Taylor Hall could have joined Alex Pietrangelo in signing for the Vegas Golden Knights.
You can put forward a strong argument that the Vegas Golden Knights won Free Agency just by bagging the biggest prize in Pietrangelo, who is in the top five of elite defensemen in the National Hockey League.
However, it could have been even better for the Golden Knights if that’s at all possible, according to multiple reports.
Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Golden Knights had kicked the tyres on Taylor Hall and were even a finalist for the 2017-18 Hart Trophy winner.
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However, in order to land yet another star in Hall or maybe even Stamkos, the front office would have had to move out another star, with Friedman mentioning that Max Pacioretty could have been a candidate to have been dealt.
In truth, it was well reported that a plethora of big hitters on this roster were being mentioned in trade talks, including Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault, while it was hardly a secret that face of the franchise Marc-Andre Fleury was being aggressively shopped prior to the opening of Free Agency.
Should the Golden Knights have been successful in say trading Fleury and shedding most if not all of his $7 million cap hit, then it does seem feasible that General Manager Kelly McCrimmon would have made a serious run at either Hall or Stamkos.
According to Friedman again via his 31 Thoughts Podcast, the Golden Knights were discussing a one-year deal with Hall in the region of around $5 million. Given that the elite forward went on to sign a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Buffalo Sabres, it is perhaps fair to suggest that the Knights would have been outbid anyway.
Even if they could have cleared more cap space, it isn’t likely that they would have been able to go toe-to-toe with the Sabres for Hall’s services given Buffalo’s wealth of cap space.
Imagine a world where the Golden Knights had both Pietrangelo and Hall on their roster if they could have been able to pull off the unthinkable, however.
Hall would have slotted straight into Vegas’ already explosive top-six forward unit and if the left-wing could have rediscovered the form that saw him record 93 points (39 G, 54 A) in 76 regular season games for the New Jersey Devils in 2017-18, then the Golden Knights would have been even more of a formidable juggernaut than they are now.
And, if the Golden Knights had somehow pulled off a stunning trade for Stamkos, who will go down as one of the most talented centers to have played the game, then it just further highlights how big a contender this team really is and what their one and only goal is.
Signing both Pietrangelo and Hall in the same off-season would have further hammered home the fact that this organization are all in to win now, and it should also act as a prediction for what could happen at the Trade Deadline and beyond.
After all, the front office have shown time and time again that they aren’t afraid to make blockbuster moves if it helps this team to win now, and that ruthless streak isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon especially now that they have their absolute stud on the backend in Pietrangelo.
So, while they were unsuccessful in luring both Taylor Hall and Steven Stamkos to Sin City, these reports do prove that the Vegas Golden Knights will consider absolutely everything if it helps them in their goal to win the biggest and best prize in all of sports.