Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Taylor Hall signs with Sabres in free agent stunner

Taylor Hall Sabres

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 05: Taylor Hall #91 of the Arizona Coyotes watches the play against the Nashville Predators during the second period of Game Three of the Western Conference Qualification Round at Rogers Place on August 05, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Taylor Hall threw a curveball at everybody.

The free agent winger stunned the NHL on Sunday night by agreeing to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Buffalo Sabres.

The contract also reportedly has a no-trade and no-movement clause.

His entire free agent saga focused on Stanley Cup contenders like Colorado, Boston, Nashville, and even a potential reunion with his original team in Edmonton.

But in the end, it was the Sabres that ended up getting him on a short-term deal.

It is there that he will be reunited with Ralph Krueger, one of his head coaches from his time in Edmonton. The two had a great relationship there and as recently as this past December Hall was speaking highly of the coach.

Everything about this signing is just absolutely wild. It is not a huge surprise that Hall is signing a short-term deal because it had been reported that he was considering that. It was just always assumed that he would be signing with a team that seemed to be closer to contention. The Sabres have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, even falling short in this year’s 24-team field in the restart.

And that is what makes the Sabres such a surprise.

Hall has spent his entire career playing in Edmonton, New Jersey, and Arizona, playing on just two playoff teams in 10 years.

This is only a short-term deal, so the play here could be to boost his value up and take another run at unrestricted free agency in a year when there is perhaps more money to be had.

As for the Sabres, it is a huge win for new general manager Kevyn Adams. There is no way you can blame him for taking a player like this on that contract, and if the Sabres end up struggling again he has a potentially massive trade chip to use at the deadline (assuming it is a deal Hall approves with his no-trade protections).

You also have to think it is some kind of a message to Jack Eichel that the team is committed to at least trying to win in the short-term.

Eichel has grown frustrated with all of the losing in Buffalo and desperately wants to win there. Now he gets to potentially play alongside a recent MVP and one of the best wingers in the league, while Hall gets to play alongside one of the best centers he has ever had.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.