Taylor Hall Signs With The Sabres
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, I didn’t see this coming, and I don’t think many other folks had the Sabres on their list of destinations for Hall via free agency. It’s certainly a bold one by rookie Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams.
The question, of course, is why? Hall was the best forward available in this year’s free-agent class and was expected to sign with a playoff club (preferably a Cup contender), something the Sabres haven’t been for some time.
Steve Dangle has perhaps the best theory: “Hall’s coming off a down year to go light it up with Jack Eichel while nobody has any money so he can cash in afterward.”
Skating alongside Eichel, one of the league’s elite centers, should boost Hall’s numbers back toward the 90-point range of his Hart Trophy performance in 2017-18. If the Sabres don’t improve, he can test the market next year when there could be more teams (including playoff clubs) with the cap space willing to pay him a lucrative long-term deal.
If Hall and Eichel mesh well together and the Sabres reach the postseason, perhaps an agreement can be worked out that pays him big bucks to stay in Buffalo for several years.