Buffalo Sabres scratch Taylor Hall vs. Devils

Apr 3, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the third period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Former Hart Trophy recipient Taylor Hall will be scratched ahead of the Buffalo Sabres’ game against the host New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, interim head coach Don Granato announced.

The move comes with the NHL trade deadline looming on Monday.

Hall, 29, is a pending unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres this past offseason. The six-time 20-goal scorer has a no-movement clause in his deal. However, he reportedly has been willing to listen to trade options.

“It’s part of the business, we all know that,” Granato said. “Taylor knows that. … This game keeps you in the moment and that’s preparation for New Jersey. We had a good meeting on them this morning and our focus points and objectives going into the game.”

Arttu Ruotsalainen, 23, will make his NHL debut in place of Hall, who has recorded 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) and a career-worst minus-21 rating in 37 games this season.

Hall was the NHL MVP for the 2017-18 season after posting career-high totals in goals (39), assists (54) and points (93) while leading the Devils to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2012.

Hall has collected 582 points (220 goals, 362 assists) in 664 career games with the Edmonton Oilers (2010-16), Devils (2016-19), Arizona Coyotes (2019-20) and Sabres since being selected by Edmonton with the first overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Related: NHL power rankings – Lightning lead the way after Stanley Cup repeat

–Field Level Media