Framing the Issue

Lowetide
October 20 2010 08:08AM

This is Henry Fonda in "12 Angry Men." Along with wonderful phrases like "the New Jersey hair-splitting convention" the movie is a compelling look into the meaning of reasonable doubt and the power of bias and prejudice. It's one of my favorite movies. 

There a slight disconnect between most of the msm and the blogosphere on a very important issue involving the Edmonton Oilers. Bloggers have been spending a lot of time discussing Taylor Hall's future, going into great detail in regard to important issues. Keeping Taylor Hall in the NHL now allows him to leave via free agency (if he wishes) at age 25; if he's sent back now the Oilers would enjoy his playing rights until age 27. That's a big deal.

Also, many secondary issues (why on earth can't these kids play in the AHL at age 18? that is something the league needs to adjust) have been brought up across the blogosphere and at the very least make for an interesting discussion.

The mainstream media appears to be using this discussion as a platform to call out "crazy fans" for being fickle. The radio has been full of diatribes about the silliness of sending Hall away ("give your head a shake") and not at all discussing the actual issue: are the Edmonton Oilers better off starting the contract clock a year (or two years) down the line. For the record, I haven't talked to one fan in panic nor a crazy person about Taylor Hall. The Edmonton fanbase is taking a kicking here, and they don't deserve it.

The fact is that there is an issue here that should be addressed: should Taylor Hall be sent to junior in order for the Oilers to get the most out of his pre-UFA career?

My own opinion is here. In that post (and quoting myself, good grief) I said:

  • I've always believed (and Earl Weaver taught me) that when a young player is ready to compete at a certain level the best thing to do is elevate him to that level immediately. Don't put him in a position to fail, but rather take the things he does well and place him in ideal circumstances at the higher level. I think the monetary argument is a secondary consideration (honestly) and that player development should be the only real concern. If Taylor Hall is ready to score 20 goals in the NHL at his age, I believe he'll be a better player one year from now because he was able to handle the extreme challenges at speed. It is a major step, and if he can do it at this age we may be staring at a Steven Stamkos. That's what I believe.

Still do. If the Oilers are any good at all when Hall turns 25 he may well sign here again, and the Oilers are going to pay through the nose if he develops so here's hoping. This is an issue that has enjoyed a longer than normal shelf life--certainly longer than it warrants--partly because the msm isn't listening.

So let me be clear: these are not panic stricken thoughts of youngsters who hold their hockey cards in their hands while drifting off to sleep, these are not the idiot ramblings of unemployed, middle aged men with Cheesie bags and giants bottles of Coca-Cola.

These are well thought out arguments by adults that have benefits and are worthy of discussion.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 @Oilanderp
October 20 2010, 09:47AM
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Good point LT that this question of Hall's future IS in fact a rationally debatable. Yes, there would be benefits to the organization to send Hall to junior (longer time to UFA, save $3.8 mil). However, it is my belief that you should ice the best team you possibly can. So the question is, WHO in the Oilers' system deserves the roster spot more than Hall? Who do you call up? Reddox? Giroux? Moran? Who then fills the gaps created in OKC? The question of Hall's future seems a little more accessible when we frame the issue thus: If not Hall, then who?

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#52 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 09:49AM
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@TSNRyanRishaug

Let's pretend that all the players on the Oilers roster are like assets on a company's balance sheet.

Taylor Hall is an asset that can begin to depreciate when he plays his 10th NHL game, or begin to depreciate next season.

The argument is one of basic accounting - 10 managers out of 10 would want to maximize the value of an asset and make sure they got the best production out of it before it fully depreciated.

Therefore, if we feel that Hall will be more valuable 8 years from now than he will be today, it is perfectly logical to want to send him back to Junior to learn to play Centre.

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#53 speeds
October 20 2010, 09:51AM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Good point LT that this question of Hall's future IS in fact a rationally debatable. Yes, there would be benefits to the organization to send Hall to junior (longer time to UFA, save $3.8 mil). However, it is my belief that you should ice the best team you possibly can. So the question is, WHO in the Oilers' system deserves the roster spot more than Hall? Who do you call up? Reddox? Giroux? Moran? Who then fills the gaps created in OKC? The question of Hall's future seems a little more accessible when we frame the issue thus: If not Hall, then who?

If the Oilers were interested in icing the best roster they could, they would not have re-signed players like Strudwick, Dubnyk, Deslauriers, Jacques, and MacIntyre, they'd have signed players like Frolov, Moore, Biron/Ellis, Brett Clark, etc. on one or two year deals with the >$10mil they have available in cap room.

