Just to get this out of the way, the answer is no, I do not have an update on the status of contract negotiations between the Devils and Taylor Hall. I wish I did because it would make my life and yours a whole lot easier, but I don’t. 

The Devils’ best player has been eligible to sign a contract extension since July 1 but he has yet to do so. Sure, there has been dialogue with Devils general manager Ray Shero, but Hall’s camp hasn’t indicated anything negative, positive or progressive. The club hasn’t either. 

Hall had some poignant words for the team following the end of a dismal 2018-19 season. 

“I certainly think if you look at our team, we have the culture and we have the character in our locker room,” the winger said at the conclusion of the season. “At this point in time, we lack some talent in positions. That’s something a lot of us are going to be looking to upgrade, whether it’s the players on our team getting better and improving or on the outside.”

Words like that may not be uncommon for an NBA player but players rarely deviate from the script in hockey. However, he wasn’t wrong. And the Devils did upgrade the talent on their roster shortly thereafter.

A lucky bounce of a ping pong ball netted them the top draft pick for the second time in three years and they took Jack Hughes, an American-born center who came up in one of Toronto’s top junior programs and may very well end up on the same line as Hall this season.