The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall presumably to play alongside Connor Bedard.
Because Bedard is considered a generational player, it seems important that he launch his career playing on a line with a winger who has been a difference-maker.
Nick Foligno‘s rights are also going to Chicago in the deal. He will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Blackhawks presumably want to add some tenacity and experience to their bottom six forward group. If they sign Foligno to a one-year deal, they could even move him to a contender at the trade deadline.
The Bruins receive restricted free agents defenseman Ian Mitchell (82 games for the Blackhawks over the past three seasons) and 6-foot-4 defenseman Alec Regula (21 points for the Rockford IceHogs).
Hall is a former No. 1 pick who will understand what Bedard will go through when the Blackhawks draft him No. 1 at the NHL draft Wednesday in Nashville. Hall is a proven playmaker and scorer, which makes him a suitable linemate for Bedard who posted 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League.
The Boston Bruins have been looking to shed payroll, presumably to make a strong pitch for soon-to-be UFA Tyler Bertuzzi. They may not be done moving out contracts.
Hall has two seasons left at $6 million per season. The Bruins are not retaining any salary. Before the trade, the Bruins had roughly $5 million in cap space with 15 players under contract, according to CapFriendly.
Full trade, per sources:
To #NHLBruins: Rights to RFAs Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
To #Blackhawks: Taylor Hall, rights to UFA Nick Foligno.
No salary retained by Boston, this represents a pure salary dump to clear $6 million off Bruins' books.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 26, 2023
Hall, 31, won the Hart Trophy in 2017-18 when he scored 39 goals during a 93-point season for the New Jersey Devils. He had 36 points in this injury-plagued season. In recent years, Hall’s productivity has declined.