Bruins

Bruins have made ‘significant progress’ in re-signing Taylor Hall, according to GM Don Sweeney

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
With eight goals and six assists in 16 games, Taylor Hall has had a lot to get excited about since joining the Bruins.


Don Sweeney, who generally plays his cards so close to his vest that even his jokers wear frowns, said Thursday morning that “significant progress” has been made in re-signing left wing Taylor Hall.

“So I hope that we will find a finish line,” the Bruins general manager said during a 15-minute Zoom session ahead of this weekend’s NHL Draft (Round 1 Friday night). “Looking forward to hopefully having him back as a big part of what we’re trying to do this year and moving forward — made significant progress there.”

A number of media outlets reported Wednesday, amid the buzz of the Seattle expansion draft, that Hall, an unrestricted free agent, was close to agreeing with the Bruins on a four-year contract extension carrying a $6 million cap hit.

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Sweeney’s optimistic characterization of negotiations all but makes it a lock that Hall, approaching his 30th birthday, will return. The cap figure would slot him behind fellow forwards Patrice Bergeron ($6.875 million), David Pastrnak (6.667 million), and Brad Marchand ($6.125 million).

Hall, who last offseason signed a one-year UFA deal with Buffalo for $8 million, in 2012 signed a seven-year, $42 million deal in Edmonton that carried the same $6 million-a-year cap hit. He has since played for the Devils, Sabres, and Bruins, joining the Black and Gold in April at the trading deadline and fitting in nicely at David Krejci’s left wing on the club’s No. 2 line.

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Meanwhile, Sweeney had his cards tucked tightly regarding Krejci, believed to be weighing a decision whether to continue his NHL career or pack up his family for a return to his native Czech Republic.

There remains a third option for Krejci, to test the free agent market when it opens Wednesday (noon Eastern time), but Krejci, 35, weeks ago did not sound inclined to play anywhere but in Boston if he chooses to continue his NHL career.

There is no reason to doubt Krejci’s sentiments, but with the free agency period soon at hand, he could be enticed at least to hear what the league’s 31 other potential bidders might offer him. Their bids, if any, could influence what he would ask to return for his 15th season as a Bruin.

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The Kraken, who called Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon’s name first in the Wednesday night draft, came up notably shallow at center in the selection process. They could just be one of the bidders if Krejci remains unsigned.

“At this point in time, he has not given firm indication … as he referenced before, he’s got some things that he wants to address,” said Sweeney. “Then he’ll let us know. But I have been in regular communication with David and there is no timeline to make decisions.”

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