Going all-in: the Oilers should draft Taylor Hall

Robin Brownlee
June 23 2010 12:57PM

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 04: NHL top prospect Taylor Hall visits the Philadelphia Flyers locker game before Game Four of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 4, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES -- If the Edmonton Oilers covet Tyler Seguin and want the Boston Bruins to pay for the right to get Taylor Hall, there's only one thing for GM Steve Tambellini to do at the Staples Center Friday.

Tambellini has to step to the podium and announce, "With the first pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select from the Windsor Spitfires, Taylor Hall."

If Tambellini wants Seguin and is certain the Bruins want Hall, forget about reading between the lines and playing footsy to see what poker-faced Boston GM Peter Chiarelli is willing to offer to have the Oilers pass on Hall with the No. 1 pick. Walk to the podium and take Hall.

Then, Tambellini should sashay over to Boston's table and ask Chiarelli who he is willing to part with along with the No. 2 pick to get Hall in a trade, once he's finished blowing snot bubbles.

If Chiarelli has been bluffing that he'd be just as happy with Seguin as Hall, he is likelier to pay a steeper price to get him after Hall pulls on an Oilers jersey than in a gentlemen's agreement ahead of time to have the Oilers pass on him.

If Chiarelli has been telling it straight, and he tells Tambellini to get stuffed and then takes the talented Plymouth Whalers centre, what is the downside for the Oilers and Tambellini? They get Hall.

That's the Entry Draft version of all in.

A WINNING HAND

Chiarelli and Tambellini have been playing poker-face for weeks now, neither of them showing their cards in terms of stating a preference for Seguin or Hall. That's to be expected.

"It is different," Chiarelli said during a conference call on Monday. "Generally I would characterize it as, we both don’t want to lay any cards to each other right now.

"I genuinely believe Steve is of the same opinion on these players as we are. They’re very close. I know we’re both very non-committal."

Not to be outdone, Tambellini didn't dish anything when he met with reporters Tuesday, minutes after Chiarelli traded the 15th pick to Florida in the Nathan Horton deal.

"They're both great players, great kids and great people," Tambellini gushed. "I'm being vague for a reason here. Is there an argument or a push for one or the other?

"I can tell you, the discussion (among the scouting staff) was incredible. Of course there's going to be people talking about Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall and their strengths and weaknesses and projections. I expected that. I wanted that.

"At the end of the day, I know we'll walk out on June 25 and be totally focused and excited and on-board with one decision."

All the smoke-blowing aside, I believe the Oilers want Seguin and the Bruins want Hall. Still, it makes no sense for Tambellini to declare as much, which he hasn't, because that would minimize anything he might get out of Chiarelli for passing on Hall.

Likewise, why would Chiarelli admit he covets Hall and give Tambellini leverage? Not smart. So, here were, with both of them fingering their chips and staring across the table at each other.

BET THE STACK

Tambellini and Chiarelli have talked, and both have been taking calls from other GMs inquiring what it might take to get their picks. That's business as usual for GMs holding the best hands.

For all the talk until now, the glad-handing, schmoozing and positioning starts in earnest today as teams and their hockey departments arrive in Tinseltown. "Meet me in the lobby." Call me at 9 p.m." "I'm in room 249. Stop by in an hour."

Having landed Horton and Gregory Campbell from Florida, Chiarelli may feel he's bolstered his roster enough that the Bruins can contend for the Stanley Cup next season and that he need not entertain offers for No. 2, unless somebody gets stupid.

If that's the case, and it wouldn't surprise me, any slim chance Tambellini had of landing the second pick to go with his first by offering Chiarelli the opportunity to "win now" with a package of players has turned into no chance. That still leaves Seguin and Hall on the table.

The way I see it, the best way for Tambellini to call any bluff and squeeze something out of Chiarelli -- if the Bruins really do want Hall and there is something to be had -- is to call Hall's name with the No. 1 pick and then take that stroll over to Boston's table.

Tambellini holds all the cards. The problem is, I'm not convinced he's packing enough brass to play them.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#151 Archaeologuy
June 23 2010, 05:51PM
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@Jaime

Those few months are the difference between having 3 years of OHL experience and having 2.

If you really think that the extra year in the OHL is meaningless than I think you're really under-estimating things.

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#152 DC
June 23 2010, 05:54PM
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jr_christ wrote:

Watch the hit... he saw the guy coming. He didn't have his head down. He was LOOKING RIGHT AT HIM when he was hit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BMQuNfOzrE

"THE HIT" which franking one, the guy gets drilled every third shift. just saying. huge heart, very tough, but it only takes one Stevens like hit to change a career's course. ask Lindros

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#153 Jackie Treehorn
June 23 2010, 05:55PM
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Man up Kip Dodry, and pick one name, so we can really expose your ignorance.

