BUFFALO, N.Y. — Taylor Hall admitted he isn't the most confident hockey player right now, after his short-lived time in Buffalo. The Buffalo Sabres traded the 29-year-old forward to the Boston Bruins along with forward Curtis Lazar in exchange for a second round pick and forward Anders Bjork, ahead of Monday's NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m.
"It was such a whirlwind of a year that it went pretty badly, obviously. We started off, our first 10 games we were above .500 and then we had the COVID outbreak and we couldn't get our footing after that," Hall said when he was introduced to the Boston media on Monday morning.
"For myself, obviously, it wasn't the season that I would have liked to have had. Not even close."
Hall said he had done some soul-searching in the past week, while he sat out of the Sabres lineup as a trade precaution since Tuesday.
The former Hart Trophy winner, who came to Buffalo in the most recent offseason, said he wanted to join the Bruins last summer.
"I was ready to be a Bruin and just some other things kind of didn't work out. But it was not like any hard feelings or anything like that. Once I knew that there was a possibility that I would be traded, Boston was basically No. 1 on the list of teams that I wanted to go to," Hall said, while expressing his gratitude from Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams for helping him get to a Stanley Cup contender and where he wanted to go.
Hall said he ultimately landed on Buffalo during the offseason because he felt captain Jack Eichel is a better player than he is and he just wanted to "be one of the guys." He thinks he's found that situation in Boston, as well.
"I'm really excited to be a part of that group and to just be one of the guys. I don't expect to come in and light the league on fire or anything like that. I just want to come and win games. I want to be a part of a winning team that has something that I haven't had before, and that's what makes me most excited," Hall said.
Hall and Lazar both plan on driving up to Boston on Monday. Lazar said he is excited for the opportunity to play for the Bruins but said he is sad to leave his teammates in Buffalo.
"We had a lot of adversity... it was some tough sledding. It's a good group over there. I'm going to miss the guys, but I'm looking forward to a chance to play for the Bruins," Lazar said.
"We found some creative ways to lose games, but you look at the way they're playing now, it's pretty exciting. They have a very bright future with all those young guys that are playing the right way right now... you can see that confidence growing."