NO FEAR: WHAT ABOUT TAYLOR HALL?

Robin Brownlee
November 28 2011 03:07PM

The fearlessness Taylor Hall shows on the ice is part of what makes him a very special player and favourite with fans of the Edmonton Oilers. It's also a trait that could shorten his shelf-life on the NHL marquee.

While discretion isn't as sexy a quality as the no-guts-no-glory style that has Hall out of the line-up with an injured left shoulder after taking a hellacious hit from Ryan Wilson of the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, it's nonetheless an attribute he'd best add to his game. And the sooner the better.

Hall got starched by Wilson while hustling for a loose puck in the corner on a stiff, but clean hit. He was injured when he hit the boards awkwardly while trying to brace for the impact. Hall left for medical attention, returned and then was done for the balance of the night after a well-placed cross-check from Kyle Quincey of the Avs. From Denver to MRI City.

It's not the first time. It won't be the last.

HE GETS AFTER IT

We've seen this movie before with Hall, no? Before the Oilers even got a crack at Hall at the podium, there was the potentially neck-breaking hit he took from Travis Hamonic of the Brandon Wheat Kings in pursuit of a puck while he was still a member of the Windsor Spitfires.

Drew Doughty lowered the boom along the boards in Los Angeles last season when Hall tried to beat him wide, starting a hey-rube. Then, there was the scrap with hard-nosed Derek Dorsett of Columbus last season in his first NHL fight, a take-no-crap decision to stick up for himself that ended his season with a sprained ankle.

Saturday, it was Wilson, a player Hall ran up against more than once as a junior – somebody Hall, in hindsight, admitted he knew might try to lay him out. Having the book on Wilson didn't stop Hall for going for it. On the same road trip, you might recall, Hall went headlong into the goalpost in Chicago while charging for the net. He escaped injury.

Like I said, it's that kind of reckless abandon and fearlessness that makes Hall the player he is. It pulls fans out of their seats. It sells tickets and jerseys. It creates a buzz. In part, at least, it's that jam and gusto that got Hall drafted No. 1 overall in 2010 by the Oilers after he won a second Memorial Cup with Windsor and his second MVP award. Game-breaker. Difference-maker. Big-time brass.

That damn-the-torpedoes bit is also what had some observers, myself included, wondering if Hall might have to reel the swashbuckling in just a bit in the name of self-preservation at the NHL level. I'd suggest that, 24 games into his sophomore season, it's obvious he does.

A MIDDLE GROUND 

Over at the Cult of Hockey today, David Staples is suggesting Hall needs to incorporate a little nastiness into his game. You know, a well-placed elbow or length of shaft here and there to buy some room and make opponents think twice about taking runs at him. Mark Messier stuff. I'm all for that.

I'd also suggest Hall exhibit a little more discretion. As much as I hate to use the term because it generally has a negative connotation, Hall needs to pick his spots more often. It can't be balls-out in every race for loose pucks and open ice, every showdown with a defenseman. That's easier said than done of course, given playing that way seems part of Hall's DNA.

Let's be clear, I'm not talking about turning Hall into a perimeter player or a snow-throwing Patrick O'Sullivan clone. Nobody wants that. While I see nothing wrong with Hall dropping his gloves now and again or delivering, as Staples says, a well-placed elbow or two-hander, that's not enough.

Simply put, the bottom line for me is that if Hall is going to put himself in harm's way, he's got to know who and what he's up against, rather than fearlessly charging in every time. Size up the situation. Take a peek. Be aware. Play the odds. I know, that's not as catchy as that No Fear thing, but it's smart.

It goes without saying fans of the Oilers don't want to see the edge taken off Hall, to see him throttle it back too much in the name of playing it safe. At the same time, I'm guessing they do want to see him wearing No. 4 for this franchise for as long as possible. That's not a likely outcome the way he plays the game now. 

There is a middle ground between burning out and fading away. Hall needs to find it.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 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.
Avatar
#1 The Farmer
November 28 2011, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Hall would be much better off serving a 5 game suspension for a cross check to the teeth than missing 5 by getting run all the time.

Avatar
#2 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 28 2011, 03:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Mess was a beaut... here's some amazing clips... nasty!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbuYFx4dPnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNS_k7jWDqE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yxLlZkknv0

it was a different time, that's for sure!

Oh and Brownlee... I imagine Hall appreciates the value of discretion when he's taking out the daughters of the local sports writers.

