The Taylor Hall sweepstakes are officially underway, and they may not be here long.
The pending unrestricted free agent sat out New Jersey's most recent game Friday and he's expected to do so again Saturday. It appears the former Hart Trophy winner has played his last game with the Devils.
Here are the five teams with the best chances of landing the superstar forward.
Record: 21-8-3 (1st in Central)
Cap space this season: $6.4M
Projected 2020-21 cap space: $23.6M
No team is in a better position to land Hall and his $6-million cap hit. The Avalanche check off all the boxes: They are Stanley Cup contenders, hold the necessary draft pick capital, boast a prospect pipeline bursting with talent, and have ample cap space this season and moving forward for a possible extension.
Colorado may be the best team in the NHL, and the addition of Hall would turn it into the clear Cup favorite. He could suit up alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen on the top line or anchor a second line with Nazem Kadri and one of Joonas Donskoi or Andre Burakovsky. Either way, the Avs would become a legitimate nightmare for opponents.
Whether the Devils are looking for forward or defense help, the Avs have it. Forwards Shane Bowers (acquired from the Senators in the Matt Duchene trade) and Martin Kaut are both former first-round picks. If the Avalanche refuse to part with 2019 fourth overall pick Bowen Byram, they could dangle blue-liner Conor Timmins, the 32nd selection in 2017, as a part of a big package.