The New Jersey Devils are eager to lock up their franchise player.
Taylor Hall is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020, but Devils general manager Ray Shero plans to begin extension talks with the reigning Hart Trophy winner once this season concludes.
"He's been something for our franchise that we really haven't had in a long time ... At the end of the day, we still have another year left," Shero said on Wednesday's edition of the NHL's "Executive Suite" podcast. "But the intention is to sit down somewhere after the season, well before July 1."
The Devils can officially sign Hall to a contract extension from July 1 onward. He's due for a sizable raise from his current $6-million cap hit.
"It's not like, 'Hey, here's the contract, sign it up,'" Shero continued. "If we're getting into some longer term with a free agent, well OK, what are you selling, what are we doing? So they need to know that and I want to know that from their standpoint.
"I think the respect and relationship both ways has been really good and he's an important player for our franchise, certainly. So that will be the hope sitting down ... something that can work for both of us longer term and if that's meant to be."
Hall has been out of the Devils' lineup since December and underwent knee surgery in February. The 27-year-old winger racked up 37 points in 33 games before he went down.
New Jersey snapped a five-year playoff drought last season on the strength of Hall's 93-point campaign. He had 41 more points than his team's second-leading scorer, Nico Hischier.
The Devils have clearly missed their star player this season; they currently sit fourth-last in the NHL.