Taylor Hall signing in Buffalo was a move that absolutely nobody saw coming. Hall signed a one-year deal worth $8 million the other day and while it raised many eyebrows, let’s dig deeper into why Hall chose what he did.
First and foremost, Hall now gets to play alongside Jack Eichel. That in itself should be a selling point to any free agent looking at Buffalo. Why not play alongside Eichel for a year to pad the stats and search for more money next season.
Another way I look at this signing is what if it does nothing. What if Buffalo stinks even more than they did last year and have no hopes of the playoffs. The Sabres move Hall at the deadline to a contender, and then he gets a chance at a deep playoff run. Because honestly, nobody says they want to win and then choose the team that hasn’t seen playoff hockey since 2010-11.
And what if it somehow does work out and Hall helps end the longest active playoff drought in the NHL. Then teams will look at him differently as a guy that can help put a team over the hump, which will increase his payday even more.
This is a can’t lose situation for Hall because there is no way Hall doesn’t see the postseason next year. Whether it be with Buffalo or another team that is actually likely to make the playoffs, we will see Taylor Hall come playoff time. And then he does this whole free agent circus all over again.
It’s a win-win situation for him, and that is why Taylor Hall is smarter than the rest of us.