After multiple seasons of tiny moves in an attempt to solve the team’s secondary scoring issues, Boston Bruins‘ general manager Don Sweeney finally made a splash at this season’s trade deadline by acquiring left wing Taylor Hall.
Many, including myself, were skeptical about Hall as he failed to produce on the Buffalo Sabres despite playing with star center Jack Eichel, and then very good Sam Reinhart after Eichel went down with a neck injury.
However, playing in a winning culture and on a Stanley Cup contending team rejuvenated Hall as he instantly produced playing with David Krejci and Craig Smith. After his performance with the Sabres, Hall’s value was at its lowest possible. Now, after a short but successful stint with the B’s, his value is at its highest since his MVP season in 2017-18.
With Hall being signed to just a one-year deal by Buffalo, he is set to be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) when free agency begins on Wednesday, July 28. And now, after an impressive run with the Black and Gold, Hall is reported to have multiple teams interested in him — including long-time Boston rival, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Would Taylor Hall really consider a return to Canada?
While other teams, such as the Leafs, may be interested in Hall, would Hall have interest in playing for them?
If you didn’t know for some reasons, Taylor Hall started his career playing in Canada for the Edmonton Oilers. He was drafted by the Oilers first overall in 2010, thus coming with very large expectations.
Unfortunately, Hall didn’t necessarily meet this hefty hopes and, as a result, Edmonton media and fans turned on their former savior. The Oilers would trade him to the New Jersey Devils straight up for defenseman Adam Larsson. Hall would thrive in Jersey, scoring 208 points in 211 games.
So with Edmonton media basically driving him out of town, it’s hard for me to see Hall signing with any Canadian team as all of Canadian media is pretty tough when it comes to their No. 1 sport of hockey.
In all honesty, I have a feeling Hall won’t actually make it to free agency. I think the B’s and Hall will work out a deal before the July 28 deadline but after the expansion draft on Wednesday, July 21. After all, both Hall and Sweeney have stated that Hall and the B’s have interest in an extension — Hall first at his exit interview and then Sweeney just a few days later.
So, in sum, there are reportedly multiple teams that have interest in Taylor Hall — including Bruins’ rival Toronto Maple Leafs. But, with mutual interest between Boston and Hall and Hall’s past playing for a Canadian NHL team, is there really a chance that Hall signs anywhere else but Boston, yet alone Toronto.