing the final season of a seven-year contract worth $6 million annually.

"You're talking about a guy who, before this, was going to make a ton of money," Tocchet said. "With this whole pandemic, like he told me, he doesn't want to go through another year trying to play on a one-year contract. He wants to get settled somewhere. So he's got a lot of different options that [he has to] weigh."

Hall said shortly after the season was paused that he is focused on getting back to playing and making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, not his next contract. The Coyotes (33-29-8) trail the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks by four points for the second wild card in the Western Conference. There is no timetable for the season to resume.

"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 in March. "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."

Hall scored 44 points (21 goals, 23 assists) in the final 32 games of 2017-18 to help the Devils reach the postseason for the first time since 2011-12. The No. 1 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, he has 563 points (218 goals, 345 assists) in 627 games with the Oilers, Devils and Coyotes.

"He's an elite player," Arizona general manager John Chayka said last month. "He's a star player most nights, if not every night. He generates a lot for himself, his teammates. He's a guy that plays in the guts of the game. He's been a terrific addition for us, and like we talked about, we hope to have him long term as well."

Tweet from @wyshynski: Can the @ArizonaCoyotes re-sign Taylor Hall? Coach Rick Tocchet believes so. "I definitely think we're a team he's very interested in staying with." #NHL

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