Deadline addition Taylor Hall had yet to leave Buffalo city limits when he first made it clear that he wanted to be in Boston. He made it clear the day he landed with the Bruins, throughout his Boston tenure, and in his year-end media availability.
And Hall and the Bruins made sure their time did not come to an end Friday, with Hall officially, officially inked to a four-year, $24 million extension with the club, and with Hall just days away from hitting unrestricted free agency.
But the latter was of no interest to the 29-year-old winger.
“I think there’s always that temptation a little bit [to go to market], but honestly, I think most of my focus throughout this whole process was directed at playing for the Boston Bruins next year and for years to come,” Hall said in a post-signing Zoom. “My last go at free agency didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. That’s just my personal experience.
“After playing in Boston for that period of time, I knew that was where I wanted to play. Fortunately enough, I was able to deal with some good people. My agent was able to make it work, and I’m really happy to be here.”
It was that love at first sight kind of connection for the sides, really.
“I knew right away, after playing five or six games in Boston, I wanted to be a part of the group and it was up to me to try to play well and show up well enough to have them want me to be a part of it,” Hall offered. “I think the window is still there, at least for another few years. A group of guys that’s committed to trying to make a Stanley Cup come to Boston, and that’s all I want to be a part of. Sometimes you get caught up trying to be on the perfect team. I was super happy in Boston.”
It sure helped that the fit was seemingly perfect for both sides, too, as Hall’s offensive game came back to life on Boston’s second line, with eight goals and 14 points in 16 regular season games. And with the Bruins having a true 1B kind of second line unit with Hall riding to the left of David Krejci and Craig Smith, nobody had any complaints about the union. Especially as Hall clearly bought into what the Bruins were trying to accomplish in all three zones, with noticeable defensive efforts.
“He’s motivated, he knows the team and what we’re trying to accomplish, and he wants to be a part of that,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “I think that’s an important message to send to all of our young players as well as our incumbent players that they represent a core of the Boston Bruins and Taylor Hall, with the special qualities he has, wants to be a part of that core, was important. We’re excited to have him back.”
“I think we have a great group of guys to accomplish something special,” said Hall.
A group that’ll include Hall for the foreseeable future, too.
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.