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#55 Archaeologuy
October 20 2010, 09:58AM
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@PabstBR55

But the Oilers cant control how Hall will be used in Windsor. He may never play a game at centre, he may never spend a minute on the PK, and he might not learn a damn thing playing against 17 year olds.

10 out of 10 managers would NOT send Hall to juniour, otherwise it would be a regular event for 1st overall picks to be sent down to Juniour. That just isnt the case. It takes special circumstances for these kids to be sent down, and I'm not sure Hall meets the circumstances.

If the Oilers thought that drafting a 1st line centreman was the best thing for the club then they had their chance to take one. I doubt that sending Hall to the CHL to learn how to be an NHL centreman is high on their priority list.

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#56 C-DOG
October 20 2010, 10:02AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

It's been interesting to watch the transition from "if he earns a spot in camp with his play he needs to be here" to "it's early, give him time".

I think (hope?) we all knew he was unlikely to be worth his $3.75 MM cap hit this season. Combine that with the long-term UFA ramifications of having him play this year, and the fiscal/cap angle to this is clear: send Hall to junior.

Certainly I don't think Hall's entitled by right of draft pedigree to a spot, but many do, and I think that's where the MSM is coming from: that all first overall picks deserve a spot immediately.

Sending him to junior only makes sense if you are changing his position to centre with an agreement from Windsor, he is a late b-day and has already dominated 3 years on the wing, they need a star to develop asap to help make it an attractive place to play. Paajarvi was already signed for 1 more year in sweden and did not have to come over yet, having 3 kid at the same time will cause problems for elc reasons only.

UFA at 25 is not a concern as most stars are signed to a long term contract well beyond 25 once their elc is up.

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#57 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 20 2010, 10:03AM
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TSNRyanRishaug wrote:

NHLnumbers.com, and Capgeek.com aren't required when trying to figure out if Hall should be here or not. One single solitary question is all that's needed. Whats best for the development of this player? That's why I think those who arm themselves with salary charts, and the CBA in this argument are overthinking it. I'm all for meaningfull debate, love it in fact, but to me this one's simple.

We say that now, but if his next contract costs us 1-2 depth player that would have put the team in Cup contention... well...

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#58 speeds
October 20 2010, 10:04AM
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Jason T wrote:

How is the "patient" route back to junior? Is another year in the OHL helping his development? That is the question. My feeling personally is no. Not one bloody bit.

Patience is watching what we're seeing. A guy learning his way. A guy making mistakes.

Worrying about a contract has nothing to do with the player's development. PERIOD.

I'm so sick of Edmonton fans so worried about money. If he's good enough, he'll get the money. And that is a good thing for the Edmonton Oilers. If he's getting paid, the Oilers did well. At least that's the way I look at it.

I think it's an open question whether another year of junior will help his development. And I think, if they send him to junior having an understanding with Windsor that he WILL play C, I think there's a very good argument that another year in junior could well be beneficial.

I sent an e-mail to Bob on Monday's Oilers Lunch, and I brought up the name of Sidney Crosby, which was misinterpreted as a comparison of the two players (not sure if I worded the e-mail poorly, or what).

I was not meaning to compare Hall and Crosby as players. I was comparing Hall at 18 going back to junior the next season (which would be this season) with Crosby going back to junior for his pre-draft season, which was 04/5. If anyone was going to be stunted by going back to junior, one could argue it was more likely to be Crosby than it would be Hall, because Crosby was a far better player. And if Crosby wasn't stunted* having to play in a league where he was beyond dominant, far more dominant than Hall has been in the OHL, why would an inferior player in Hall be stunted, or hurt developmentally? Even that is ignoring the possibility of having him work at playing a new position, C, in an easier league than the NHL, as well as the likelyhood (?) that Windsor will not be as strong a team as last year.

As for money, I'm not worried about it in the sense of thinking EDM should send him down to save 900K. The Oilers have shown a willingness to burn far more than that, the actual money paid is a non-issue for me.

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#59 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:12AM
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If anyone read the paper yesterday. Renney said that if he as the final say Hall will be with the big club all year.

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#60 VMR
October 20 2010, 10:14AM
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@PabstBR55

I agree with Rishaug, when you start looking at it in terms of "basic accounting" and "depreciating assets" you are over thinking things. You are planning for 8 years in the future and ignoring what needs to be done right now to make that player valuable.

