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Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney Comments on Possible Extension for Hall

Don Sweeney was asked about possibly extending Taylor Hall in the offseason and noted that it’s up to the forward now.

As part of his latest 31 Thoughts column, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman noted that Taylor Hall had tunnel vision when it came to joining the Boston Bruins at this year’s trade deadline. Not only is there a history that connects Hall to the Bruins all the way back to the day he was drafted into the league, but there has been talk for some time that he actually wanted to join the Bruins organization before signing with the Buffalo Sabres.

Related: Biggest Winners and Losers: 2021 NHL Trade Deadline

During this past season’s free agency period, Friedman notes that Hall was interested in the Bruins and the Bruins in him, but the timing just wasn’t right. The winger eventually elected to go to Buffalo one a one-year deal. Now that he’s where he always wanted to be, Hall is hoping his stay isn’t a short one. He was shooting down other opportunities before the deadline because he’s keen to sign a long-term extension with Boston and we shouldn’t be shocked if he signs a team-friendly deal in the summer.

That said, there is one caveat to all of this… that is, how he plays.

Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney was asked about the potential for a long-term relationship with Hall and Joe Haggerty reports that Sweeney responded: “It comes down to success and fitting in. I think the proof will be in the results.” In other words, if Hall continues to struggle this season like he has in Buffalo, it’s not likely the Bruins will look to extend him. But, if he rebounds from the terrible shooting percentage he’s had up to this point and contributes as part of the Bruins’ top six, there might be interest there.

Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres trade
Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres trade

The Uncertainty Is Likely Why The Cost Was So Low to Acquire Hall

The fact that the Bruins aren’t married to the idea of retaining Hall after this season is likely why the cost to acquire him was what it was. Hall was traded just before Monday’s trade deadline and speculation is that he shot down other trade options, forcing the Sabres’ hand — as was well within his rights based on his contract. That gave the Bruins the leverage they needed to stick to their guns in not offering a first-round pick.

Bruins’ writer Conor Ryan notes that Sweeny wasn’t open to trading a first and was able to use a second to get the deal done. Sweeney noted, “The market dictates a lot of times what you have to give up.” 

Other teams were interested, including the New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues. But, with Hall’s heart set on the Bruins, the other teams didn’t play a role in the deal. Now it’s up to Hall. Play well and you might get that extension. Don’t and you may have trouble getting those other three teams to even take a second look at you in free agency.

Next: Behind-the-Scenes Reason Capitals Wanted to Move Jakub Vrana

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