Coyotes GM confirms Taylor Hall will enter free agent market

Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong explained why the team wouldn't be re-signing pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall.

Taylor Hall will officially enter the free agent market on Friday, Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong confirmed Wednesday.

Hall, who turns 29 in November, will be the highest-profile forward available but is coming off a down season in which he only scored 16 goals and 52 points in 65 games.

“We wish Taylor the best,” Armstrong said. “I think it’s a mutual parting between two parties. He, just at this point in time, wouldn’t be a good fit for the Coyotes and the direction that we’re moving.”

The first-overall pick in 2010, Hall has 563 points in 627 games split between the Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils and Coyotes. However, he’s only appeared in 14 career playoff games, including nine this summer with the Coyotes, and it’s expected he’ll look to sign with a team close to contending for the Stanley Cup.

The Coyotes acquired the 2018 Hart Trophy winner from the Devils for a package that included Arizona’s 2020 first-round pick. The Devils used that pick, No. 18, to select centre Dawson Mercer on Tuesday.

Hall is the second former first-overall draft pick to enter the free agent market in recent years. John Tavares, the first pick in 2009, left the New York Islanders in 2018 to sign a seven-year, $77-million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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