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#61 @Oilanderp
October 20 2010, 10:20AM
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speeds wrote:

If the Oilers were interested in icing the best roster they could, they would not have re-signed players like Strudwick, Dubnyk, Deslauriers, Jacques, and MacIntyre, they'd have signed players like Frolov, Moore, Biron/Ellis, Brett Clark, etc. on one or two year deals with the >$10mil they have available in cap room.

~And don't forget to not have traded Pronger~. I didn't mean to suggest I wanted to talk about possible teams. What I meant was we should ice the best team from the players we HAVE. Everyone knows why Struddy and SMac are signed. Dubnyk, Deslauriers, and Jacques are signed because the organization still sees something in them. Regardless of all that, the question remains: WHO TAKES HALL'S SPOT? I've heard a lot of talk about possibilities for Hall without any mention at all of who exactly we would have play in his spot. Do we ice Storts and MacIntyre every night? Do we have Reddox come up and kill penalties just so Hall can win a 3rd Memorial Cup MVP? Seems ridiculous when we 'frame the issue' this way.

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#62 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:22AM
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~ Hall must be a bust ~ Gagner never lit up the league in his first year untill the last couple months. Let's give this kid a chance. Radio and Media guys always over think and try to come accross as they know what the common fan is thinking, it's funny and good radio I guess.

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#63 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 10:22AM
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@Ender

Ender, the word asset doesn't necessarily apply to a piece of machinery. Hemsky is an asset to our top line, Ender's contributions are an asset to ON, etc.

Smart teams run their organization under a philosophy that has their key assets come to maturity at the same time. This helps keeps the cost of key assets low, while positioning themselves to have a major competitive advantage for a 2-4 year window.

Just because Tampa and NYI decided to play their first overall selections, doesn't mean that convention should dictate what we do. We should be following the model of the Chicago Blackhawks (who sent Toews back to Junior). The Oilers could do the same by sending Hall back to Junior and playing him and 18-year old rookie Nugent-Hopkins next season. Hypothetically.

Frankly, I doubt that Taylor Hall will be sent down. Contrary to what you've previously suggested, it wouldn't cost them a dime in terms of ticket sales or marketing dollars if they did.

It is however hard to argue with the logic that the Oilers will get more value out of season from Taylor Hall during the 2017-2018 season than they will now.

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#64 Ribs
October 20 2010, 10:26AM
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The Oilers cant concern themselves with seven years down the road, or even three years when he reaches rfa status.

*gulp* Oh my.

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#65 D-Man
October 20 2010, 10:28AM
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Crackenbury wrote:

From a pure hockey viewpoint, send Hall back to junior. He's not going to be the catalyst that sends the Oilers over the top this year and into the playoffs. People say he's done all he can do in junior. Well, one more year of getting bigger, stronger and more mature isn't going to stunt his development. It also opens up a spot to look at other older rookies.

From a short-term business viewpoint, I doubt very much the Oilers will be sending him back. Hall represents hope for the future and most fans would see sending him back as having chosen the wrong guy. For that reason it's not gonna happen.

The good news is, neither decision is terribly wrong and a decision either way may end up working out for the best. No worries for me with whatever happens.

From a pure hockey base, Hall won't get any bigger or stronger in junior - he'll gain the muscle when he's training in the off season. If he's smart - he'll try to train with Horcoff who's known for his training regimen. Anyway, you're right that Hall won't be a catalyst that gets us into the playoffs - but neither is Eberle or MPS. Although they look more "NHL ready" - that would mean they should both play in the AHL for another year??

Making the playoffs this year isn't the goal. Developing our rookies into NHL players is. Imagine how dominant Hall, Eberle and MPS will be in three years (barring any injuries)... Sending Hall back only delays that growth, which to be is the completely opposite action of a true rebuild.

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#66 Dominoiler
October 20 2010, 10:29AM
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"Sounds better than Hall in Windsor, Paajarvi in Sweden, and Eberle playing with O'sullivan and Pouliot doesn't it??"

Got me there.. Nice concluding statement... Thanks for the article LT, and Rishaug for sounding in...

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#67 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 10:29AM
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@Archaeologuy

Indy, you're predicating your argument on the suggestion that Garth Snow and Tampa's former GM played their hand correctly.

These are not precedents that hold up in court.

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#68 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:31AM
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MPS hasn't looked NHL ready also, should we send him down?