Avatar
#4 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 28 2011, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Couldn't agree more, every time Hall goes face-first into the ice/boards/defender, I Find It Strangely Terrifying.

Edit: ._.

I also disagree with Phaneufblows, Hall would be fine in a couple fights a year (hell, even Gags does that), but he just needs to learn the technique.

Avatar
#5 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
November 28 2011, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I tremble with fearful, joyful anticipation of the result of his play as I watch. Elbows needed! Take some nasty penalty's. Elbow is a great choice! #11 indeed!!!

Avatar
#6 RexLibris
November 28 2011, 03:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I remember last season Daniel Briere was suspended for a wicked cross-check to his opponent right off the faceoff. Rob Brown commented on Stauffer's show that Briere likely did that as a strategic way of getting himself some more space and time. Even though he knew he was likely to have to sit for a few games, when he came back guys would be a little more careful around him. Brown even said that his junior coach used to "spot" him a couple of major stick infractions at the beginning of the season specifically for this same reason.

While I'm not suggesting that Hall go berserk on someone off the faceoff, I agree with your points Robin, and those on Copper and Blue. Specifically about Hall needing to play a little dirtier in the trenches in order to make defenders look at him more like a potential danger than an inviting opportunity for a big hit.

P.S. I'm okay will Hall fighting, as long he can figure out how to do it without injuring a shoulder or some such.

Avatar
#7 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 28 2011, 03:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

"Oh and Brownlee... I imagine Hall appreciates the value of discretion when he's taking out the daughters of the local sports writers."

I said, "Pardon?"

...(causally whistles)... who me?... (feigns a nonplussed attitude)... oh, nothing... i'm sure I didn't mean anything by it... (opens umbrella in the summer time and sips a mint julep)...

Avatar
#9 Quicksilver ballet
November 28 2011, 04:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Mess was a beaut... here's some amazing clips... nasty!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbuYFx4dPnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNS_k7jWDqE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yxLlZkknv0

it was a different time, that's for sure!

Oh and Brownlee... I imagine Hall appreciates the value of discretion when he's taking out the daughters of the local sports writers.

If #4 wants to have a long career he best learn to do this exact same thing. If he can do that, he too, will have a chance to be a Hall of Famer.

Avatar
#10 @NateInVegas
November 28 2011, 06:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

How effective is getting a stick/elbow up when you skate as low to the ice as Taylor Hall?

(He would have hit Wilson in the shoulder.)

http://twitpic.com/7ld0io

This is about hockey IQ and skating with your head up. The school of hard knocks is harsh, I hope Hall figures it out before doing serious damage.

I'd like to see him play center, it would force him to play and think the game another way. He might not be as comfortable or effective, but it could be better for the team long term. Reducing the shots he takes on the boards can't hurt.

RNH-Hall 1A 1B isn't a terrible thing.

Avatar
#11 Robin Brownlee
November 28 2011, 10:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
nofool6110 wrote:

7-10 days, preliminarily.

2-4 weeks.

Avatar
#12 The Beaker
November 28 2011, 11:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@FastOil

Screw that. I'd keep the guy and take the risk. Hall is more likely to be way better than anything you'd get in return for him.

Avatar
#13 nofool6110
November 29 2011, 10:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

2-4 weeks.

Can I still be in denial for 7-10 days?

Avatar
#14 FastOil
November 29 2011, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Trade Hall before he's damaged goods? Quite a leap, no?

@OB1 Team RNH - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"Congratulations, this is the first "trade Hall" post I've seen.......Oil fans will have him ran out of town in 3 years......You might just be "that guy" that gets the whole thing underway."

A reasonable, calmly stated thought is different than the hot headed reactionary stuff you are attempting to lump me in with.

Don't be that guy.

@Brownlee

Just a thought. I know a fellow who was in talks with NHL teams before his draft year, a big fast power forward who drove the net like a beast, and lost his shot at the bigs because of a career ending knee injury. The team most interested in him drafted a Russian. Now he can't stand European players and hasn't skated much since. He's a Habs fan, recently we were talking hockey and he mentioned how he thinks Hall is amazing, good for a couple of highlight reel hits a week on TSN, him on the receiving end. I winced. My pal said he doesn't like Hall's long term health outlook as it stands, but of course no one knows.

IIRC Messier made a style change right? Sather convinced him he was more benefit on the ice than in the box, suspended or hurt. If he hadn't done that his story would very likely be different.

