The offseason trade market is heating up.
According to a slew of media reports on Monday afternoon, the Blackhawks will be acquiring Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins in an apparent cost-saving measure for the Bruins. Heading the other way are blue-line prospects Alec Regula and Ian Mitchell, each currently restricted free agents.
Credit to @DontBeSaad20 on Twitter for being the first to report the deal.
[UPDATE] The Blackhawks have now confirmed the trade:
Hall, 31, is under contract for two more seasons with an AAV of $6 million. With the Blackhawks nowhere near the salary cap floor – let alone the ceiling – it's easily affordable for Chicago. Hall's contract does include a 10-team no-movement clause but it appears that Chicago was not on said list, per these reports. Foligno, who'll turn 36 on Halloween, is an unrestricted free agent but this trade would allow the Blackhawks to negotiate a contract with the veteran forward before free agency opens on Saturday.
Foligno was a former captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in his NHL career and tallied 26 points (10 G, 16 A) in 60 games last season with the Bruins. The obvious attraction with Foligno being on the Blackhawks roster is that sought after "veteran leadership," which a youthful Chicago team may need next season.
Though not necessarily in his prime anymore, Hall would certainly be considered the prize of this trade. He had 36 points (16 G, 20 A) in 61 games last season but does have a Hart Trophy season on his resume , when Hall notched 93 points (39 G, 54 A) in 76 games for the 2017-18 New Jersey Devils. For a team devoid of top-end talent – even after the addition of Bedard at Wednesday's draft – it provides another legitimate top-six option to add to the mix.
A surface-level glance finds little to dislike about this trade from a Blackhawks perspective. They added some veteran talent – including one guy who could slot into the top-six – for the cost of two blue-line prospects who may not have had futures in Chicago, anyway.