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Hall could be traded by Sabres; GM 'open to anything and everything'

Forward can become unrestricted free agent after season, won Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2018

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Taylor Hall could be traded by the Buffalo Sabres prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12, general manager Kevyn Adams said Wednesday.

The 29-year-old forward can become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres on Oct. 11, 2020.

"We're open to anything and everything," Adams said. "My job is to do anything and everything to make this franchise move in the right direction. I have a very good relationship with (Hall's agent) Darren Ferris and Taylor. Open lines of communication and obviously days are moving forward here, so there will be a lot of conversations around that."

Hall has scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 28 games for Buffalo this season, including six points (one goal, five assists) on the power play. Selected by the Edmonton Oilers with the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Hall won the Hart Trophy voted as the NHL most valuable player in 2017-18, after he scored an NHL career-high 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) in 76 games with the New Jersey Devils.

Video: BUF@NYI: Hall cleans up rebound past Sorokin

The Sabres, who have lost straight games (0-10-2) and are last in the NHL with a 6-18-4 record, fired Ralph Krueger as coach Wednesday and replaced him with assistant Don Granato. Buffalo has not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2011.

"Obviously where we are in the standings lends to the fact I'll be getting phone calls or have been getting phone calls on players," Adams said. "Conversations every day. A lot of conversations. Absolutely, this is my job to make sure not only that I'm proactive but listen as well and [am] doing everything I can to move this thing forward."

Any potential trade will require Hall's approval because of a no-move clause in his contract. He said this month he had interest in re-signing with the Sabres, but that was before the firing of Krueger, who played a key role in Hall's decision to sign with Buffalo. Hall and Krueger were together for three seasons with the Oilers, when Krueger was an assistant (2010-11, 2011-12) and coach (2012-13).

Hall, who on March 4 said he is "open to anything with the Sabres," said Thursday Krueger being fired has not changed that thinking. 

"I've had a good time here, really like the group of guys in the organization," Hall said, "[I'm} open to anything going forward, just like I said. I want to want to play better than I have and I think a lot of guys feel the same."

Adams said he has had discussions with Ferris since signing Hall, and those discussions have continued.

"We openly in the beginning when [signing Hall] happened ... talked about what would we do moving forward and concepts," Adams said. "So we've had open dialogue back then. Darren and I have been in touch recently and we've had conversations both ways, so we'll see where this goes."

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