BOSTON (CBS) — Taylor Hall’s 11th season in the NHL has been his toughest. Now that he’s a member of the Boston Bruins, the 29-year-old hopes things are about to turn around.
Hall came close to joining the Bruins during the offseason when he hit free agency for the first time his career, but it just didn’t work out in the end. He ended up in Buffalo on a one-year deal, and that didn’t work out in the end, either. Hall has just a pair of goals on the year, to go along with 17 assists, and the Sabres sit at an NHL-worst 10-25-6 on the season.READ MORE: Butler Strong Down Stretch, Heat Hold Off Celtics 130-124
His offseason wish of coming to Boston came true late Sunday night, as the Bruins acquired Hall from the Sabres along with forward Curtis Lazar for Anders Bjork and a 2021 second-round pick.
Hall couldn’t be happier. So much so that he’ll make the seven-hour drive from Buffalo to Boston on Monday in order to be ready to go for Tuesday night’s tilt with… the Buffalo Sabres.
“I’ve always had a ton of respect for the Bruins and the city of Boston,” Hall told reporters Monday morning. “I came with [Tyler] Seguin in 2010 before the draft, loved the city and fanbase and how they care about hockey. Every time I’ve come since then I’ve always loved the city. I can’t wait to get there.”
Hall has been the focal point of most of the offenses he’s been a part of since being taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers back in 2010. He’s had some incredible seasons from a personal standpoint, including a 93-point MVP campaign for the New Jersey Devils in 2017-18, but he’s played in just 14 career playoff games.READ MORE: Devers, Renfroe HR, Lead Pivetta, Red Sox Past Orioles 4-3
Hall isn’t cautioning fans who may be envisioning that version of Hall coming to Boston. But he’s joining a Bruins team that currently sits in fourth player in the East Division, and is confident that he can to Boston’s winning mix and help put the team over the top.
“Going to Boston, there are so many great players, Hall of Famers, guys who have had amazing careers — if I had anything like that at the end of my career I’d be super happy with,” Hall said Monday. “I’m 29 and I still feel you can learn things about the game and better yourself as a player. I’m excited to be part of that group and be just one of the guys. I don’t expect to come in and light the league on fire; I just want to come in and win games… that’s what makes me most excited.”
Hall said he hasn’t been told where he’ll skate with the Bruins, but he’ll likely end up on Boston’s second line alongside David Krejci.
“He’s been a great player for such a long time and I have a lot of respect for what he has done and how he can still play at a high level,” he said of Krejci. “Incredible puck mover who is smart. I haven’t been told who I am playing on a line with, but there are a lot of great players on the team and I’m exited to contribute any way that I can.”
Hall said he’d absolutely be open to working out a long-term deal with Boston, but first, he wants to contribute to this year’s team.MORE NEWS: Tom Brady's First Career Touchdown Football Up For Auction
“I don’t want to set expectations too high. I want to come and win games and I feel like I can help teams do that. Unfortunately for most of my career that hasn’t happened,” he said. “But this is a fresh start, especially after the season I had. Being away from hockey the last 5-6 days, reflecting, I believe I still have a lot as a player and can add to teams. That is what makes me most excited. I keep beating a dead horse here, but I really just want to be part of a winning team, however I can do that.”