Apparently, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is not waiting until 3 p.m. today to make a deal. Shortly after acquiring defensemen Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators, Sweeney landed right wing Taylor Hall and forward Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres late Sunday night.
In exchange for Hall, the Bruins are sending forward Anders Bjork to Buffalo and a second-round draft pick, while the Sabres are retaining 50-percent of Hall’s $8 million contract. It was reported Sunday night that the Black and Gold were one of three teams in on Hall and just before midnight, Sweeney pulled the trigger on the deal.
In his only season with the Sabres, Hall has been a disappointment from a production standpoint. The former No. 1 overall pick in 2010 by the Edmonton Oilers has just two goals and 17 assists this season in 37 games. Boston is hoping he can find the goal-scoring touch that he had in six of his first eight seasons where he was a 20-goal scorer. He tallied a career-high 39 in 2017-18 with the New Jersey Devils.
By acquiring Hall, that gives the Bruins depth on the right side up front, as long as he produces. The Bruins will currently have David Pastrnak, Hall and Craig Smith as the top-six right wings. It will be interesting to see what coach Bruce Cassidy does with his lines.
Sunday night against the Washington Capitals, he moved Smith down to the third line and bumped Pastrnak back up to the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Does Hall go on the second line with David Krejci and Nick Ritchie or does he slide down with Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk? We’ll find out Tuesday night, hopefully.
Lazar comes the Bruins with five goals and four assists this season for Buffalo in 33 games. He was selected 17th overall in the first round in 2013 by the Ottawa Senators. Another right wing, he’s got the fourth line written all over him.
The Bruins say goodbye to Bjork, who quite frankly never showed his promise that Boston thought he had when he signed out of college. He had been in Cassidy’s doghouse and was a healthy scratch recently. Maybe a change of scenery works out for him.