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#154 jr_christ
June 23 2010, 05:56PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Those few months are the difference between having 3 years of OHL experience and having 2.

If you really think that the extra year in the OHL is meaningless than I think you're really under-estimating things.

Hey, I am not taking ANYTHING away from your comment because 9 out of 10 times I completely agree.

HOWEVER... you are eligible to play in the OHL one year sooner now. Therefore, at 2.5 months difference in age I wouldn't think would make a huge impact. Especially considering the comments I've read that Seguin is more mature than Hall.

I guess I just would have though a CSS ranked #1 player should have been playing the same year as the #2 if they were only 2.5 months apart in age.

Keeping that in mind, I don't actually know if Seguin wanted to play OHL at that age because he would have been first year midgit (if i'm not mistaken??)

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#155 jr_christ
June 23 2010, 05:59PM
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DC wrote:

"THE HIT" which franking one, the guy gets drilled every third shift. just saying. huge heart, very tough, but it only takes one Stevens like hit to change a career's course. ask Lindros

Completely agree with you...

let's just hope that this doesn't happen to any of the young players on our team. Lindros was not known in juniors for being a heads down player...

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#156 jr_christ
June 23 2010, 06:11PM
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Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Im moving to Calgary soon myself... im skeered.

Is there a support group for misplaced Edmontonians we can join and drink our sorrows away?

Also, im with menacer, when do they actually start the picks because im trying to finger out what time I have to skip out of work to make it to the pint in time?

One more thing, which LRT station do you use to get to the pint? I don't plan on driving home if yaknowwhuddaimean ;)

You know what? On 12th ave and 5th street there is an Oilers hangout which opened a couple months ago... HUDSON'S!!!

LOVE IT!!

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#157 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 06:56PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Did anyone rip the Ottawa Senators when they sent the first pick Bryan Berard to the Islanders for the 2nd pick, Wade Redden?

I don't recall either player feeling slighted.

They didn't make that trade until the following January, though... after Berard refused to play in Ottawa.

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#158 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:01PM
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Ender wrote:

Jason Gregor wrote:

Did anyone rip the Ottawa Senators when they sent the first pick Bryan Berard to the Islanders for the 2nd pick, Wade Redden? I don't recall either player feeling slighted.

Let's be fair, Jason; it's apples and oranges.

First of all, that trade happened in January, several months removed from the draft floor.

Secondly, neither of those players reported for the team that drafted them. It was a huge problem for the players, the teams, and the fans. When that trade happened, everyone collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief and moved on.

I get that you're trying to say that Berard, drafted first, didn't feel bad about being traded for Redden. But the players in this draft do intend to report to the team that drafts them (I hope), and it's thus more important that they have a good relationship with that team.

I see Ender already beat me, as I'm late to the party.

BTW Ender, when do you start writing for the Nation? There's some here with weak takes that are good writers... there's some with strong takes that are terrible writers... you, you're a good writer with strong takes. Give it a whirl. Tell Wanye to "give you the keys to this sumbitch for a bit". LOLZ

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#159 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:10PM
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I like how people get mad at Brownlee for telling us he thinks that 'based on what he's heard he thinks the Oil take Seguin'. Like "F U Brownlee, you're trying to trick us!" Like "get over Seguin Brownlee"... LOLZ... ahahahaha. Like "Brownlee has wood for Seguin". Like he'll take it personal if they don't draft him.

PEOPLE: GTFOH

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#160 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:15PM
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Is it possible that Boston adding Horton has nothing to do with Hall/Seguin... at least in terms of them now knowing the Oil will take Hall?

First off, the Bruins need wingers. erS. Getting Horton doesn't mean they don't need another winger.

Secondly, if I'm not mistaken, Horton's agent also happens to be Bobby Orr. Perhaps they're looking at uniting the 2 Orr clients.

Thirdly, look at the avatar... S-E-G-U-I-N!

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#161 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:23PM
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Crash wrote:

Seguin was a 17 yr old for 11 months before trying out for the jr team...Hall had been a 17 year old all of one month when he tried out...bit of a difference there.

Coming up thru minor hockey, Seguin would have always been a year behind, no?

The age difference isn't a whole lot. The experience difference may be. If I'm not mistaken, Seguin wasn't even eligible to play in the OHL the 1st year that Hall did.

I have nothing too negative to say about Hall, but I like Seguin better.

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#162 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:32PM
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Totally pwning the comments right now... I'm so good.

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#163 Senator Theo
June 23 2010, 07:32PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I like how people get mad at Brownlee for telling us he thinks that 'based on what he's heard he thinks the Oil take Seguin'. Like "F U Brownlee, you're trying to trick us!" Like "get over Seguin Brownlee"... LOLZ... ahahahaha. Like "Brownlee has wood for Seguin". Like he'll take it personal if they don't draft him.

