BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Sabres signed highly coveted veteran forward Taylor Hall to a one-year, $8 million contract on Sunday. It was a move that shocked the hockey world, but Hall says his decision to come to Buffalo had a lot to do with head coach Ralph Krueger’s selling of the Queen City and Sabres organization.
“It’s interesting, it’s been a weird crazy past couple days for me, but right from noon on on Friday, Ralph texted me then we hopped on a phone call. I’d never met Kevyn Adams before but I obviously knew Ralph really well, so we hopped on a call and he talked about the Sabres, he talked about the city of Buffalo and what their plans were and where I would fit in. That put the bug in my head right off the bat,” Taylor Hall said to reporters on Zoom on Monday.
“From there, I fielded other offers and took the time to talk to other teams, but in the back of my head I always knew that would be a good situation.”
“Even before free agency, Buffalo was a place that I had told my agent that I would think about playing, it would be something that I think would be enjoyable. I’m really glad that we’re here,” Hall said.
The relationship between player and coach goes back all the way to Hall’s rookie year in 2010 with the Edmonton Oilers, when Krueger was an assistant coach.
“I feel like he can get the most out of people. When I had him as an assistant coach, he was awesome,” Hall said. “The year I had him as a head coach was probably my most successful year, even though it was a shortened season, other than my MVPr. He got the most out of me, and I have a lot of respect for him.”
For a player that said his main objective when looking at teams during free agency was to land with one that would win the Stanley Cup, Hall says he can see that the Sabres have a bright future with the players that they have.
“It’s a place that I could see myself for a while. They have elite pieces,” Hall said. “Hockey is an interesting thing. Three years ago, nobody would’ve thought Colorado would be the number one destination for guys to go to.
“Things can happen, things can turn pretty quick, especially if you have elite pieces, and the Sabres do. I really believe that. When you look past some of the smoke and some of the stuff that’s happened to the Sabres the last couple of years, under the hood there’s some really good pieces and I really believe that.”