A surprise Instagram post turned heads yesterday. Taylor Hall has signed a deal in Toronto.

A real estate deal.

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New hood

A post shared by Taylor Hall (@hallsy09) on

I’m not sure if he even cares or not, but he probably didn’t realise the architecture of the houses and the streetscaping in these photos are distinctive to a point where anyone with a passing familiarity of Etobicoke knows which neighbourhood he is in. It took me all of two minutes on Google Streetview to find the exact spot he was standing. Not like I spend my days tracking down hockey players to their homes. Not since that court order anyway.

So this means the soon-to-be free agent is joining the Leafs, right? I mean, this neighbourhood is only a few minutes drive away from the Leafs practice facility (perhaps more in Etobicoke traffic)!

Only if you want to invent some very unlikely alternate timeline where the Leafs make room to fit him under the salary cap by trading Mitch Marner; and would that ever be a fun call for Kyle Dubas to have with Hall’s agent for the negotiations since, as Kevin Papetti reminded me, he also happens to use Marner’s agent Darren Ferris too.

So, no. Hall is only here because it’s the centre of the Hockey Universe and where else would he want to be in the future? Obviously not Edmonton! Regardless of where he ends up playing next season, when he goes home, he will go home to Toronto.

Hall isn’t the only soon-to-be free agent player who wants to be here. Leafs winger Kyle Clifford was interviewed yesterday and he made it clear he wants a new contract from the Leafs.

Clifford added he believes there’s a real push now to get things going again.

That being said, we’re still waiting to hear about when the NHL Draft will take place, which was supposedly in less than three weeks from today, but given the sudden radio silence from the league it now feels more likely to be sometime in mid-to-late June at this point.

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