UFA Taylor Hall has picked his new team.
Sunday night, the 2018 NHL MVP inked a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres, opting to bet on himself and become a UFA once again next year. Hall finished last season with the Arizona Coyotes after a midseason trade with the New Jersey Devils.
The 28-year-old had 52 points (16g, 36a) in 65 games.
Hart Memorial Trophy winner. NHL All-Star. First overall pick.
Taylor Hall is coming to Buffalo! 🤩
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 11, 2020
The deal includes a $1 million signing bonus and full no-trade protection.
Taylor Hall #Sabres
1 year deal / $8,000,000 AAV
$1,000,000 Signing Bonus
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 11, 2020
The move to Buffalo is initially curious without context. The Sabres haven’t made it to the postseason since the 2010–11 season. Nor have they made it past the second round since 2006–07. Over the offseason, the Sabres fired 22 different people — one of the biggest mass firings in NHL history — and star forward Jack Eichel spoke out about the team’s struggles.
“I’m fed up with the losing and I’m fed up and I’m frustrated,” Eichel said in May. “I’m a competitor, I want to win every time I go out onto the ice, I want to win the Stanley Cup every time I start a season.”
Hall also said in August that his number one priority in picking a new team was to win a Stanley Cup.
“I think, honestly, it’s probably all winning,” he said then.
But there are benefits to signing in Buffalo. Hall will likely play on the same line as Eichel. “Awesome signing!” Eichel texted ESPN’s John Buccigross after learning of the news.
Hall will get a ton of playing time and responsibility, which will give him a great opportunity to earn another big deal next year.
The Buffalo #Sabres have signed Taylor Hall to a 1-year deal. A Hart Trophy winner, Hall generated a ton of chances with his speed last season leading the NHL in breakaways. He struggled to finish on those rush chances but playing with Jack Eichel might change that next season. pic.twitter.com/PliROfIvK3
— The Point (@ThePointHockey) October 12, 2020
He’ll also be reunited with Ralph Krueger, who previously coached Hall for three seasons in Edmonton (two as an assistant and one as a head coach).
From Sabres coach Ralph Krueger via text message on being reunited with Taylor Hall:
“We are extremely pleased and proud that he picked the Sabres! The level of trust is very high between us so we can go right back to work. “
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 11, 2020
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams spoke to reporters about the Hall signing after it was announced by the team.
“We were hopeful we would be able to get to this point, but we knew that it was going to take a lot of conversation and it would have to fit for both sides,” Adams said. “We want players who want to be here. We want players who are humble and hungry and want to win and want to be a part of something special and if that didn’t fit, we wouldn’t keep going down this road, but it became very quickly that Taylor had an interest in being here and being part of something special. It’s exciting.”
Adams added that the team will try to extend Hall beyond this season if things work out.
On conference call, BUF GM Kevyn Adams says Sabres are interested in making this a long-term relationship.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 12, 2020
Hall joins former All-Star Eric Staal who was acquired by the Sabres in September for Marcus Johansson.
Will it be enough to make the playoffs? We’ll see.
Not only does Buffalo nab Hall, they do so at a very nice price. If Hall can bounce back to his MVP-calibre levels, there's a real chance this move can end the Sabres' playoff drought. pic.twitter.com/eW3ADDXy5k
— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) October 11, 2020
More from the Sabres:
The Buffalo Sabres have signed forward Taylor Hall to a one-year contract worth $8 million, the team announced Sunday. The 28-year-old tallied 52 points (16+36) in 65 games with New Jersey and Arizona last season.
Since entering the league in 2010-11, Hall ranks 23rd among NHL players in points (563) and 32nd in goals (218). His average of 1.05 points per game over the last three seasons ranks 17th.
Hall won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player in 2017-18, when he led New Jersey to the playoffs with career highs in goals (39), assists (54), and points (93). He has been selected to three All-Star Games during his career and was named a postseason First Team All-Star in 2018.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward was originally selected by Edmonton with the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Hall is the second former All-Star to join the Sabres at forward this offseason, following the acquisition of center Eric Staal in September.
Screenshot courtesy of NHL
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.