A talk with Hall: Taylor's take

Robin Brownlee
June 26 2010 01:42PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Taylor Hall hugs his mother Kim Strba after being drafted  overall by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES -- Edmonton reporters pulled Taylor Hall aside at the Staples Center this morning to get his take on being drafted by the Oilers, among other things, now that he's had a night to sleep on it. Here's some quick hits:

THE MORNING AFTER

"It's pretty surreal, just looking back and talking with people," Hall said about being picked first overall. "It's pretty special that I went No. 1 overall. I was a goal from the start of the season. I'm pretty proud of myself. I pushed myself to do so."

ON FRIDAY NIGHT

"Me and my family, all 40 of us, we went to the Edmonton Oilers draft party in Beverly Hills and just kind of hung out," he said. "I didn't want to do anything too crazy. I did the right thing spending time with my family. That's the best thing. They're so important to what I've done and it's nice to spend time with them."

LOOKING AHEAD

"There's not going to be a Stanley Cup next year, but I want to be a part of a team that's a tough team to play against, a hard-working team," he said. "I want to win a Stanley Cup pretty soon. I think everyone involved wants to do that. We have a really good nucleus of young guys who are excited to play in the NHL and I think that's huge."

THE EXPERIENCE

"It's been fun. Like I said, there's been so much hype and so much pressure on myself leading up, it's almost surreal that it's here," Hall said. "I'm kind of sad that the year is over now. It's been everything I expected and more. It's such a great feeling."

THE STAR TREATMENT?

"No, I just walked eight blocks down to the arena and nobody knew who I was," he said. "That was a good change."

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

"I think it's a great thing," Hall said, asked about pulling on the jersey of a 30th-place team. "Any young player wants to go to a team with young players on it. It'll help me fit in very well. For myself, I'm just so excited for next year. I've been a part of a rebuild before. It's exciting for the city and for the players involved."

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

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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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#1 David S
June 26 2010, 01:45PM
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Robin - Between you and Jason, your coverage has been exceptional. Thanks alot.

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#2 Poo Czar
June 26 2010, 02:19PM
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Agreed with Davis S. Fantastic content. Thanks Brownlee!

*internet highfives*

UNLEASH THE UNBRIDLED OPTIMISM! Thank Crap the debate is over (please let it be over). Can't wait for rookie camp to see what these kids can do.

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#3 Chris.
June 26 2010, 02:34PM
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I never joined Team Hall or Team Seguin, however I did tend to defend Seguin an awful lot from people who, in my humble opinion, exaggerated the seperation between the two.

I must say that I am very pleased with the Hall selection, am relieved that the daily Taylor/Tyler thing is mostly over, and hope that the organization was truly unified in this decision. Hall eats, breathes, and sh!t$ hockey 24/7... I like him. I like him a lot.

Take care Robin, thanks for evrything, and have some fun tonight diet or no.

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#4 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 26 2010, 02:37PM
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I feel really fortunate to be able to watch Taylor Hall pull on an Oiler jersey for the next number of years. I have to wonder about Tambellinis speech about the last meetings and the room being converted into a pro Hall room.

Robin: do you think there was any Daryl Katz influence the last meetings held by the Oilers. Stu MacGregor didn't look overly impressed when the Oilers made this announcement?

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#5 SirFozz
June 26 2010, 02:40PM
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I have moved from Squeeeee to Swoon.

*swoon*

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#6 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 26 2010, 03:01PM
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Did anyone ask Taylor what number he'd like to wear Robin?

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#7 Senator Theo
June 26 2010, 03:05PM
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Thanks for the great coverage RB.

Although I was in the Seguin camp, I'm thrilled to have Hall on the Oilers roster. I'm so excited to think about the development of Hall, MPS, Eberle, Omark and the rest of our young guys.

It's a great time to be an Oilers fan - I know that we're not fixed yet, but hopefully the worst is behind us.

EDIT: swoon

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#8 Gerald R. Ford
June 26 2010, 03:12PM
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Excellent coverage, as always. Thanks, Robin! You and Gregor make Draft Day a lot of fun every year.

It is good to be a Citizen today!

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#9 RossCreekNation
June 26 2010, 03:24PM
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"No, I just walked eight blocks down to the arena and nobody knew who I was," he said. "That was a good change."

