How ESPN Graded Bruins, Sabres For Taylor Hall Trade At NHL Deadline

Boston received a high mark for the deal


April 12, 2021

The Boston Bruins have been widely praised for the Taylor Hall trade.

The Buffalo Sabres… not so much.

The B’s on Monday acquired Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Sabres in exchange for Anders Bjork and a 2021 second-round draft pick.

The move proved to be the league’s most notable splash ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, and ESPN senior NHL writer Greg Wyshynski believes Boston is the deal’s clear-cut winner.

Wyshynski gave the Bruins an “A-” and the Sabres a “C-” for the trade.

Here’s an excerpt of Wyshynski’s breakdown from the Bruins’ perspective:

They got Taylor Hall for a second-round draft pick and Anders Bjork.

That’s it.

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OK, perhaps a little more context is needed here. Hall, 29, will be the latest in a parade of players the Bruins have used as their second-line left wing next to center David Krejci. Players like Loui Eriksson, David Backes, Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase have filled the role with varying degrees of success and failure. Now Hall will get his shot.

Wyshynski pointed out a few reasons why the trade isn’t necessarily a “slam dunk” for the Bruins, but given the low cost and high upside of acquiring Hall, it’s hard to find fault in Boston taking a flier on the talented winger. The 29-year-old was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and won the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s MVP, for the 2017-18 season.

Here’s more from Wyshynski:

Hall has been T.H.I.N.O. (Taylor Hall In Name Only) for the better part of three seasons. What this is: an extremely low-cost investment. A second-round pick and Bjork, who was likely Seattle Kraken-bound anyway, for a former MVP with an expiring contract, with the Sabres picking up 50% of the cap hit.

Hall signed a one-year, $8 million contract with Buffalo in free agency before the season, meaning he’s slated to reenter the open market this summer.

It remains to be seen whether Monday’s trade is the beginning of a long-term arrangement, but Hall already has expressed a willingness to re-sign with Boston.

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