Blackhawks' Taylor Hall expected to miss rest of the season due to knee surgery

The winger's 2023-24 campaign appears to have come to an abrupt end.

The Chicago Blackhawks look like they'll be without veteran winger Taylor Hall for the rest of the 2023-24 season.

On Thursday the team announced the 32-year-old will undergo knee surgery and is expected to be on the shelf until 2024-25 — a blow to an offense that already ranks 31st in the NHL (2.54 goals/game).

Taylor Hall is expected to be out for the season. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Taylor Hall is expected to be out for the season. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chicago acquired Hall in the offseason in hopes of pairing him with Connor Bedard to give the rookie a skilled linemate with a track record of strong offensive production. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, that plan didn't come together as the winger has only been able to play 10 games total, with just 64:57 of 5v5 ice time alongside Bedard.

Hall had been relatively quiet when he was on the ice with just four points in a Blackhawks jersey so far.

His offensive output has declined significantly in recent years with just one season producing more than 40 points since he left the New Jersey Devils midway through the 2019-20 season.

While his 2023-24 campaign seems to have come to an end, Hall may get a chance to make an impact with the Blackhawks again next year. The 32-year-old is under contract for the 2024-25 season, and a Chicago team with few salary-cap concerns may opt to bring him back and see if he can produce a bounce-back year when healthy.

Hall currently carries a $6-million cap hit, but the Blackhawks' fortunes wouldn't be significantly changed by placing him on LTIR. Chicago already had nearly $4 million in cap space prior to news of Hall's injury, and with a record of 5-12-0 the team has no incentive to add salary during the 2023-24 season.

If anything, the absence of Hall could make the team slightly worse and improve its chances of getting the highest possible pick in next June's NHL Draft.