Taylor Hall said from the moment he arrived in Boston that he hoped to remain with the Bruins beyond the 2020-21 season. That goal has now been accomplished.
The Bruins announced Friday night that they signed Hall to a four-year contract worth million. The deal has a million salary cap hit and, according to CapFriendly, no-trade protection as well.
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Hall would've have been one of the top players available in free agency if he hit the open market on July 28. After a less-than-stellar free agent process a year ago, Hall was pleased to get a deal done with the Bruins and remain in the same place for a while after playing for four teams since 2019.
"I think there’s always that temptation a little bit, but honestly, I think most of my focus throughout this whole process was directed at playing for the Boston Bruins next year and for years to come," Hall said Friday on a Zoom call.
"My last go at free agency didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. That’s just my personal experience. After playing in Boston for that period of time, I knew that was where I wanted to play. Fortunately enough, I was able to deal with some good people. My agent was able to make it work, and I’m really happy to be here."
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Hall quickly became an important player for the Bruins. He was a tremendous fit on the second line alongside center David Krejci and right winger Craig Smith. Hall scored eight goals in 16 games for the Bruins after they acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres at the April 12 trade deadline. He scored just two goals in 37 games for the Sabres.
It didn't take Hall long to realize the Bruins were the team he wanted to sign with as a free agent.
"I knew right away, after playing five or six games in Boston, I wanted to be a part of the group and it was up to me to try to play well and show up well enough to have them want me to be a part of it," Hall said.
"The season didn’t end the way we wanted it to -- I think, we could have been right there. We could have been in the Finals. We could have been in the conference finals easily, it just didn’t happen. We got beat by a team that had some great parts on their team, they had some great players. But I feel like that series, if we played it over again – I know every team says that, but it could have gone either way.
"That’s the frustrating part, and I kind of left the taste in my mouth that I wanted to come back and do it with the same group. That’s how I feel today, that’s how I feel every day when I’m training for the season. I try to be my best when the time comes and the playoffs, and that’s what I’m looking forward to next year."