Sabres agree to sign Taylor Hall to 1-year, $8 million deal
BUFFALO, NY (AP) - Taylor Hall takes on a surprising target.
Hall agreed to sign a $ 8 million one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabers, the team said on Sunday evening.
Hall joins his fourth NHL organization since he was number 1 on the 2010 draft. He is reunited with Sabers coach Ralph Krueger, for whom he played the 2013 lockout-shortened season with the Edmonton Oilers.
Buffalo is Hall's third team in two years after the New Jersey Devils traded it for the Arizona Coyotes mid-season last season. The 28-year-old has played in just five career playoff games.
The 2018 NHL MVP Hart Trophy winner, Hall, was considered the best striker in the free agent market when it opened on Friday.
He has scored 20 goals five times, including the best of his career with 39 goals and 93 points in 2017-18 with the Devils.
Hall has averaged 1.05 points per game over the past three seasons, making it 17th among NHL players.
The Coyotes acquired Hall in December to use the remainder of the season to convince the upcoming free agent to stay in Arizona.
In Buffalo, he joins a team in need of a big boost after a season where the Sabers extended their franchise-worst playoff drought to a ninth year. It is the longest active streak in the NHL and one that falls short of the league record.
The Sabers missed the second rank behind the top line, centered by captain Jack Eichel, who led the team with the best 38 goals of his career in 78 games. Striker Jeff Skinner in particular saw a drop in production in the second row. One year after scoring the best 40 goals of his career, Skinner only managed 14 last season.
Sam Reinhart and rookie Victor Olofsson, Eichel's linemates for much of the season, were Buffalo's only two players to score the top 20 goals.
Hall's addition comes after a tumultuous off-season that saw General Manager Jason Botterill and much of his staff and Boy Scouts laid off. Botterill was replaced by ex-player Kevyn Adams, who had no experience in the NHL front office.
Adams already attempted to upgrade its second line last month by acquiring the Eric Staal veterans center in a deal with Minnesota.
In Hall's one season under Krueger, he had 16 goals and 34 assists for 50 points in 45 games.
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.
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