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#69 Ender
October 20 2010, 10:32AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Contrary to what you've previously suggested, it wouldn't cost them a dime in terms of ticket sales or marketing dollars if they [sent Taylor Hall down].

What evidence could you possibly have that would support such a statement? Hall's face has graced a fair bit of the marketing that I've seen for this season.

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#70 book¡e
October 20 2010, 10:35AM
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For the record, I haven't talked to one fan in panic nor a crazy person about Taylor Hall.

Taylor Hall needs to be kept in the NHL - I just sacrificed a chicken, dropped its entrails into a bucket of goats urine and the signs were clear - sending Taylor Hall down to junior would be a grave mistake.

You're Welcome!

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#71 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:36AM
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Ender wrote:

PabstBR55 wrote:

Contrary to what you've previously suggested, it wouldn't cost them a dime in terms of ticket sales or marketing dollars if they [sent Taylor Hall down].

What evidence could you possibly have that would support such a statement? Hall's face has graced a fair bit of the marketing that I've seen for this season.

I haven't been to many games in the last three years that weren't sold out, even last season when we lost every game

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#72 Ender
October 20 2010, 10:38AM
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@OilFan

So you think people are going to keep buying jerseys with a big ol' #4 on the back once Hall is returned to obscurity in Windsor? Ask Wanye if the success of the rookies drives revenue.

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#73 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:41AM
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@Ender

Why would I ask Wayne ? People will buy other jerseys. Last seasons average attendance 16,839, list season so far 16,839 seems like the same number. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

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#74 Archaeologuy
October 20 2010, 10:42AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Indy, you're predicating your argument on the suggestion that Garth Snow and Tampa's former GM played their hand correctly.

These are not precedents that hold up in court.

Going back to 1995 I can only count 3 #1 overall picks that were sent down voluntarily to spend an extra season in juniour (not counting Ovechkin because there was no NHL in the year after he was drafted). Erik Johnson, Bryan Berard, and Chris Phillips.

3 defensemen, 3 players that might not have been drafted 1st overall if their teams could have a do-over.

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#75 Dominoiler
October 20 2010, 10:45AM
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"I don't understand how you (not just you personally, but everyone who takes this view) can't acknowledge that you have to consider more than just the development of the player. It's simply not the only issue"

Is it not the most important!? Far out weighing the other points that could be made?..

I like the idea of weeding out the bad habits, starting now.. learning to be a pro.. I havent liked Hall's game too much thus far, but I blame that on not seeing it through the optics of Hall being a raw 18 yo talent..

"I haven't been to many games in the last three years that weren't sold out."

From what I understand, you didnt go to many games last year...

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#76 C-DOG
October 20 2010, 10:45AM
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VMR wrote:

I agree with Rishaug, when you start looking at it in terms of "basic accounting" and "depreciating assets" you are over thinking things. You are planning for 8 years in the future and ignoring what needs to be done right now to make that player valuable.

This argument should be about 3 years from now not 8,but if the Oilers were thinking 7 years down the road more often then maybee they wouldn't of signed Horcoff to a six year extension with a full year to go in his previous contract, instead of just saying the cap will just keep going up.

Not thinking far down the road is just irresponsible in the cap world.

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#77 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 10:45AM
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@TSNRyanRishaug

Speeds already brought this up, but what shortcuts did Sidney Crosby take the season before he was drafted?

I think it's undeniable that Crosby is one of the best players in the world right now, and that at 18 years old was a better player than Taylor Hall. Not only that but we can probably safely say that at 17 he was a better player than Hall is. That's not a knock on Hall, that's just pointing out how good Crosby was.

Just because you've accomplished the pinnacle of Canadian junior hockey, doesn't mean you can't still develop there.

I'd argue Ryan Ellis has accomplished quite a bit as well in the last 2 years (2 memorial cups, 1 WJC gold & 1 WJC silver), yet there he is back in Windsor this year.

Accomplishing things is nice, but that doesn't mean you can't still develop.

Part of Hall's accomplishments were due to the fact that he was part of an incredible team. He won't be going back to that same team this year.

And I get that developing these players is priority 1, but again, what evidence exists that players develop better in the NHL at 18 than they would elsewhere?

The problem isn't overthinking at all, the problem is not thinking about it.

Hall = first overall pick = NHL right away. That is essentially what happened. People made up their minds after a couple of exhibition games against AHL fodder that Hall was "ready" for the NHL.

