There’s something about the Boston Bruins that’s always caught Taylor Hall’s eye.
And there’s things about Boston — things that did and did not involve Hall — that have stuck with the 11-year veteran and new owner of a fresh, four-year and $24 million extension with the Bruins.
By now, it’s clear that Hall wanted to land with the Bruins with the No. 2 overall in 2010. In fact, he thought that that’s how it was going to go for him. Sitting in the stands at the Staples Center, Hall recalled seeing about 30 cameras by Tyler Seguin and about seven by him, leading him to believe that the Oilers were going to make Seguin their franchise center and the top choice from that year’s draft. The cameras were wrong, and Hall instead went to Edmonton with the Oilers’ top selection. It would be their first of four No. 1 picks over a six-year span that ultimately culminated with Connor McDavid sentenced to life as the Oilers’ true savior, and Hall wasn’t even in town when the Oilers finally returned to the postseason.
It’s ancient history to all of us, and the Oilers still haven’t won a Cup even after moving on from Hall, but it’s little comments when recalling that night that confirm that the entire experience is something that’s stuck with the 29-year-old Hall.
“I went number one and our careers have kind of gone different ways,” Hall said Friday. “[Seguin] won a Stanley Cup his first year [and] it took me eight years to make the playoffs. It’s always interesting.”
Interesting is certainly one way to put it. Infuriating, agonizing, and a great what-could’ve-been are other ways.
Would Hall have been the B’s key to a potential dynasty? We can’t deny Seguin’s accomplishments to help the Bruins get out of the third round and advance to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, but his struggles in 2012 and 2013 left the Bruins getting a couple of dimes for a dollar, and their decade-long quest for another high-impact winger to support their core has been a wild ride.
There’s simply an element of Hall that feels like he should’ve been here long before Apr. 2021.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.