It's Thursday again, that means it's time to read some weekly thoughts on players, their salaries, and whatever else crosses my mind. Let's get to it.
The bubble presents a weird in-between season. Do we call this a separate season of development for the youngsters that are getting closer to a breakout? Should the 2019-2020 season be looked at as one whole, or for the players who saw their stock change drastically, does this second part outweigh the play that we saw at the beginning of their contract year? My answer is that it depends on the situation. Let's take a look at a few of those that have disappointed in the bubble play thus far because most of them have gone home – that means when we tackle the over-achievers next week, we get a few more games to go off of for them.
Taylor Hall (LW) – Arizona Coyotes (UFA)
Projected Cap Hit: $9,260,564
Cap League Rank: 96
Care to take a guess how many games Taylor Hall has played in the playoffs in his career? Fifty-eight. Now, if you don't count the 44 OHL games, then it's really just 14 career playoff games, nine of which came this summer. In those nine games this summer he only put up six points, however he was held off the scoresheet in six of those nine games. In the five games against an actual playoff team (the Colorado Avalanche) Hall was on the scoresheet in only one game. For a player that is about to net the highest cap hit this summer, that is simply not good enough. Granted, it is a small sample size, and Hall has shown that when he is healthy in the regular season, he can be a difference maker. The problem is, that Hall wants to go to a team with cup aspirations, and his lack of production in the post-season is going to hurt his case a little. He's still going to be paid well, but the dreams of an eight-figure cap hit are likely dead.
On a side note, Hall played for McDavid for a half a season, past that, who was the best linemate he has had beside him? Through his 10-year career I can't name another superstar he has played with. To the hockey gods, let him sign somewhere that he can complement a superstar so we can see the real talent Hall possesses before it's too late.
The Pittsburgh Penguins:
Surprisingly it wasn't the goalies that disappointed here. Aside from one game by Matt Murray, the tandem of him and Tristan Jarry held the Penguins in games as well as they could. Unfortunately, it was the skater core that couldn't score, and the depth provided no help. With new contracts due to Conor Sheary (UFA), Jared McCann (RFA), and Justin Schultz (UFA), the acquisition of