Bruins

Taylor Hall knew after ‘five or six games’ that he wanted to remain with the Bruins

Hall signed a four-year, $24 million contract Friday.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Taylor Hall has a new contract to smile about. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Taylor Hall made the decision Friday to remain a Boston Bruin for four more years, and he couldn’t be happier.

Hall and the Bruins agreed to a four-year, $24 million deal, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced Friday. While Hall didn’t join the Bruins until last April after getting traded from the Sabers, he knew “after playing five or six games in Boston” that he wanted to remain with the Bruins.

“[Boston’s] a great city, obviously a great group of guys. A tremendous organization that I really enjoy playing for,” Hall told reporters. “Cam Neely, Don Sweeney — just in dealing with these guys, the coaching staff — it was really enjoyable for me this year. I’m really happy that I get to play another four years with the Bruins and the teammates that I got to know in my short time in Boston. [It’s] a huge reason why I wanted to direct my focus to playing for Boston as long as I can. I’m really happy that we’re here talking about it today.”

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The deal comes five days before the start of free agency, in which Hall would’ve been an unrestricted free agent for the second straight offseason. After signing a one-year, $8 million deal with a Sabres team that ended up being the worst in hockey, Hall didn’t want to possibly face a similar scenario this offseason.

“I think there’s always that temptation a little bit,” Hall said when asked why he didn’t hit the open market. “But honestly, I think most of my focus throughout this whole process was directed at playing for the Boston Bruins next year and for years to come. My last go at free agency didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. That’s just my personal experience. After playing in Boston for that period of time, I knew that was where I wanted to play.”

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The deal had reportedly been close to getting finalized over the last few days. Hall said the hangup wasn’t over a trade or no-movement clause.

“It was just a couple of other things that my agent was going through, but it wasn’t anything like that,” Hall said. “Once we settled on a number, there was just a couple things that were in the contract that held it up, but it wasn’t anything to do with no movement or no trade.”

With Hall’s situation now settled, the Bruins move their attention to a couple of areas on the roster. One of them is finding out who will play center next to Hall on the second line. David Krejci, who was the center Hall played next to last season, will be an unrestricted free agent in a matter of days.

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Hall and Krejci had a good deal of success playing with each other last season. Hall had eight goals and six assists while Krejci had five goals and 16 assists in the 16 regular-season games they played together last year.

Even though Hall would like to play with Krejci again, he realizes it may not happen but he trusts the Bruins to make things right.

“It wasn’t too concerning for me personally,” Hall said on the uncertainty of his line. “I would love to play with David [Krejci] for another year or two, but he’s got his own things that he has to deal with.

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“I think we’re comfortable with whoever’s going to be there. There’s a lot of good players on that team. I know the organization has a lot of confidence in guys that are able to step up and play in that role. It wasn’t a concern for me, it was more that I wanted to be a Bruin and whatever we can do to win hockey games, that’s what I wanted to be a part of.”

Once Hall arrived in Boston, the Bruins went 12-2-2 to close out the regular season and defeated the Capitals in five games in the first round. Hall’s first season came to an end in the second round, in which the Islanders knocked out the Bruins in six games.

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Hall believed that the Bruins are close to winning it all after how last season went, and that was the driving factor that returns him to Boston.

“The season didn’t end the way we wanted it to — I think, we could have been right there. We could have been in the Finals. We could have been in the conference finals easily, it just didn’t happen, we got beat by a team that had some great parts on their team, they had some great players,” Hall said.

“But I feel like that series, if we played it over again – I know every team says that, but it could have gone either way. That’s the frustrating part and I kind of left the taste in my mouth that I wanted to come back and do it with the same group. That’s how I feel today, that’s how I feel every day when I’m training for the season. I try to be my best when the time comes and the playoffs, and that’s what I’m looking forward to next year.”

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