Taylor Hall takes a chance on Buffalo.
By Marissa Packard
Photo Courtesy of AP News.
It’s been six months since we’ve had Buffalo Sabres hockey. Since the drastic ending of the Sabres season in March we’ve seen a lot of uncertainty surrounding next season. A little glimmer of hope was sparked on Sunday night. The Sabres are now, shockingly, the new home to Taylor Hall. Hall signed a one-year deal that’s worth $8 million on Sunday night. One would simply call this a “prove it” deal. He has a year to see if Buffalo is the right fit for him and if he is the right fit for Buffalo. Taylor Hall split the past season with New Jersey Devils and the Arizona Coyotes. He is a former winner of the Hart trophy when he played with the New Jersey Devils in 2018. But he started his first 6 seasons in Edmonton where he formed a relationship with Head coach Ralph Kruger.
Having that relationship was a part of why he signed with the Sabres, along with being able to play the game with Jack Eichel, who makes everyone on his wing better. It’s something to note that Hall had offers from 25 other teams in the NHL and he chose Buffalo. “I think when you break it down and you have an open mind about things and you’re able to maybe look past the smoke that has surrounded the Sabres the past couple years, I think you see a team that has elite players, ownership that’s really committed to building a winner – I’ve seen what they’ve done with the Bills – and a coach that I feel can get a lot out of his players,” Hall said during a call with reporters Monday
It’s always surprising to see a player be opened to come to a team that has had a losing culture for years to a city that gets a bad rap. As for Buffalo sports fans, we’ve seen many players leave because they’ve admitted to losing the “love for the game” here or players not wanting to come here because their ego is too big for a small market team. This signing is comparable to when the Bills traded for Stefon Diggs and since he came here he has made a big impact on the offense and is the weapon that Josh Allen needed. Hopefully, Hall is the missing piece to the Sabres puzzle. It’s reassuring seeing a big-name player wanting to take his chance on Buffalo when we’re used to seeing former player win championships elsewhere. If this signing can help Jack Eichel get a chance to show off his skillset in the playoffs, I am all for it.
Only time will tell how big of an impact he will make on this team and city. For now, we welcome Taylor Hall with open arms and were excited and itching to see this team back on the ice. Hall has already stolen the hearts of Buffalo fans from his intro video on the Sabres twitter on Monday. He ended it by showing that he’s all in on the One Buffalo narrative that there is with Buffalo sports. And of course, getting on the Bills bandwagon. “I was going to smash into a fold-up table for my intro, but it’s probably safest if I don’t. Hopefully we get playing hockey again sometime soon, but until then, Go Bills." Buckle up Buffalo, it’s going to be a fun couple months of Buffalo sports.