The Buffalo Sabres have won the Taylor Hall free agency sweepstakes, signing the veteran left winger to a one-year deal worth $8 million.
Hall started his 2019-20 season with the New Jersey Devils, where he put up 25 points (6+19) in 30 games before being traded to Arizona on Dec. 16. The 28-year-old produced well with the Coyotes with 27 points (10+17) in 35 games before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the regular season on March 12.
However, the Coyotes did qualify for the NHL's Return To Play plan in August and managed to surprise the Nashville Predators in the Qualification Round. In the Quarterfinal Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Arizona managed to grab a game from the Colorado Avalanche, but were eliminated in five games.
In Arizona's nine games in the 2020 postseason, Hall performed well with two goals and four assists for six points.
Where the Sabres may have had an advantage with attracting Hall is with head coach Ralph Krueger. Hall spoke highly of his former head coach in Edmonton when speaking with Lance Lysowski from The Buffalo News back in December, saying that he really enjoyed playing for him with the Oilers.
In his only other season as a head coach in the NHL, Krueger led the Oilers to a 19-22-7 record in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He was fired following that season as part of some organizational changes in Edmonton at the time. In that season, Hall scored 16 goals and registered 24 assists for 50 points in 45 games.
Hall's best season in the NHL came in the 2017-18 season with the Devils, when he set career-high marks in goals (39), assists (54) and points (93) en route to winning the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player.
Overall in his career, Hall has played in 627 games with the Oilers, Devils and Coyotes, scoring 218 goals and racking up 345 assists for 563 points.
Now with Hall in the picture, the Sabres have 10 forwards under contract and currently have a projected cap space of $13,645,833, according to CapFriendly. Buffalo still has players like Sam Reinhart, Victor Olofsson, Casey Mittelstadt and Linus Ullmark to get under contract before the start of the 2020-21 season.
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is set to speak with the Buffalo media about the signing at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.