Taylor Hall said he’s happy to have hockey games to think about before he determines his NHL future as a possible free agent.
The 28-year old forward could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but the pause in the NHL season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus changed the usual timing of play and the offseason.
“It’s a variable for sure, but I think you look around the world and there’s people that are in much tougher spots than I am,” Hall told Sportsnet in remarks published Saturday. “And it’s completely out of my hands, so, whether I’m going to become a free agent or not, I think it’s nice that there’s hockey left to be played, and I can really just focus on that and then see what happens from there.”
The NHL announced its 24-team Return to Play Plan on May 26, and it included the Coyotes, who were four points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff position when the season was paused March 12.
Arizona (33-29-8), with a .529 points percentage, would play the Nashville Predators (35-26-8, .565) in a best-of-5 Qualifying Round series, with the winner advancing to the playoffs in the Western Conference. Dates and sites for those games have not been announced.
“I think everyone’s timeline’s been thrown off,” Hall said. “I just consider myself lucky that I play on one of the 24 teams that’s going to have a chance to play for the Stanley Cup … and we’ll see what happens from there.”
Hall played 35 games for Arizona after he was traded by the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16. The seven-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million he signed with the Edmonton Oilers was set to expire June 30. Training camp to precede the restart will not begin before July 10.
“It’s been an interesting year,” Hall said from Toronto in an episode of “Hockey Central at Home.” “I spent three months in New Jersey, I spent around three months in Arizona, and I’ve been in quarantine for almost three months. So it’s been an interesting year.
“But certainly whenever anyone asks me about Arizona, I say the living was awesome, it’s a great place to play as a person. The arena is a little bit far (in Glendale), that’s maybe the only complaint that players would have, but we get treated well by the organization. I think everyone loves playing for our coaching staff and [it] really was a great experience. I wish we would have won more games, but overall it was awesome.”
Hall scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) with Arizona, eventually landing on a line with wing Conor Garland.
“We started playing together 6-7 games into my stint in Arizona and I found that he is a great player to play with,” Hall said of the 24-year-old. “He plays with a lot of heart and a lot of passion and has a lot of skill. So, as a left winger, to have a guy on your right side like that was a lot of fun to play with.”
Hall was voted the Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP after he helped the Devils reach the playoffs in 2017-18, his only postseason in 10 NHL seasons and New Jersey’s first berth since 2011-12.
The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft by Edmonton, he scored 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) in 65 games this season with New Jersey and Arizona, and has 563 points (218 goals, 345 assists) in 627 games with the Oilers, Devils and Coyotes.
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said earlier this month he felt Arizona had a good chance to keep Hall.
“I’m not saying he is going to sign here, but I definitely think we’re a team he’s very interested in staying with,” Tocchet told the ESPN On Ice podcast.
“… You’re talking about a guy who, before this, was going to make a ton of money. With this whole pandemic, like he told me, he doesn’t want to go through another year trying to play on a one-year contract. He wants to get settled somewhere. So he’s got a lot of different options that he’s [got to] weigh.”
Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic won't play in NHL's restart – CBC.ca
Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic has decided not to play in the NHL’s restart.
The Flames said Friday night that Hamonic has opted out of the NHL’s return-to-play program.
Players have until Monday at 5 p.m. ET to declare they are opting out following the ratification of the NHL’s return-to-play protocol on Friday night.
Hamonic, 29, had three goals and nine assists in 50 games this season.
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The Flames defenceman said in a statement posted to Twitter that his decision centred around the fact that his daughter contracted a very serious respiratory virus last year.
A statement from Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic. <a href=”https://t.co/saLjEKoyQA”>pic.twitter.com/saLjEKoyQA</a>
“Due to what my daughter already has gone through and the concerns if she were to catch COVID-19, I’ve decided to opt out and seek a leave of absence from the Calgary Flames for the remainder of the playoffs,” Hamonic said.
The Flames will face the Winnipeg Jets in a best-of-five play in series starting Aug. 1 in Edmonton.
“Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup qualifier and playoffs,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement.
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Calgary Flames’ Hamonic becomes 1st NHL player to opt out of league’s plan to play during pandemic – Globalnews.ca
Just hours after the NHL announced it had reached a deal with the NHLPA to resume play amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Calgary Flames issued a statement to say one of the team’s players told them he would not be taking part.
Defenceman Travis Hamonic, 29, is the first known player to opt out of the hockey league’s plan to resume its season.
“Earlier this evening, Travis called me to inform us that he has decided to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Program,” Flames GM Brad Treliving said in a news release. “Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup qualifier and playoffs.
“While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision.”
In 50 regular season games this season, Hamonic scored three goals and collected 12 points. The veteran defenceman is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Treliving said his team is focused on preparing for training camp and the Flames’ upcoming qualifying round series against the Winnipeg Jets, which begins on Aug. 1.
The series will take place in Edmonton, which earlier on Friday was officially revealed to be one of the NHL’s two hub cities where the remainder of the season and playoffs will be played. The other hub city is Toronto.
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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Calgary Flames' Travis Hamonic first to opt out of NHL restart – ESPN
Calgary GM Brad Treliving announced Hamonic’s decision Friday night, just hours after the NHL and NHLPA officially agreed to move forward with a 24-team tournament, scheduled to begin Aug. 1.
“Earlier this evening Travis called me to inform us that he has decided to opt out of the NHL return to play program,” Treliving said in a statement. “Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup qualifier and playoffs. While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision. Our focus remains on preparation for training camp and our upcoming series in the NHL qualifying round.”
In a statement posted to Twitter by Hamonic’s representatives, he said he was opting out over concern for his daughter, who was hospitalized in 2019 because of a respiratory illness when she was 8 months old.
— Titan Sports 365 (@TitanSports365) July 11, 2020
Players have until Monday to inform their teams if they are opting out. As part of the NHL and NHLPA’s agreements, players will not be punished if they choose not to play this summer, and they do not need to cite a specific reason.
Hamonic, 29, played in only 50 of the team’s 70 games this season and was on injured reserve because of an upper body injury when the NHL paused play on March 12. Hamonic is in the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this fall.
Hamonic is a 10-year NHL veteran, and he played his first seven seasons with the New York Islanders.
The Flames will face the Winnipeg Jets in the qualification round, which is a best-of-five series. The Western Conference games will be held in Edmonton, Alberta.
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