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Despite a free-agency landscape that's completely up in the air, Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka won't let the NHL's current stoppage prevent him from trying to lock up forward Taylor Hall to a long-term deal.
Hall was recently asked whether he'd prefer to seek a long-term deal as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, or if he'd rather settle for a one-year contract in case teams are wary of big commitments after the coronavirus-induced pause. The winger said he wants security, and Chayka won't let the hiatus affect Arizona's efforts to retain its star.
"At the end of the day, the NHL will still be here, once we work through everything," Chayka told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "The Coyotes will be as well. I don't think long term vs. short term is a huge discussion vs. what it's going to look like. There's certainly implications of this. I'm not saying it doesn't apply. But we weren't afraid to have a discussion about a longer term before, and this doesn't change that opinion."
The Coyotes made a major splash by acquiring Hall from the New Jersey Devils in December. The 28-year-old headlines the list of pending free-agent forwards slated to hit the market whenever the NHL's signing period opens.
Hall had notched 52 points in 65 games this season before the break began on March 12, including 27 points in 35 games after the trade to Arizona.