Taylor Hall can now buy instead of rent in Boston.
While the Bruins were still sitting with the 20th pick in the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft, he finalized his contract extension with Hall, a very reasonable four-year deal that would put an annual cap of $6 million for the Left. Comes with a hit and a one-time Hart Trophy winner. Hall could have found both more term and money in the open market, but his brief experience in Boston after receiving the deadline in April was positive enough for Hall to abandon those options.
“There’s always that bit of temptation, but honestly most of my attention throughout this process was directed towards playing for the Boston Bruins for the next year and for years to come,” said Hall, who played B’s last off-season. Spoke with but eventually signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo. “My last visit in free agency didn’t really go the way I wanted. It’s just my personal experience. After playing in Boston for that long, I knew I wanted to play there.”
There is a big question about who will be the centerman of the hall. He formed a formidable partnership with David Krejci after a trade with B from Sabers for Anders Björk and a second-round pick on the trade deadline. After scoring only two goals in 37 games at Buffalo, Hall rode with Craziness to total 8-6-14 in 16 games with the Bee.
But it is unclear whether Krazy wants to return to the NHL or play in his native Czech Republic. And at least second row centers outside the B organization were exploring options. A league source said they were sniffing around Nashville’s Ryan Johansson, however, with four years left on his deal at $8 million per season, the Predators would have to withdraw some money to make it work.
Reporter Craig Morgan, who covers the Arizona Coyotes, wrote that Bee had shown interest in center Christian Dvorak, who played with Hall in the desert.
But by 7 p.m. on a Friday, Hall was happy to be a longtime bruin.
“(The uncertainty at the centre) was not very worrying for me personally. I would love to play another year or two with David, but he has his own things that he has to deal with,” Hall said. “But I think we are comfortable with anyone who lives there. There are a lot of good players in that team and I know the organization has a lot of trust in people who are able to go ahead and play there. That’s me. It wasn’t something to worry about. It was more that I wanted to be a Bruin and be a part of whatever we could do to win a hockey game.”
While Bee has older players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and younger stars like David Pasternak and Charlie McAvoy, Hall is smack in the middle of his prime at the age of 29. Although there may be some player movement in the coming days, Hall likes the makeup of the team.
“I think there’s a really good mix of the two,” said Hall, who hopes to buy a house in the Boston area with her fiancé at some point. “You can’t have just one super old team and you can’t have just one super young team. I think you have to be a mix of both. People who have done this before and people who have been there for a long time. Have played in the playoffs and know what it takes, but there are also guys who are young and skilled and have that energy and that appetite. I think that’s what makes Boston a great fit for me. … there’s a group of people who are committed to bringing a Stanley Cup to Boston and I want to be a part of it. Sometimes you get bogged down in this league trying to be on the right team. I’m in Boston Was very happy. I think we have a great group of people to achieve something special.”
Hall said that when things went badly south in Buffalo, he negotiated with his agent where he could go and identified the Bruins early in the process.
“I wanted it to be before the deadline, but they would have to wait and make sure they have the cap space, which is understandable. From there I had a few teams that were interested in me and I went to Boston. “The biggest reason I chose Boston is because I felt it was my best chance to re-sign after the season. Looking back, this sounds like a good bet on my part and I am very happy to be here talking to you guys. Looking back in the month of April, I was very uncertain about my future, but the atmosphere in dressing is something that is well known in NHL circles. And it was something that I think I needed and wanted to be a part of. ”
Now that will be a more permanent part of it.