By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Taylor Hall has stated how much he enjoyed his brief time in Boston last season. Bruins management and coaches have felt the same about Hall. While a new contract to keep Hall in Boston has felt like a fait accompli this summer, there hasn’t been much talk of any discussions or progress toward that goal.

Until Thursday, that is.

Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest reported that he was “hearing Taylor Hall return to #NHLBruins is moving in that direction.”

The Bruins may well wait until after next week’s expansion draft to finalize any deal with Hall, as doing so now would require the team to use one of its limited number of player protections to keep him on the team. But given the way both sides spoke when the postseason run ended, it seems as though both Hall and the Bruins may feel comfortable with their common ground.

Hall, 29, was mired in a miserable season in Buffalo before the Bruins acquired him prior to the trade deadline. Hall had just two goals with 17 assists in 37 games with the Sabres. In 16 regular-season games with Boston, he scored six goals and added 14 assists. In 11 playoff games, he scored three goals and had two assists.

Last year as a free agent, Hall signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sabres. He has stated in recent months that maximizing his dollar value will not be his top priority this summer, instead focusing on finding a winning situation.

The expansion draft will take place on July 21. Based on the latest rumor, it sounds like a deal for Hall in Boston can get completed shortly after that.

CBSBoston.com Staff