~Is he asking for a trade already~

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#10 Marcel Dionne
June 26 2010, 03:32PM
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Do the right thing now Edmonton get rid of anything to do with the old guard and let these young bucks meld together. The way to the cup is to let these kids play and grow together. Obviously vets are necessary but keep the eye on the prize. Then maybe they will want to stay to see that goal of winning the cup.

Buy out all that dead weight and lets ride out a few years of growing pains while these kids mature. Success will be ours.

And to Nate F***off

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#11 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 26 2010, 03:32PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Did anyone ask Taylor what number he'd like to wear Robin?

about 38976 times

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#12 ~S~K~
June 26 2010, 04:50PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

about 38976 times

And? What was his answer? :)

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#13 6 ring circus
June 26 2010, 04:52PM
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David S wrote:

Robin - Between you and Jason, your coverage has been exceptional. Thanks alot.

I agree 100%,Oilers nation coverage (Brownlee and Gregor) have been great!!!

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#14 Nate Full of Hate
June 26 2010, 05:11PM
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Will there by any resignations from the scouts?

There have been a few fans who've jumped off the waggon with the Hall selection...

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#15 Nate Full of Hate
June 26 2010, 05:16PM
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So Edmonton drafts 1 of only 2 left wingers taken in the 1st round...AWESOME!

The Oilers must know something other teams don't about avoiding centers in the draft.

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#16 MrCondor
June 26 2010, 05:21PM
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Nate Full of Hate wrote:

So Edmonton drafts 1 of only 2 left wingers taken in the 1st round...AWESOME!

The Oilers must know something other teams don't about avoiding centers in the draft.

You're right! If the Oilers hadn't selected Hall, he clearly would have slipped into the 3rd round

Will you marry me?

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#17 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 26 2010, 05:33PM
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~S~K~ wrote:

And? What was his answer? :)

that he hadnt even thought about it and didnt care what number he got. he is more worried about making the team first

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#18 @Oilanderp
June 26 2010, 05:35PM
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~S~K~ wrote:

And? What was his answer? :)

Oh nevermind. I saw him say in an interview that he didn't really know since his number is retired in Boston and had a history in Edmonton. He said he doesn't really care, and that he'd "wear #81 if [he] had to".

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#19 oileral
June 26 2010, 05:49PM
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@Nate Full of Hate

spoken like a 'true' Flames fan.......we get the best player in the draft and you're still cryin in yer beer!!!! Face it - THIS IS A GREAT DRAFT FOR OILER NATION.

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#20 Landon Ewaniuk
June 26 2010, 07:46PM
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I'm pride to be a part of Oilersnation,Hall is going to be the best players I have seen as an Oiler!

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#21 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 26 2010, 07:59PM
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Last time i seen a flake like this kid Nate come out of the woodwork was during the glory days...there was all kinds of bitter idiots wanting to tear a strip off of Messier, Coffey, Fuhr,Anderson and Gretzky. Perhaps all of his verbal diarrhea only confirms that Taylor Hall is going to be another Hall of Famer.

Carry on with this man crush thing you have going on there Nate. Enjoy watching the next Oiler great.

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#22 R.A. Slapshotzky
June 26 2010, 10:23PM
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@Nate Full of Hate

You are a very special fan, and a very special person too I bet.

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#23 R.A. Slapshotzky
June 26 2010, 10:25PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

Don't you no that charisma and boyish good looks win championships?

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#24 Oil_Loc8or
June 26 2010, 10:55PM
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go Hall go. Great job Robin and Jason

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#25 Archaeologuy
June 26 2010, 11:43PM
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Nate Full of Hate wrote:

Will there by any resignations from the scouts?

There have been a few fans who've jumped off the waggon with the Hall selection...

Seriously?

I am likely the person on ON who spent the most time arguing in favour of Tyler Seguin over Taylor Hall. My number of posts on the subject are probably edging close to or had eclipsed 100, but now that it's over even I havent had as much issue coping as you've had.

Jumping off the band wagon because of Hall? That's weak.

No, Taylor Hall will not be a centre for the Oilers, at least not right away. The Oilers arent going to take him off the wing where he is best suited, but it's not a reason to give up on the Oil.

Obviously this club is still missing that A1 centre, but the rebuild isnt over. Without competent goaltending or a remedy for our AHL bottom 3 defencemen we should be right back into lottery contention. So hope is still there that this time next year we are in the position to take a Centre with a top 5 pick.

