Taylor Hall signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the Boston Bruins on Friday. It has an average annual value of $6 million.
The 29-year-old forward could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. He scored 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 53 regular-season games for the Buffalo Sabres and Bruins last season, including 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 16 games after he was traded to Boston on April 12.
“The Bruins are excited that Taylor wanted to remain a Boston Bruin and we are thrilled to have signed him to a multi-year contract,” Boston general manager Don Sweeney said. “He is an impact player that brings speed, scoring, skill and two-way commitment to our lineup. He fit seamlessly into our locker room and will be an integral part of our organization’s goal to compete for the Stanley Cup.”
Hall scored five points (three goals, two assists) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. The Bruins lost to the New York Islanders in six games in the second round.
Hall found chemistry on the second line with center David Krejci and forward Craig Smith, which gave Boston depth behind its top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak down the stretch in the regular season and into the playoffs. Krejci can become an unrestricted free agent July 28.
Hall used the no-move clause in his one-year, $8 million contract he signed with the Sabres on Oct. 12, 2020, to join the Bruins prior to the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline.
“I see a fit and hopefully they feel the same,” Hall said June 1, two days after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs. “We’ll let the dust settle on everything this year. I’m sure they have a lot of stuff going on and some other guys that have been here longer than me that they have to worry about and then we’ll figure that out, but hopefully we can make something work.”
The No. 1 pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 NHL Draft, Hall has scored 596 points (228 goals, 368 assists) in 680 regular-season games with the Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes, Sabres and Bruins. He has scored 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 25 playoff games.
“I’m not looking to absolutely maximize my value at this point in my career,” Hall said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make some good money in this league and at this point it’s about more of a fit for me than maybe money or a long-term thing. You want to find a home for the next few years here.”
Hall won the Hart Trophy voted as the NHL most valuable player in 2017-18, when he scored an NHL career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games with the Devils.
“He did a good job with us,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said on June 14. “He’s a good player, he’s a good person. He works hard. I think he knows what he wants out of his career now. He’s been in a few different places. He’s made some money. And hopefully both sides can make it work.”
Hall’s teammates were equally complimentary about how he fit in with Boston.
“He’s a special kid,” Smith said during the playoffs. “He’s a special player. I think from Day One from the start of his career, I think he’s had exceptional speed and exceptional mind for the game. You see the plays that he’s made and just the way he talks on the bench, kind of how smart he is, looking for opportunities to score and trying to make things happen, I think he’s one of the best players I’ve played with.”