"I know when guys get traded to a new team you hear the word 'exciting' about 50 or 60 times, but that's truly what it is."
Taylor Hall made sure to substantiate the significance of his words as he fielded questions in regard to joining a first-place Arizona team shortly after Monday's trade went official.
"Not every day as a player can you jump that many spots in the standings," he added.
Hall comes to the Pacific Division-leading Coyotes from the New Jersey Devils along with forward Blake Speers, who will report to the Tucson Roadrunners. The Devils, in return, received a 2020 first round draft selection (conditional), a 2021 third round draft selection (conditional), forwards Nick Merkley and Nate Schnarr, and defenseman Kevin Bahl.
"I'm joining a team with some young studs, a lot of really good defenseman, and two goalies that have played amazing this year," he said. "When you mention those things, those are what you really need in a contender, and that's what it looks like the Coyotes are."
It's the second high-profile player acquisition in the past five months, something that goes hand-in-hand with the working relationship between President of Hockey Operations and General ManagerJohn Chayka and Owner, Chairman, and GovernorAlex Meruelo.
"We wouldn't have had this opportunity without Alex Meruelo up top," Chayka said. "If there was any doubt about his desire and commitment to win a Stanley Cup, I think this should certainly answer that."
Much like Kessel, Hall brings an elite skillset to a Coyotes team that is already stable in all aspects of their lineup.
"He's a game-changer, he's an electric player, he's one of my favorite players to watch just in terms of entertainment value," Chayka said of Hall. "He impacts the game and impacts his teammates in so many different ways; he can beat you with his feet, he can beat you with stick skills, with his shot, and he's got elite vision."
The Coyotes have generated plenty of buzz already this season, something Coyotes President and CEO Ahron Cohen has seen first-hand; the addition of Hall is only going to reinforce that enthusiasm.
"There is a lot of momentum and positivity surrounding our team this season and Taylor Hallis a critical addition pushing us forward towards our ultimate goal," Cohen said. "This is an exciting day for our entire organization and our great fans throughout Arizona as we constantly look to make our franchise second to none."
There will be familiar faces in the locker room when Hall joins the team in San Jose, namely the likes of Jordan Oesterle, who he played briefly with in Edmonton, and Michal Grabner, who was a teammate of his two seasons ago in New Jersey.
"Grabs and I were good friends when he played in Jersey, and he's always had a lot of really good things to say about Arizona; the community, the team, the organization and the coaching staff."
The 28-year-old scoring threat won the Hart Trophy in 2018 as the NHL's MVP when Grabner was his teammate, putting up 93 points (39G, 54A) in 79 games. Hall scored at a more than point-per-game pace last season, registering 37 points (11G, 26A) in 33 games before he was sidelined for the second half of the year due to injury.
"I feel healthy, I feel confident that I can help [here]," he said. "Joining a team that has a lot of speed and skill can hopefully bode well for me and I can keep improving. Like I said, I'm here to help the team, they've had a great year so far, and I want to contribute to that as much as I can."
Despite being held out the Devils' previous two games for precautionary reasons as New Jersey looked to finalize a deal, he led his former club in scoring at the time of the trade with 25 points (6G, 19A).
His 25 points are more than any current player on the Coyotes' roster as well.
"It's always nice to feel wanted," he said when asked about the Coyotes pursuit of his services. "I feel like the organization in Arizona, they do a lot of due diligence, they respect the analytics of the game, and for them to want to pursue a player like myself is definitely flattering, and I really appreciate that. Coming to a new situation and a team that has the confidence that you can help them, it's a really nice thing."
And the key item the organization will seek his help with is for a push toward the postseason.
"I'm not here to guarantee any playoff scenarios or anything, but if you look at the standings, they're in first place in the division, and really I'm just coming to help with that. What my role is going to be, who I'm going to play with, I have no idea, and frankly I don't really care right now. I'm really excited to join a team that's winning, a group of guys that are producing, and hopefully I can help."
It all starts with winning.
Or in the Coyotes' case, continuing to win.
"That's what this is all about, I'm really just looking forward to winning games."