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#26 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2010, 01:28AM
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Well, plan A didn't seem to work for us (harvesting both Hall and Seguin) maybe we should try plan B. Jason Spezza might mesh quite well with the younger group of players we have here now.

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#27 Skidplate
June 27 2010, 09:07AM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Well, plan A didn't seem to work for us (harvesting both Hall and Seguin) maybe we should try plan B. Jason Spezza might mesh quite well with the younger group of players we have here now.

No. That is the opposite of a rebuid. With Spezza, maybe we end up in the 15 - 20 spot, the same place we were for far too long. Let's build through the draft, get our young players some experience, both here and in Oklahoma and we will be better off.

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#28 Mitch
June 27 2010, 09:27AM
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@Robin

Robin I was thinkin Seguin until I watched the documentary oilchange. Once I seen KLowe and Tambi asking him questions about being hit and stuff like that, and his answers back to them I was sold. Also when Brad Davis said this kid is "hockey" and also the other scout Ken Hawley I believe said he has never seen a compete level as high as Taylor's ever, it cemented Taylor coming to Edmonton.

I don't want to draw comparisons, but one thing I do know foresure this kid is a Winner and a Champion, he has Compete and Character writen all over him. There is a new sheriff in town, the bar has been raised. Thank you Taylor for letting us all know that.

I'am heading to Penticton on Sept 12 to watch the prospects tournament, it was great to hear the passion in Tambi's voice when he made the call for Hall, as a oiler fan that will be etched in my memorie for ever.

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#30 Nate Full of Hate
June 27 2010, 10:21AM
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@ Brownlee

Everyone is entitled to be wrong...

Great work regardless! LOOKING FANTASTIC ALSO

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#31 Mike Modano's Dog
June 27 2010, 10:22AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:
"No, I just walked eight blocks down to the arena and nobody knew who I was," he said. "That was a good change."

~Is he asking for a trade already~

Jealous already? He hasn't even played a game yet - WOW - he must be good! Why don't you just stop cheering for your Shames now and join the dark side with us? (no, I'm not your father.)

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#32 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2010, 10:26AM
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Skidplate wrote:

No. That is the opposite of a rebuid. With Spezza, maybe we end up in the 15 - 20 spot, the same place we were for far too long. Let's build through the draft, get our young players some experience, both here and in Oklahoma and we will be better off.

We may lose a few bodies in a deal like that (Penner and Cogliano)and we still have Hemsky,Souray and a number of other bodies that could be moved to moved to a club were there's a lottery pick possibility. There's no denying that Hemsky's been an Oiler for six years and look where we are. Things are going south with Hemsky at a fairly rapid rate, the sooner he gets told what to do the better.

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#33 Mitch
June 27 2010, 11:00AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Having spent a few days around him, I have no qualms with the selection of Hall at all. He is an extemely impressive young man off the ice, and everybody has seen what he's capable of on the ice.

Prospects with Hall's talent alone become good NHL players. Prospects with Hall's competitive drive and passion for the game alone become good NHL players. Prospects with Hall's talent AND competitive drive become Hall of Fame candidates -- no, I'm not putting him there before he's played a single NHL game, but he's the real goods.

I don't mind a bit being wrong about the Oilers taking Seguin. That was my best information at the time and Seguin, as MacGregor has now said publicly, was the way he was leaning before the Memorial Cup -- which is when I locked myself in, based on what I was told.

I later sensed the swing over to Hall that was talked about at the draft, but by then nobody with the Oilers was saying anything one way or another. I've been wrong before. I'll be wrong again.

Thanks Robin I hope to see you down in Penticton, wouldn't mind to shake your hand and meet you, I enjoy your articles.

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#34 RossCreekNation
June 27 2010, 11:03AM
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Mike Modano's Dog wrote:

Jealous already? He hasn't even played a game yet - WOW - he must be good! Why don't you just stop cheering for your Shames now and join the dark side with us? (no, I'm not your father.)

LOL... that was sarcasm, not jealousy.

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#35 Dodd
June 27 2010, 12:50PM
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Great coverage and knowledgeable passion for the game and draft, Mr. Brownlee. ON is now my preferred go-to site for Oiler discussion after 1,000 + posts on the Oiler forum. Quality articles, blogs and discussion, without the technical troubles and glitches of the forum.

Cheers.

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#36 Senator Theo
June 27 2010, 01:37PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

LOL... that was sarcasm, not jealousy.

Just between you and me, it might be a little jealousy, right? ;)

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