Taylor Hall thinks Sabres are ‘poised to take a step’ after first practice of training camp


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Kevyn Adams made a huge splash with his first move as general manager of the Sabres by signing Taylor Hall, one of the most sought after free agents and on Friday he hit the ice with his new team.

“It’s always exciting, you know I think no matter if you’ve been in the league one year, five years, ten years, it’s always fun the first day. It’s always exciting to get out there with new teammates, new coaches and learn a new system,” Hall said.

“You know it’s a lot to take at times but I think the important thing is everyone is going through it together. The guys that were on the team last year have been off for a long time and guys like myself that played in the bubble, we’re on a new squad and we’re excited to be here.”

The Sabres are hoping Hall can help end the longest, active playoff drought as they once again missed the postseason when they didn’t make the cut for the NHL’s 24-team, return to play format. But even through years and years of struggles and inconsistency both with the roster, coaching staff and front office, Hall sees potential with this current group.

“I knew that coming in that it was a team that I think is poised to take a step, a team that has some really good options offensively, I think on the back end as well. You see Rasmus [Dahlin] you know the player that he is after just two years in the league, being able to play on a line with Victor [Olofsson] today was great. He’s a guy that had a great first year you can see the skill, you can see the shot,” Hall said.

Not to mention he’s already familiar with head coach Ralph Krueger after they spent three seasons in Edmonton together.

“I think just the way that Ralph wants us to play with pace offensively, a team that really attacks and when we don’t have the puck obviously a team that needs to get the puck back as quickly as possible and play to our strengths. That’s a big reason why I wanted to come here was I saw that building and I saw that first hand today,” Hall explained.

Now it’s expected Hall will skate alongside Jack Eichel on the top line even though Krueger won’t commit to anything just yet but back when they signed Hall, Krueger did say that potential combination would be “lethal”.

Hall didn’t get a chance to skate with Eichel as he missed the first practice with an upper-body injury he suffered in offseason training. But Krueger said it’s not serious and Eichel should be back soon. He is considered day-to-day.

“That’s the way it goes obviously I’d love to see him out here but he’s gotta get healthy. He’s gotta get ready to come back and be comfortable playing the way that he wants to play. But there’s a lot of players out there it’s not just Jack that I’m gonna be playing with this year,” Hall said.

“There’s five guys on the ice and who knows what the line’s gonna be in game five or game ten so it’s important to play with different guys and to see how they play and to see where they want passes and how they shoot and how they move out there so obviously you’d love to see him out there, he’s the captain of this team and he’ll be out here pretty soon.”

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