Overthinking would be trying to stop a kid like Eberle from being in the NHL this year. Trying to find reasons to keep him out. This is a kid who can contribute at both ends of the ice and has done it game in and game out. Sticking him in the minors and trying to justify it would be over thinking.

This banter about Hall doesn't come close to overthinking for several reasons:

1. There is no indication that the NHL is a better development league than the CHL for 18 year olds.

2. There is no history of players getting mad because they aren't in the NHL for contract reasons and leaving that team the first chance they get.

3. There are legitimate arguments that contractually that should be considered especially given the first 2 points.

That's not overthinking. Overthinking is the what Tambo has been doing "assessing" this roster for god knows how long now.

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#78 T
October 20 2010, 10:46AM
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I don't think it's a big issue. I mean look at how many elite young players sign fairly lengthy deals that take them into their UFA years anyways (Kane, Toews, Crosby, Ovechkin...). If Hall develops into a super star by the time he's 21, and it's time for him to sign another contract, then I imagine he'll take the money and long term security over signing a short deal so he can take off when he's 25. When it comes down to it the fan base is just worried about losing another star player. If Hall is ready to play in the NHL now (which it seems like he is) and he continues to develop over the next few years like the experts project he will, then I don't think the oilers will have any problem locking him for the prime years of his career.

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#79 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 10:46AM
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@Ender

Perhaps you don't have a good grasp of the Oilers' revenue model. Let me clarify. They make money based on:

1) # of tickets sold (which will be 100% capacity regardless of whether #4 plays)

2) Television revenue - which Hall has no impact on.

3) Sky box suites - which as senior manager from a company with a share in the skybox, I can confidently say that I don't care if Hall goes back to Junior when I sign that 6-figure cheque.

4) Parking, beer, and hot dogs.

5) Jersey sales - which as an easily substitutable good, means that if I don't buy a #4 jersey, I'll but a #91 instead.

So no, sending Hall back to Junior doesn't cost the Oilers a dime. Thanks for challenging me. Maybe we should enroll you in a rudimentary accounting course at GMCC.

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#80 OilFan
October 20 2010, 10:47AM
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Dominoiler wrote:

"I don't understand how you (not just you personally, but everyone who takes this view) can't acknowledge that you have to consider more than just the development of the player. It's simply not the only issue"

Is it not the most important!? Far out weighing the other points that could be made?..

I like the idea of weeding out the bad habits, starting now.. learning to be a pro.. I havent liked Hall's game too much thus far, but I blame that on not seeing it through the optics of Hall being a raw 18 yo talent..

"I haven't been to many games in the last three years that weren't sold out."

From what I understand, you didnt go to many games last year...

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance. I go to about ten games a year and would go more but I have a job that doesn't allow me to be in the City that much. Your welcome

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#81 TigerUnderGlass
October 20 2010, 10:49AM
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The one specific point that I have trouble with from either side of the debate is the UFA status issue.

I don't believe management should be so concerned that everyone wants to leave that they make developmental decisions based on future UFA status.

People keep asking if we want him until he's 25 or 27. If he becomes a great player I want him around a lot longer than that. Shouldn't management focus more on becoming THE place to play rather than plotting escape routes for their own players?

It is in the best interests of the team to have Hall become the best player he can possibly become, so to me it seems obvious the decision should be based on how to best develop the player.

If the team is still bad enough 7 years from now that he will not stay with the team it will not be cause we kept him in the NHL as a rookie.

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#82 Ender
October 20 2010, 10:50AM
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OilFan wrote:

Why would I ask Wayne ? People will buy other jerseys. Last seasons average attendance 16,839, list season so far 16,839 seems like the same number. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

In the first place, if you have to wonder why Wanye's input is relevant then you've already missed the reference and the point is lost on you.

In the second place, you're arguing that the sold-out numbers this year with Hall in the line-up help to prove that Rexall will continue to sell out without Hall. I'm missing your path in logic there.

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#83 Oilers4ever
October 20 2010, 10:52AM
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Ryan is right on this.... people are over analyzing this... numbers (salary wise) should have nothing to do with this. People are too worried about players they will be able to keep or won't be able to keep 3-4 years from now because of new contracts being required for these young guns when the time comes. I think people worry about what happened with the Hawks and that's why. In my mind though the Hawks made one mistake in not keeping Niiemi, that's it. Say what you want about Buffer, Ladd etc, those players can be found anywhere in the league in my opinion.. Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook...that's your core.. if you can keep your top 6 forwards and top 4 defense and an ace goalie as your core, you can fill the rest out with 1-2 million dollar players.. and still have cap room at the deadline each year.. in my eyes, the Oil are one goalie and one top 4 dman away from having this... Give it time people, everything will work out fine.

