Taylor Hall has been a fantastic fit for the Boston Bruins since they acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres before the April 12 NHL trade deadline, but what does his future with the team look like beyond the 2021 season?
Hall, who is on an expiring contract and eligible to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, admitted shortly after the trade that "I’d love to be a Bruin for a few years."
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Bruins president Cam Neely spoke to reporters Wednesday on a Zoom call ahead of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning Saturday versus the Washington Capitals.
He was asked about Hall's future in Boston and noted the team would like to work something out with the veteran right winger.
"As far as Taylor goes, we're going to continue to see how things go with the playoffs here. We'd like to try and get something done, but that remains to be seen. But that's our hopes."
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The Bruins were struggling mightily to score goals during 5-on-5 play before the Hall trade. Since the deal, Boston ranks No. 2 in 5-on-5 goals scored with 58 in 17 games. The B's posted a 12-4-1 record after the trade deadline to conclude the regular season.
"I think, mainly, it really solidified some more depth in the offensive position of need, where we're getting a little more production 5-on-5," Neely said of the Hall trade.
"Now teams are looking not just at the (Patrice) Bergeron line, but they now have to look at (David) Krejci's line. And whether it's (Charlie) Coyle, (Sean) Kuraly or (Nick) Ritchie, those guys have chipped in recently. And then our fourth line, adding (Curtis) Lazar, we've got a number of players who can slot in and out there who give us energy and hopefully chip in a little bit (of scoring) as well."
Hall has tallied 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 16 games with the Bruins. He posted 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in 37 games for the Sabres before moving to Boston.
He needs to produce offensively in the playoffs for the Bruins to return to the Stanley Cup Final. That said, the fit has been so good that it would behoove both sides to find common ground in the offseason and extend the partnership for another couple seasons.