New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero told NHL.com that the team will continue to work on an extension with star winger Taylor Hall during training camp this month.
“Sometime later in training camp we’ll sit down,” Shero said Monday. “From Taylor’s standpoint, I think he’s dialled in on himself right now in terms of his game and getting back on the ice after only playing 33 games last year. I look forward to seeing him at training camp. Nothing has really changed since the end of the season in terms of how this is playing out.”
Both Shero and Hall’s agent, Darren Ferris, denied a report in June that suggested Hall wasn’t interested in signing a contract extension with the team. The 2018 Hart Trophy winner is currently scheduled to be a free agent next summer and carries a $6 million cap hit for this season on the seven-year deal he signed with the Edmonton Oilers in 2012.
Shero said Monday he won’t allow Hall’s contract to become a distraction for the team.
“It’ll be great to see [Hall] on the ice healthy and that’s a big step in the right direction for us and for him,” Shero said. “We’re looking forward to seeing where this goes, but it’s going to be one of these things where once we get into camp, at a certain point, it’s not going to be a daily topic, I’ll tell you that.”
Hall did not play again last season after Dec. 23 and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late February. Prior to the injury, Hall had 11 goals and 37 points in 33 games, keeping up his more than a point-a-game pace for 2017-18.
Shero said the 27-year-old may see playing time towards the end of the preseason this month.
“He’s been working out, skating, and we’ll kind of see where we go with the exhibition games,” Shero said. “Maybe he’ll play later on in the exhibition, but I’ll leave that up to [coach John Hynes] and our medical staff. But everything is good to go coming into camp. I’m looking forward to it and we’ll kind of see how he’s doing and then get him game ready maybe for the last few games of exhibition, but we’ll see.”
The Devils will open their preseason schedule on Monday with split squad games against the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.