I am suggesting Hall is reaching that point. Blowing by/through defenders isn't working for him in the NHL (not that he didn't take his licks in the OHL). I think it's fair to say if he keeps racking up injuries and taking a couple of big hits a week he'll be diminished before he's accomplished anything. I think Hall is really lucky so far that he hasn't been concussed seriously.

Renney seems aware of it, which I was relieved to hear, with his tone it down comment. To me, if Hall keeps with how he's playing now, I would be thinking about what's best for the long run in terms of risk, and before anyone starts I wouldn't trade a player like Hall (if at all) for magic beans.

I don't buy that it's the only way he can play, he is a world class player. He chooses to for whatever reason. This was a concern pre-draft, and Hall supporters (included) said he would adapt to play in the NHL because he is elite. He'd figure it out.

He hasn't got the high risk - low reward aspect out of his game so far. Some plays aren't worth making when you're not in a playoff series. If he takes an interest in longevity, in surviving, of course you want a player that like on your team.

Avatar
#15 OilFan
November 29 2011, 04:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Don't think you can coach a guy into playing without fear if Hall changed his game how effective would he be ? His dynamic fast pace style lifts the team and gives the whole team energy kinda like a tilt.

I will be looking forward to watching Hall's dynamic game again in a couple weeks.

If only Renney and his coaching staff understood that when you ask for a fight you don't always get it.

Does the hit really have to be cheap or illegal to get a reaction from our bench boss and role players ?

Yes there's the 2min penalty but when will this team send the message ?

Dallas showed the Oilers colors hitting RNH and Eberle at free will since they knew Renney doesn't allow fighting. Like last season the team is soft to play against just the way Renney likes his teams.

Avatar
#16 geoilersgist
November 28 2011, 03:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I will be first to say I don't like how reckless he is and I hope he tones it down from now on. He is too important to get hurt all the time and his recklessness doesn't do his body any good.

EDIT: I also have no problem with Hall fighting if it gives him some space and he doesn't hurt himself.

Avatar
#17 They're $hittie
November 28 2011, 03:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

No fighting for Hall. Up for the elbows though.

Avatar
#18 OilFan
November 28 2011, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Unreal talent without fear you have to like that/ Just hope he can stay healthy

Avatar
#19 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
November 28 2011, 03:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

He'll find the middle ground eventually but you have to love how ballsy the kid is.

Avatar
#20 Quicksilver ballet
November 28 2011, 03:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How soon for the results of the MRI, should the Oilers know by game time?

A suspension or two could go along way to buying Taylor some space out there.

Avatar
#21 jeanshorts
November 28 2011, 03:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

This was pretty much the only fear I had about him leading up to the draft. No impressed that it's coming to fruition.

I'm sure he'll learn from it, and I also feel that once he hits his peak size, adds 10-15 pounds of muscle, that players won't be able to toss him around like that and we won't have to worry about it as much. That's the hope I'm holding out for anyway.

Avatar
#22 Peacecountry
November 28 2011, 03:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

In a perfect world it would be nice to think that Hall could alter his game and be able to pick his spots. To me, however, it seems like the great players of the game are the ones who can use the elite skillsets that they have to make something out of nothing. RNH does it with vision, Hall does it with tenacity. Ovie has struggled since altering his game. If Hall loses that tenacity he may very well loose the skill that makes him elite.

Avatar
#24 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 28 2011, 03:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Also... we shouldn't forget he wasn't really injured in the fight per se... but in the awkward fall that incurred as the fight petered out. I don't think that should discourage him from fighting... he's as likely, if not more likely, to get that injury again just by playing with speed in dangerous areas.

Avatar
#25 Spaghetti - Team Facalto
November 28 2011, 03:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

...(causally whistles)... who me?... (feigns a nonplussed attitude)... oh, nothing... i'm sure I didn't mean anything by it... (opens umbrella in the summer time and sips a mint julep)...

WOW!!!!!

Runs for cover, and waits for the fallout!

Avatar
#26 Team Hall
November 28 2011, 04:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ya, if you watch Smytty, he has some vet tricks down. Like the "oops you were taking a run at me and i just put my hands up to protect myself and you got my stick in your teeth", that kind of thing. Learn it Hallsy.

Avatar
#27 Jerk Store
November 28 2011, 04:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Couldn't agree more, every time Hall goes face-first into the ice/boards/defender, I Find It Strangely Terrifying.

