As the NHL draft and free agency near, teams are making trades and shaky rumors are gonna circulate and it's just that time of year.
So it goes that your coworker's deliveryman's mother-in-law will be attributed as saying "I heard they're gonna trade Travis Hamonic for Taylor Hall?"
It's a concept that will get your dog ears tuning in, because Hall is constantly in Oilers trade rumors and the Islanders need -- and want -- a top-line winger and last season during the Travis Hamonic Trade Request Dark Ages Edmonton was seen as one of his acceptable western Canada landing spots.
We even discussed Hall (and other forwards) here at the time because, though the Isles supposedly wanted a like-for-like deal, it was clear the two teams' needs actually match better in a defense-for-forward swap.
Anyway, it was reaching for concepts then and is moot now, after Hamonic rescinded his request. Of course the Isles ought to be interested in Hall, who of course the Oilers really ought not trade. But it's that time of year.
What Was Said
The origin of this latest iteration of this, ah, rumor came via Boston freelance writer Jimmy Murphy. (Why via Boston? Well that's a good question, so check the Do's and Don'ts of Trade Rumors Guide -- and oh, note the example there.) Murphy's very couched report, delivered via the rumor-per-minute mill known as Twitter:
Hearing Oilers & Isles discussing possible trade involving Taylor Hall. Oilers interested in Travis Hamonic but nothing close to done yet.— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) June 21, 2016
Regarding Isles-Oilers talks, don't be surprised if Johnny Boychuk is discussed. Chiarelli knows him and he's from EDM so may waive NMC.— Jimmy Murphy (@MurphysLaw74) June 21, 2016
I can't even...but now you know where this is coming from. They ran with the Hamonic-Hall angle at the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey too, so that's why your fabled deliveryman's in-law will say "No, the guy I heard it from said he heard it in two places" (and now, sadly, someone who doesn't know us will say three).
For fun, throw in some Edmonton hearsay:
I've been told it's all quiet on the Islanders end. Isles like Hall, don't want to part with Hamonic. #Oilers #Isles— zach laing (@Loweded) June 21, 2016
Based off what I hear the supposed offer is for Hall from NYI, it is very underwhelming. #Oilers— zach laing (@Loweded) June 21, 2016
I'm not saying Murphy is making stuff up. (Leave that fun to others.) "Hearing" is a wonderful way of couching and distancing mid-level gossip from substantive talks, and Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli -- who knows the Oil need defense -- used to run the rumor-swirling show in Boston. (In contrast, when was the last time you heard about a trade by Garth Snow more than 45 minutes before it happened?)
But even if you take these at face value there's nothing to put your hopes on here. At least now you know where the latest rumor is coming from, and you can source the echo chamber that has already formed. Have fun HF Board-ing your own proposals.