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#84 C-DOG
October 20 2010, 10:54AM
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TSNRyanRishaug wrote:

Why is controlling him from age 18-25 any different than controlling him from 19-26? The number that matters is the #number of nhl seasons under his belt. He has to learn, and it will take time to learn. starting him at 19 isnt going to speed up that growth process, it just delays it by a year. People, put the abacus away already. Taylor Hall is physically ready to do this, it's going to take a certain amount of contract years for him to reach his potential.. that number of contract years wont be different if they just wait one more to start. If that were the case, then why not make him play all three year in jr he has left? then they'll control him from ages 20-27, wouldnt that be awesome?

By the age of 20-21 he will almost be the same player, check Crosby,Toews, Backstrom,A.O,Stamkos,Staal,etc...

The difference is 7 mil or 3.75 mil at age 21.

Has anyone asked Renney or Tambalini lately about Hall's long term position.

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#85 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 10:57AM
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TSNRyanRishaug wrote:

Why is controlling him from age 18-25 any different than controlling him from 19-26? The number that matters is the #number of nhl seasons under his belt. He has to learn, and it will take time to learn. starting him at 19 isnt going to speed up that growth process, it just delays it by a year. People, put the abacus away already. Taylor Hall is physically ready to do this, it's going to take a certain amount of contract years for him to reach his potential.. that number of contract years wont be different if they just wait one more to start. If that were the case, then why not make him play all three year in jr he has left? then they'll control him from ages 20-27, wouldnt that be awesome?

Is he going to be a better player at 18 or 26?

If the number of seasons is the number that matters, what exactly is that number? And why don't we put every 18 year old (who is 6'+ and 195+) in the NHL if it's better for their development?

And what do you mean delaying it by a year? Are you suggesting if he goes to the CHL he won't improve in any aspect throughout the whole year (mentally, get faster, get stronger)?

Zach Kassian is "physically ready" to play in the NHL right now but he's back in junior. There has to be more to it.

And FTR, he doesn't have to play 3 years in junior. After this season in junior, he will have completed 4 years which makes him eligible to play in the AHL next year under the same rule as Jason Spezza did. His NHL contract won't kick in either keeping his 3 year ELC in tact for another year.

The idea is to develop them as well as understand the financial impact as they go on. If a player will develop to be the same player at 23 by starting in the NHL at 18 as opposed to 20, you've lost out by putting them in at 18.

And we know good players have come into the NHL at 18, 19, 20, etc... and gone on to become star players so I don't understand how you can say that being in the NHL at 18 is better than being in the NHL at 19 or 20.

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#86 Ender
October 20 2010, 10:57AM
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PabstBR55 wrote:

Perhaps you don't have a good grasp of the Oilers' revenue model. Let me clarify. They make money based on:

1) # of tickets sold (which will be 100% capacity regardless of whether #4 plays)

2) Television revenue - which Hall has no impact on.

3) Sky box suites - which as senior manager from a company with a share in the skybox, I can confidently say that I don't care if Hall goes back to Junior when I sign that 6-figure cheque.

4) Parking, beer, and hot dogs.

5) Jersey sales - which as an easily substitutable good, means that if I don't buy a #4 jersey, I'll but a #91 instead.

So no, sending Hall back to Junior doesn't cost the Oilers a dime. Thanks for challenging me. Maybe we should enroll you in a rudimentary accounting course at GMCC.

Maybe you're the one that needs that course.

I'll give you that Hall doesn't have a noticeable effect on points 3 and 4 on your list. #2 is set for this year, but Hall's absence would affect it next year if the viewership dropped as a result. To say that Hall's presence has zero effect on the other two is just naive.

To illustrate just one simple example, Wanye treated us to a story the other day about how he bought his first jersey since Fuhr right after Eberle scored a goal. Eberle is his Boy this year. If Eberle were traded, well, I don't accept your premise that Wanye was ready to buy just any jersey and would have run screaming with his hair on fire to the counter to buy a Paajarvi sweater instead.

