Taylor Hall is opting for a fresh start with his Boston Bruins jersey number. Not that he had much choice.
The veteran winger, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Monday prior to the NHL trade deadline, had worn No. 4 and No. 9 throughout his career. But both sweaters are retired in Boston for Bobby Orr and Johnny Bucyk, respectively.
So, Hall is ditching the single digits for a unique choice: No. 71.
The Bruins also announced Monday that center Curtis Lazar (acquired in the Hall trade) will take No. 20, while defenseman Mike Reilly (brought on in a separate deal with the Ottawa Senators) will wear No. 6.
Former Bruins All-Star Marc Savard recently gave Hall his blessing to don the No. 91 sweater in Boston, and while Hall apparently passed on that offer, his new number is still a nod to Savard, who wore No. 71 during his first season with the B’s in 2007.
Aside from Savard, No. 71 doesn’t have much history in Boston: Defensemen Terry Virtue (1999) and Jiri Slegr (2004 to 2006) are the only other B’s to wear the number.
Hall could benefit from a clean slate after scoring just two goals in 37 games with the Sabres this season. The 29-year-old has just 29 goals in his last three seasons with three different teams since winning the Hart Trophy in 2018.
Lazar and Reilly selected much more popular numbers: Lazar will become the 21st Bruin and first since Joakim Nordstrom in 2020 to wear No. 20, while Reilly is the 27th Boston player and the first since Colin Miller in 2017 to occupy No. 6.