PEOPLE: GTFOH

OK - this is exactly what I've been saying RC. There's nothing for the media to gain by projecting the Oil will pick one over the other.

Are we that hungry for a conspiracy that we think the media is trying to trick Oilers fans?

Oh, and I'm calling him Seggy now.

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#164 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:36PM
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@Senator Theo

You ruined the pretty sweet streak I was on catching up on the last 100 comments.

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#165 Senator Theo
June 23 2010, 07:39PM
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lol. "ruined" might depend on your perspective...the all RossCreek feed might not appeal to everyone! ;)

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#166 madjam
June 23 2010, 07:41PM
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Katz to name new facility RexHall Place ?

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#167 Mitch
June 23 2010, 07:42PM
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I want Tambi to step up to the Podium and select Tyler Seguin, I would love to see Gretzky up there to pass him the jersey. I want Tambi to have balls and not need anything from Boston, I want him to show the courage as he has with all his other moves so far this off season, that he knows in his heart he made the correct choice signify to Tyler he's EDMONTONS guy, Edmonton is Seguins city and have some dam pride. I say Seguin because the highlights that I have seen he reminds me of Modano/Toews. Tambi has made some bold bold moves, Seguin will be the first bold roster move.

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#168 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:42PM
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@Senator Theo

LOL. From now on, I think I might just write my comments on a Word.doc so I can dominate and enjoy all by myself. Pretty ballsy of me to think I could pwn the Nation.

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#169 Senator Theo
June 23 2010, 07:46PM
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@RossCreekNation

well, ballsy to pwn OilersNation anyways. try CanucksArmy - I think you could pwn them with minimal effort or resistance.

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#170 madjam
June 23 2010, 07:49PM
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Wow . Love all aspects of that Chicago and Atlanta deal from both sides . Guess that leaves Byfuglien off my list .

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#171 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:50PM
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Anyone here trade (injury-prone) Sheldon Souray (2 years left at $4.5M; cap hit $5.4M) for (injury-prone) Tim Connolly (1 year left at $4.5M; $4.5M cap hit)?

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#172 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 07:51PM
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@madjam

Were you in a cave?

I think the Hawks made out like bandits, btw.

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#173 Oil_Loc8or
June 23 2010, 08:06PM
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When are we going to get some insider information ? I'm dieing here....Robin any word on any possible trades at the draft?

@RC

I like that deal Souray for Connolly but I don't think Connolly would be a good fit, I just want Souray gone. May be San Jose or the Ducks will need a dman?

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#174 Senator Theo
June 23 2010, 08:17PM
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@RossCreekNation

How about Souray for Tim Conway? If we could get Don Knotts too, it might be good for the dressing room.

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#175 Oil_Loc8or
June 23 2010, 08:23PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

How about Souray for Tim Conway? If we could get Don Knotts too, it might be good for the dressing room.

Or Charlie Conway ? He has mad shoot out skills

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#176 Jackie Treehorn
June 23 2010, 08:37PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

What is this you write? What is your problem with me? Man the F up.

Why don't you make another name, another identity to spew crap on the boards; it would complete your cowardice.

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#177 Jackie Treehorn
June 23 2010, 08:38PM
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Aleslav Smidsky wrote:

why dont you get a rubber mold of his penis too, it would complete the crush.

What is this you write? What is your problem with me? Man the F up.

Why don't you make another name, another identity to spew crap on the boards; it would complete your cowardice.

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#178 Crash
June 23 2010, 08:44PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Coming up thru minor hockey, Seguin would have always been a year behind, no?

The age difference isn't a whole lot. The experience difference may be. If I'm not mistaken, Seguin wasn't even eligible to play in the OHL the 1st year that Hall did.

I have nothing too negative to say about Hall, but I like Seguin better.

I'm not really sure if Seguin would have always been a year behind coming up thru minor hockey but if he was he would have always been older than Hall was at what ever level he played at if he was in fact always a year behind...

They are both NHL draft eligible in the same year and are both almost the exact same age...

IMO, at younger ages being older is a definite advantage moreso than an extra year of playing.

For the record I haven't really had anything negative to say about Seguin either, but I like Hall better, much better in fact.

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#179 MattL
June 23 2010, 08:49PM
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Brownlee,

For a guy that cracks on the Oilers' PR skills lately, you managed to come up with the single worst PR move possible in relation to the draft.

I would love to see Hall get picked first, then 100 people at Rexall (including little kids) getting their mint condition Taylor Hall jerseys, followed by Tambo waddling over to the Boston table with his very own Hall jersey in his hand if Hall isn't already wearing it, only to have Mr. Weasel Gary Bettman come to the podium to announce a that the Boston Bruins have traded their second overall pick...

How do you not think that would make the Oilers a complete farce and laughing stock of the league?

Balllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllsy.

