Eleven years ago, it was Taylor and Tyler at the top of the NHL Draft rankings. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin visited Boston as the consensus 1-2 picks ahead of the 2010 NHL Draft. They were the future franchise faces that were going to revive two passionate fanbases in two hockey-mad cities.
Hall wanted to become a Bruin, but he became an Edmonton Oiler instead. A decade later, he wanted to become a Bruin again but instead, he went to the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent on a one-year deal in an attempt to reset his market.
Now, the 2018 Hart Trophy winner is finally in Boston chasing a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins after being traded early Monday morning ahead of the NHL’s 3 p.m., ET deadline. Hall isn't a franchise face anymore, but he’s just fine with that. At this point, he doesn’t need to be. He’ll be playing with high-end forwards like David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand. He just wants to be one of many talented players on a winning team after being traded for the third time in his career and playing for four different teams.
"That was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to play in Boston, that's why I'm so happy I'm traded here," Hall said Monday on a Zoom call. "I've been the focal point on a lot of teams in my career and I never made myself the focal point. That's just the situation that I was in, and the first chance that I got in free agency I went to Buffalo, a team that had Jack Eichel, a player that I think is better than myself.
"I just wanted to be one of the guys. I wanted to be on a successful team."
Buffalo retained 50 percent of Hall’s salary and also sent veteran forward Curtis Lazar to Boston in exchange for defenseman Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 draft. The reactions to the return for the best player in a bad trade market veered wildly. Many thought Boston committed a highway robbery, others said the bottom fell out of the market for Hall and felt that a second-round pick was all he was worth.