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Taylor Hall Squashed Better Trade Offer Before Joining Bruins

The Buffalo Sabres had a better trade offer for Taylor Hall, but the forward decided it was the Boston Bruins or bust.

The Buffalo Sabres are taking a little heat on Tuesday for how little they were able to get in return for Taylor Hall during Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline. A 2021 second-round pick and Anders Bjork came back to Buffalo and the ask was a first-round pick. Why so little?

Some might say it was because of how poor a season Hall is having. While that may be true to some degree (it limited the number of teams interested), the biggest reason Buffalo couldn’t get a better haul for Hall is because the player took advantage of a clause in his contract that gave him total control over where he wanted to go. It was Boston or bust for the winger and the Sabres ultimately chose Boston.

“We did the best we could possibly do.” said GM Kevyn Adams after the deadline had come and gone. John Vogl of The Athletic wrote a piece talking about how Adams had spoken to multiple clubs. Pierre LeBrun of TSN even believed the Sabres had a better offer from a Western team on the table. Ultimately, Hall said no to everything.

Related: Taylor Hall Part of Trade to Boston Bruins, Includes Second-Round Pick

Adams explained:

“The reality of the situation is back in the offseason when we signed Taylor, we felt strongly that we needed to have a one-year deal to make sure that we were being disciplined and remain flexible moving forward. Part of the agreement was to be able to offer him a no-move clause.”

He went on to explain that Hall felt that Boston was the team that he wanted to go to and that he would fit there best. Because it was within his right to take the reigns on the destination of any trade, the Sabres then focused their attention to getting the best deal done with Boston that they could.

Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres
Taylor Hall Buffalo Sabres held out of lineup

It Was Hall’s Call

It’s fair to criticize the Sabres for signing Hall to an $8 million deal. It’s fair to say that he was moved because the team is just that bad. But, when the player holds all the cards on where he’s dealt, a GM is left with one of two choices. Either tell the player, ‘fine, you’ll stay put’ and perhaps get a reputation as not working with a pending UFA that certainly won’t stick around because you weren’t accommodating, or, trade the underperforming player for the best return you possibly can.

Who knows, maybe Hall will struggle in Boston too. This could come back and make Adams look like a winner when all is said and done.

Next: So What’s the Deal with Maple Leafs’ Goalie Frederik Andersen?

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6 Comments

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