Taylor Hall is finally on the move and heading to the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins and Sabres completed a deal late Sunday night that sends the winger to Boston, along with Curtis Lazar, in exchange for Anders Bjork and a 2021 second-round pick. Buffalo is also retaining 50% of Hall’s remaining salary.
Hall, who had been healthy scratched by Buffalo since Tuesday, has two goals and 19 points in 37 games this season. His shooting percentage is currently a career worst 2.3%.
“I’m not the most confident hockey player,” Hall said Monday. “Throughout this year, there have been a lot of struggles, and obviously goal scoring has been one of them. I have to find that part of my game back.”
This is the second time in two seasons that Hall, the NHL’s 2017-18 MVP, has been traded. The Devils sent him to the Coyotes during the 2019-20 season and the 29-year-old would then ink a one-year, $8M deal with Buffalo during free agency in October.
How difficult was the market if that’s the package that lands Hall? And why not wait until closer to the Monday 3 p.m. ET deadline to see what late offers might come in from desperate teams?
In defense of Sabres GM Kevyn Adams, Hall, who can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, did have to waive his no-move clause, so that gave the player power in his final destination.
“Definitely, the no-move really helped me become a Bruin,” Hall said. “Since I knew I was going to be traded for the last few weeks, it was a team that I really wanted to join.”
Now Adams has a monumental task ahead of him in turning around the franchise, and there’s plenty of more work ahead. This move isn’t going to speed up the process.
Bruins going for it
Hours after losing 8-1 to the Capitals, and shortly before acquiring Hall, Bruins GM Don Sweeney picked up defenseman Mike Reilly from the Senators. Adding a forward in Hall and a sorely-needed defenseman, Sweeney filled two needs with time remaining to strengthen his roster further.
The Bruins have been an inconsistent bunch since the beginning of February. They are currently holders of the fourth spot in the East Division with some games in hand on the Rangers, who are four points behind them, and the Penguins, who are eight points ahead of them.
Hall won’t have to wait long to see his old teammates. The Sabres and Bruins play Tuesday night, and six of Buffalo’s final 15 regular season games are against Boston.