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#180 MattL
June 23 2010, 09:05PM
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Ender wrote:

Archaeologuy wrote:

The cake is a lie

I'm with Rubbertrout on this one. You earned one 'forget a bonehead comment of your choice' card with that line. And thanks to Robin's dogged determination that Seguin is indeed Tambo's guy, your hope (and quietly mine) of drafting him is Still Alive.

Holy cow, nobody needs a Portal into your nerdy lives...

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#181 RossCreekNation
June 23 2010, 09:11PM
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@Crash

Minor hockey cutoffs are Jan. 1st; NHL draft Sept. 15th, so yes, there's a bit of a difference, and yes, being among the oldest of his age group would be advantageous (in theory).

However, for him to have played his 1st OHL season at the same time Hall did, he would have been 15 and 8 months. I understand Hall isn't that much older, but he would have been a whole year of development behind him - the difference of making the jump as a 2nd yr bantam compared to a 1st year bantam (at least those were the age groups when I played).

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#182 Archaeologuy
June 23 2010, 09:21PM
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MattL wrote:

Holy cow, nobody needs a Portal into your nerdy lives...

Being nerdy is almost required for my job. You cant come into the office as a Game Tester and not drop video game references.

Now, would you kindly support drafting Seguin.

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#183 HOFFFF
June 23 2010, 09:54PM
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After all the weeks of master-debating, I still agree with Archaeologuy and support drafting Seguin. Every time I start to lean a bit Hall's way I hear him speak. Seguin looks and talks like a hockey player with a creative sense of humor. Creative = Playmaker. Hall talks like a snowboarder and has that look like he took too many shots to the coconut. He can sure take a hit, but one of these days its going to be someone like Richards hitting him, and he'll be out for 4 to 6. Still happy to have either.

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#184 Butters
June 23 2010, 10:40PM
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What happens if they piss off the player they end up with by pulling this stunt? Could he refuse to sign and go back in the draft like Stoll and Lombardi did?

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#185 Aleslav Smidsky
June 23 2010, 10:51PM
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Jackie Treehorn wrote:

What is this you write? What is your problem with me? Man the F up.

Why don't you make another name, another identity to spew crap on the boards; it would complete your cowardice.

Am I a coward because I suggested you had a man crush on Arby or because I wasn't able to reply to you when you wanted me to?

I dont have a problem with you per say. I was just making a joke at your comments, thats all. Sorry if your heart rate went up, my bad.

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#186 madjam
June 23 2010, 11:00PM
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100% sure it will be Hall . Not even Tambellini could blow this call . Even if Seguin turns out best 5 years from now ( which i highly doubt by the way ) Hall is still by far the better choice as we need the best proven player to make team immediately , and not one that might be better off next season going back to junior or AHL to try and prove what Hall and Eberle already have done in major competition amonst and with elite talent !

Sorry Seguinand media fans , but it's not going to be Seguin . Best player for our circumstances and time is Hall even if he does not continue to beat Seguin over next five seasons .

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#187 Aleslav Smidsky
June 23 2010, 11:10PM
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@madjam

Speaking of mancrushes.

I MISS HEMSKY.:(

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#188 MattL
June 23 2010, 11:16PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Being nerdy is almost required for my job. You cant come into the office as a Game Tester and not drop video game references.

Now, would you kindly support drafting Seguin.

Most definitely. Seguin has a brain on top of his neck, so I pick Seguin.

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#189 Mike Modano's Dog
June 24 2010, 06:24AM
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The cake IS a lie...

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#190 madjam
June 24 2010, 07:39AM
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Hall is/will be equally adept at center or wing playing for the Oilers . You can't say that about Seguin . Hall is far more ambi dexterous in that regard, yet very few are giving Hall his just dues in that regard. That ability to play both positions equally well is a huge plus for taking Hall - no if , ands or butts ! If we need him as a center we can use him there if need be .

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#191 Archaeologuy
June 24 2010, 08:56AM
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madjam wrote:

Hall is/will be equally adept at center or wing playing for the Oilers . You can't say that about Seguin . Hall is far more ambi dexterous in that regard, yet very few are giving Hall his just dues in that regard. That ability to play both positions equally well is a huge plus for taking Hall - no if , ands or butts ! If we need him as a center we can use him there if need be .

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Could+Hall+middleman+Oilers/3189545/story.html

Many NHL scouts do not think Hall will be an effective centreman

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#192 smiliegirl15
June 24 2010, 12:17PM
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Hall's "ability" to take a hit and get up again like nothing happened still scares me. His first hit from a bonafide NHLer will tell the tale as to whether he'll have a career or not. We've had enough concussion injuries on this team in the past 4 years, we don't need any more.

I just hope Hall can live up to the hype if he's selected by the Oilers. Hell, I just hope he can live.

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#193 Voice of Reason
June 24 2010, 01:24PM
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OK, oilersnation officially jumped the shark with this piece

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