As many of the Boston Bruins’ players did after the team was eliminated from the postseason by the New York Islanders, Taylor Hall addressed the media and talked about what comes next. He was asked about his status as a pending unrestricted free agent, whether or not he saw himself coming back to the Bruins and what an extension might look like.
Hall didn’t seem to have a lot of answers. It’s not necessarily because he doesn’t know what he wants to do, but more because he doesn’t know where he sits in terms of the Bruins’ organizational plans and the NHL free agent marketplace. He explained he’s not sure what he’s worth, nor does he know what the Bruins are planning this offseason.
When asked if he was willing to take a team-friendly deal to stay with the team, Hall said, “I don’t even know what my value is at this point. I feel like I had two different seasons.” He noted that, for him, it’s not about absolutely maximizing his value at this point in his career. He said he’s made a lot of money in the NHL and he probably isn’t worried about not getting paid. Instead, he’s looking for more of a good fit.
He said, “I just want to find a home for the next few years here.” Ideally, that would be with the Bruins, who he said he’s been interested in re-signing with since he arrived. Hal noted that hopefully the two sides can make something work in Boston, but he understands the team has some other things to deal with.
The Bruins Have a Lot to Consider
The odds are that Hall will be back. That said, the team now knows that Tuukk Rask will be undergoing offseason surgery and, at the earliest, won’t be back until January or February. From there, they need to decide which direction will take with players that are getting older. David Krejci also needs a new contracts and the blue line could use some work.
Hall says his plan is to just to take a step back and let the dust settle for a while. He knows the priority is probably guys who have been there a lot longer than he has.
Once the two sides start talking, it will be intriguing to see just how much Hall wants to stay. Will he take a huge discount to stay? Will he be open to another short-term deal if that’s all the team offers? Is he a $4 million or $6 million player? As he noted, it’s really hard to know after so many up and down seasons. At times, Hall looks like one of the best left-wingers in the game. But, in Buffalo, he looked like one of the more ineffective forwards in the NHL. Even in the playoffs this year, it was a tale of two Halls.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of uncertainty in a flat cap marketplace. What Hall gets is anyone’s guess.