The Boston Bruins remained busy even after their first deadline move Sunday night, and went for a home run swing with the acquisition of winger Taylor Hall and forward Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round draft pick.
Taking a one-year gamble on himself with the Sabres, Hall will move on from the dreadful Sabres after scoring just two goals and 19 points in 37 games in Buffalo. Hall’s 2.3 shooting percentage is the worst of his career, and his minus-21 is also the worst of his career (and stands as the fourth-worst in all of hockey this season).
The Bruins’ interest in Hall goes all the way back to 2010, when the Bruins possessed the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft and were locked in the ‘Taylor Hall vs. Tyler Seguin’ debate that ended when the Oilers selected Hall with the No. 1 overall pick.
Overall, the 29-year-old Hall has totaled 220 goals and 582 points in 664 games between the Oilers, Devils, Coyotes, and Sabres. Hall also captured the Hart Trophy in 2017-18 as the league’s MVP after recording 39 goals and 93 points in 76 games for the Devils.
The Sabres will retain half of Hall’s $8 million salary to facilitate the trade to the Bruins.
Lazar, meanwhile, comes to the Bruins with five goals and nine points in 33 games for the Sabres this season. Capable of playing both center and wing, Lazar comes to Boston averaging 13:37 per game in 2021, which the second-highest nightly ice-time average of his career, trailing only a 13:52 set in both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
In return for Hall and Lazar, Bjork will make his way to Buffalo after falling out of the rotation with the Bruins, and failing to make an impact as a scoring threat. The writing was certainly on the wall for Bjork, too, with five straight healthy scratches before Sunday’s trade.
Bjork, a fifth-round pick of the Bruins in 2014, departs the organization having tallied 16 goals and 39 points in 138 games over four seasons.