Taylor Hall is betting on himself and choosing a surprising destination.
Hall agreed Sunday night to sign an $8 million US, one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres, according to a person with direct knowledge of the move. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been announced.
Hall joins his fourth NHL organization since being the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft. He’s reuniting with Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, for whom he played the 2013 lockout-shortened season with the Edmonton Oilers.
Buffalo is Hall’s third team in two years after the New Jersey Devils traded him to the Arizona Coyotes in the middle of last season. The 28-year-old has played in just five career playoff games.
The 2018 Hart Trophy winner as the NHL MVP, Hall was regarded to be the top forward available on the free agent market once it opened Friday.
He has topped 20 goals five times, including posting career bests with 39 goals and 93 points in 2017-18 with the Devils.
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The Coyotes acquired Hall in December in bid to use the remainder of the season to convince the pending free-agent to stay in Arizona.
In Buffalo, he joins a team in need of a major boost coming off a season in which the Sabres extended their franchise-worst playoff drought to a ninth year. It’s the NHL’s longest active streak and one short of matching the league record.