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#87 Quicksilver ballet
October 20 2010, 10:59AM
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This Taylor Hall issue is a good example of the mayhem 1260 created when things got a little too slow. The morning show ( the not so dynamic duo) force fed us this first thing monday morning, and because Stauffer wanted to fan the flames he picked up on it as well. This was nothing more than beer league dressing room talk and should have been left where it belonged.

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#88 PabstBR55
October 20 2010, 11:00AM
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@Ender

Why do you have to be so rude, Ender? This is an open forum for people to opine .. stop responsing to contrary viewpoints so aggressively.

As a lesson I dressed you down in Comment #67. I didn't do it because I wanted to show that I could pee further than you could, i did it because you basically accused me of being an idiot in a previous post.

Now that you realize that some of your points are fallible, why don't you cut OilFan some slack.

We'll all shake it off and show up for work the next day.

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#89 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 11:05AM
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T wrote:

I don't think it's a big issue. I mean look at how many elite young players sign fairly lengthy deals that take them into their UFA years anyways (Kane, Toews, Crosby, Ovechkin...). If Hall develops into a super star by the time he's 21, and it's time for him to sign another contract, then I imagine he'll take the money and long term security over signing a short deal so he can take off when he's 25. When it comes down to it the fan base is just worried about losing another star player. If Hall is ready to play in the NHL now (which it seems like he is) and he continues to develop over the next few years like the experts project he will, then I don't think the oilers will have any problem locking him for the prime years of his career.

The difference is when you have to pay them.

At the end of Hall's current deal he'll be 21 and an RFA.

Say he is as advertised and he gets himself a Kane style contract of about $6mil/season.

The Oilers cap hit for Hall is at least $2.25 mil more than it would be if he started in the NHL at 20 and was in year 2 of his ELC. That $2.25 mil can bring in a decent veteran player for the next 2 years.

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#90 Ball Buster
October 20 2010, 11:07AM
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@PabstBR55

Referencing your post #67 . . . what is GMCC?

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#91 dawgbone
October 20 2010, 11:08AM
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Ender wrote:

Maybe you're the one that needs that course.

I'll give you that Hall doesn't have a noticeable effect on points 3 and 4 on your list. #2 is set for this year, but Hall's absence would affect it next year if the viewership dropped as a result. To say that Hall's presence has zero effect on the other two is just naive.

To illustrate just one simple example, Wanye treated us to a story the other day about how he bought his first jersey since Fuhr right after Eberle scored a goal. Eberle is his Boy this year. If Eberle were traded, well, I don't accept your premise that Wanye was ready to buy just any jersey and would have run screaming with his hair on fire to the counter to buy a Paajarvi sweater instead.

What's to stop you from selling Hall to the fans next year then? If he's supposed to make a difference this year in that regard he should be able to have the same impact next year.

Your example of a jersey sale is interesting. No, that one particular person wouldn't buy the jersey.

That being said, how many Taylor Hall fans out there are going to buy one this year and next year? A #4 jersey sold this year isn't going to be sold to the same person next year. If you are going to sell 3,000 Taylor Hall jerseys in the next 3 years, does it matter if 80% happen in year 1 or year 3?

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#92 spOILer
October 20 2010, 11:09AM
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I can't believe we're re-hashing this issue. Oh well, I guess I'll throw my two bits in again.

Let's assume the cap issue is serious enough to take precedence over the development issue...

MC said:

To me, you get better value out of controlling his rights from 19-26 than you do controlling them from 18-25.

Tyler, I think this is the crux of your argument, yet it lacks substantiation.

The 25 and 26 year cut offs are irrelevant. The GM can make him an offer to whatever age he likes on the player's last RFA contract.

Starting at 19 rather than 18 means he's likely to be even better when he goes to sign his second contract than he would be if he had started at 18. That adds to the cost of the second contract, which might also be the player's last RFA contract.

Either way I don't think the Better Value statement is anywhere near a lock.

Since that statement is debateable, the effect that consideration should have on Hall's development should be negligible.

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#93 TigerUnderGlass
October 20 2010, 11:09AM
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dawgbone wrote:

The difference is when you have to pay them.

At the end of Hall's current deal he'll be 21 and an RFA.

Say he is as advertised and he gets himself a Kane style contract of about $6mil/season.

The Oilers cap hit for Hall is at least $2.25 mil more than it would be if he started in the NHL at 20 and was in year 2 of his ELC. That $2.25 mil can bring in a decent veteran player for the next 2 years.

Assuming he will be as good with 1 year under his belt as he would with 3....

