MONTREAL | Taylor Hall chose to continue his career with Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabers. He accepted a one year and eight million contract. Despite countless rumors, the 28-year-old left winger never came close to getting along with the Canadiens.
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On October 9, a few hours after the free agent market opened, Marc Bergevin offered a somewhat nebulous answer on his intentions for Hall.
“When you watch, you are active. When you talk to an agent, you are active, ”replied the CEO of CH.
It was enough to fuel the rumor machine. But mathematically, Hall’s marriage to the Canadiens made no sense.
In interview at Newspaper, Darren Ferris, Hall’s agent, confirmed the information first conveyed by colleagues Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic site, according to which Taylor Hall had not received a proposal from the Tricolor.
Ferris even took the note a little further, specifying that there had not even been a little flirtation.
“We never got an offer for Taylor from the Canadiens,” Ferris told the Newspaper. We never had a Zoom meeting with the Canadian. There were no negotiations for Taylor with the CH. ”
More space next year
As a good agent, however, Ferris kept a door open for the future.
“I don’t understand why there were stories linking Hall with the Canadiens,” he said. Marc [Bergevin] was not in a position to obtain his services. Would he have liked? Probably. But he didn’t have the space under the salary cap. The money for this year just wasn’t there. Next year, Bergevin will have greater freedom. There are several players at the Canadiens who could become free agents without compensation at the end of the next season. “
When Bergevin said he was looking for Hall, he probably was. When he said he was talking to the agent, that was also true. It was precisely with Ferris that he negotiated Josh Anderson’s seven-year, 38.5 million contract. But in practice, the CEO of CH was not in the race for Hall.
Eichel and Krueger
Historically, the city of Buffalo has not often been a popular destination in the free agent market. This upstate New York city doesn’t have the charms of Tampa, Vegas, Denver, or Vancouver.
Hockey wise, the Sabers haven’t made the playoffs since 2011, a nine-year shortage.
“In Buffalo, Taylor will have the chance to play with an elite center in Jack Eichel, one of the best in the NHL,” Ferris recalled. For a rare time in his career, he will be well surrounded. He will also find his former coach in Edmonton in Ralph Krueger. There is already a bond of trust between the two men.
“Taylor will have a really good playing time in Buffalo, he’ll take advantage of a strong TV market in the US with MSG, and he’s getting closer to home since he’s staying in Toronto.”
“With a one-year contract, Taylor will have the opportunity to experience the city of Buffalo and the organization. And it will be the same for the Sabers. They will have time to get to know him well. If both clans are happy, we can look for a contract extension. It can become a win-win for both. ”
According to Ferris, Hall had received offers from seven teams. He will have chosen the short-term bet with the Sabers.
“I’m betting on myself, but I’m also betting that the Sabers will become a good hockey team,” Hall said on a video call. Jack’s presence [Eichel] also greatly influenced my choice. When I spoke to Ralph [Krueger], he told me that he believed that we could become two complementary players. ”
“We knew it was to be a single market. Initially, I probably wanted a six or seven year contract. Then I realized that a one-year pact was probably the best choice. For me, but also financially. I also thought I fit in well with the Sabers. ”