Lost in some of the expansion draft shuffle this morning was a report from Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, indicating that the Boston Bruins and Taylor Hall have made “meaningful progress” on a new contract. Seravalli expects Hall to sign with Boston once the transaction freeze is lifted tomorrow and suggests a four-year, $24MM deal is the “neighborhood.” Last night, Darren Dreger of TSN reported that there was optimism between the two sides that a deal would be completed.
Hall, 29, settled for a one-year, $8MM deal with the Buffalo Sabres last offseason after the flat-cap situation limited his marketplace. This time around, he may not even hit the open market after finding a home in Boston at the deadline. Following his two-goal effort in Buffalo, the 2018 Hart Trophy winner was flipped to the Bruins along with Curtis Lazar for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick. He proceeded to score eight goals and 14 points in just 16 games down the stretch, finally giving his new team the second-line left winger that they’d been coveting for so long. In just his third taste of the playoffs, Hall added another five points in 11 games.
It’s likely playoff experience and the overall strength of Boston’s program which excites Hall, who has maintained since the first day he arrived that he would like to stay. For a player that has scored 228 goals and 596 points over 11 years in the NHL, he’s managed just 25 postseason matches–20 of which came in the last two years. As he approaches his thirtieth birthday in November, a multi-year deal in Boston would certainly give him a chance to improve on those playoff numbers or even have an opportunity to truly compete for the Stanley Cup.
A $6MM cap hit, the number suggested by Seravalli, is exactly what Hall earned on his only other non-ELC deal; he signed a seven-year, $42MM contract with the Edmonton Oilers in 2012, just two seasons into his NHL career. If no contract is completed by July 28, he will be eligible to sign with any of the league’s 32 teams.