Besides, Tambellini has plenty of room for veteran support right now. Who did he bring in again?

Is he going to be a better player at 18 or 26?

Now you want to keep him out until he turns 26? Did you mean to ask if he will be better at 25 or 26?

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#94 Ender
October 20 2010, 11:12AM
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dawgbone wrote:

If you are going to sell 3,000 Taylor Hall jerseys in the next 3 years, does it matter if 80% happen in year 1 or year 3?

It doesn't, but the premise of the discussion we're currently engaged in is whether or not Hall's absence would have an effect on revenues this year.

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#95 Scuba Steve
October 20 2010, 11:15AM
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I totally disagree with the idea of sending Hall back to Junior because of the "fiscal/cap considerations". The main considerations should be about his ability and growth as a player.

When you start looking at players as merely cap numbers, you risk losing sight of what the team is here to do, and that's win hockey games and entertain fans, so the main questions becomes, will Taylor Hall help the Edmonton Oilers win games?

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#96 Ender
October 20 2010, 11:15AM
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@PabstBR55

I'm a little out of sorts today. Apologies if post #56 came across as too abrupt; not my intention to attack individual Citizens unless in self-defense, but I can see why I ruffled your feathers. Please accept my offer of truce and my thanks for your input in the discussion.

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#97 Hemmercules
October 20 2010, 11:23AM
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Scuba Steve wrote:

I totally disagree with the idea of sending Hall back to Junior because of the "fiscal/cap considerations". The main considerations should be about his ability and growth as a player.

When you start looking at players as merely cap numbers, you risk losing sight of what the team is here to do, and that's win hockey games and entertain fans, so the main questions becomes, will Taylor Hall help the Edmonton Oilers win games?

I think the Oilers management is more about selling hope right now than wondering if Hall is going help them get to the playoffs this season.

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#98 Mr. K
October 20 2010, 11:27AM
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I believe this debate is only happening because Hall only has one assist in his first four games. If Hall was 1-2-3 or 2-1-3, hell even 1-1-2 then I honestly think there would be no talk of sending him back to Windsor. Steven Stamkos needed eight games to register his first point(assist) and was 2-2-4 -8 through his first 17 games and no one is talking about the problem Tampa made for themselves by starting his ELC early. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I believe Stamkos is a good example of a player just needs some time to get a feel for the speed of the NHL game. As Hall gets comfortable with the NHL game I think that things will start to slow down for him and his offensive output will increase.

I agree with the line of thinking that if he can stay afloat in the NHL, you leave him here. The only way to learn pro hockey is by playing pro hockey and the mistakes he makes this year will also be made next year after another year spent dominating the OHL. I would rather start his development now and have him at/near his peak earlier in his career than delay the process.

Sending him back to junior for fear that he will skip town in SEVEN years seems ridiculous to me, how insecure have we become as sports fans?

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#99 Bar Qu
October 20 2010, 11:27AM
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Scuba Steve wrote:

I totally disagree with the idea of sending Hall back to Junior because of the "fiscal/cap considerations". The main considerations should be about his ability and growth as a player.

When you start looking at players as merely cap numbers, you risk losing sight of what the team is here to do, and that's win hockey games and entertain fans, so the main questions becomes, will Taylor Hall help the Edmonton Oilers win games?

I think anyone raising the cap issue would agree with your first sentence. Where you (and most commenters here) are losing track is that cap and fiscal efficiency should be part of management's though process.

The argument is this: if Hall is ready to play and will develop let him play in the bigs. But if by playing in the bigs this season it seriously handcuffs the team financially in 3-5 years, then there needs to be a discussion about how the team deals with that situation. And if the outcome of the discussion is 'well, we really don't know how we can have a competitive team at that point' then management needs to at least consider sending him back to junior.

There is nowhere no evidence that management has even begun to think about what is best for the team this year, let alone about how to best manage the cap in the future (how about sign a couple of no-future back-up goalies, and a 8th d-man who won't play at all?). This discussion being raised by certain sectors becomes valid simply because it is not part of the thought process for people are supposedly paid to do just that.

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#100 Bar Qu
October 20 2010, 11:29AM
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I think those who project massive salary increases for players when Hall is 25 are dreaming in technicolor. Just ask homeowners who paid massive prices 5 years ago about rising values over time. Just ask all those free agents priced out of the market this year.

Past behaviour is the best predictor of future events. Salaries for star players have increased every year since the 90's, ergo it is reasonable to assume they will continue to increase.

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