The Buffalo Sabres signed Taylor Hall to a one-year contract worth $8 million, the team announced Sunday.
It is a surprising development as many expected Hall to be in pursuit of a Stanley Cup contender, but the 2018 Hart Trophy winner immediately augments the Sabres’ forward group. He’ll almost certainly play alongside Jack Eichel, pairing two of the NHL’s most dynamic skaters together.
Hall won the Hart Trophy in 2018 and the one-year stop with the Sabres temporarily puts a halt to what’s been a whirlwind year. The 28-year-old was expected to lead an upstart Devils team, but when they stumbled out of the gate and it became clear that they’d have little chance of retaining him long-term, Hall was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in December. Between both clubs, Hall posted 52 games in 62 games.
Sabres general manager Keyvn Adams was tasked with overhauling his team’s anemic forward corps upon taking the job in June. Signing a former MVP who is looking to prove to the NHL that he’s an elite weapon worthy of long-term term and stability certainly fits that mantle. Eichel, who has been fed up with losing since joining the Sabres, has to be immensely relieved.
Buffalo still has plenty of work to do to compete in the competitive Atlantic Division but signing Hall in a move that caught the league totally by surprise is a step in the right direction.
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