Edit: ._.

I also disagree with Phaneufblows, Hall would be fine in a couple fights a year (hell, even Gags does that), but he just needs to learn the technique.

Subtle. A Wiser slow hand clap for you.

Avatar
#28 Walter Sobchak
November 28 2011, 04:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I remember growing up watching Glen Anderson play. I never seen him get really hurt that I can remember? Taylor Hall reminds me most of Anderson.

It seems both player almost instinctively know how to absorb hits and what the players limitations are on the ice.

I know it's a different time and players are bigger and faster however, I think you cant really change the way the player see's and plays the game. Those type of players are balls out or nothing.

I applaud Hall's passion and recklessness he plays with. Maybe he just has to pick his spots better?

Avatar
#29 The Towel Boy
November 28 2011, 04:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think the biggest thing he needs to learn is that this isn't junior and his foot speed alone can't always squeak him by the d-man's board side.

Eberle learned it pretty fast and, I now notice, plays the chip and chase when entering the zone much more often than he did last year after being wallpapered a few times.

Avatar
#30 Clay
November 28 2011, 04:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm all for a guy making room for himself, and I love Messier as much as the next guy... but before we all go endorsing Hall throwing a few elbows, let's be clear what we're saying.

The buzz-phrase these days is "head shots".

C'mon guys, if you're in the group that thinks it's acceptable for Hall to elbow or cross-check a guy in the teeth, then you're a hypocrite if you get mad when an opposing player does it to an Oiler. Can't have it both ways.

One of my favourite memories of Doug Weight was when he was leg-whipped by Bryan Marchment, he came out the next shift cross-checked him right in the mouth. Beauty. Loved it. But that NHL is gone, boys.

I would be all for Hall dropping the gloves if he needs to; I think he's more than capable. But I hate to see cheap shots by anyone on anyone, and don't want to see any Oiler adopt it as a strategy.

Either head shots are wrong or they aren't.

Avatar
#31 Dipstick
November 28 2011, 04:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I have no stats to back me up, but I would wager a wobbly pop or two that Hall takes 5 hits for every time he sneaks by on the boards. He hardly ever dishes the puck off. If he did that more often, he would create more space for himself. I fear for his long term health when I see him get crushed trying to squeeze through along the boards like he does.

Avatar
#32 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
November 28 2011, 04:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

...(causally whistles)... who me?... (feigns a nonplussed attitude)... oh, nothing... i'm sure I didn't mean anything by it... (opens umbrella in the summer time and sips a mint julep)...

by "taking out" you are actually implying... nevermind, damn moderated comments..

Avatar
#33 The Nuuuuuuuuge.
November 28 2011, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hall needs to watch Messier's game film. He needs to put on 10 pounds and get mean.

Avatar
#34 Pucker
November 28 2011, 04:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Walter Sobchak wrote:

I remember growing up watching Glen Anderson play. I never seen him get really hurt that I can remember? Taylor Hall reminds me most of Anderson.

It seems both player almost instinctively know how to absorb hits and what the players limitations are on the ice.

I know it's a different time and players are bigger and faster however, I think you cant really change the way the player see's and plays the game. Those type of players are balls out or nothing.

I applaud Hall's passion and recklessness he plays with. Maybe he just has to pick his spots better?

Glen Anderson - pretty well everytime he got knocked to the ice, his stick was, 'perhaps accidentally' swinging about head height.

I'm sure that bought him some room.

. . . Smytty twice this year: The elbow he got a penaly on. The stick wrapped around Weber's nose.

Yeah. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Avatar
#35 A-Mc
November 28 2011, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Mess was a beaut... here's some amazing clips... nasty!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbuYFx4dPnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNS_k7jWDqE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yxLlZkknv0

it was a different time, that's for sure!

Oh and Brownlee... I imagine Hall appreciates the value of discretion when he's taking out the daughters of the local sports writers.

Those were brutal. I Did Chuckle when they dropped Modano though; that clip was straight out of a comedy.

Avatar
#36 Walter Sobchak
November 28 2011, 04:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Pucker

No doubt it was a different time, tougher game to play back then. Most of which would get you suspended for the better part of a season now.

Taylor Hall just needs to pick his spots better. I'll argue if it was even necessary to go balls out to the corner to get that puck?

I would have been ok with the injury had he got it driving to the net.

Avatar
#37 CJ
November 28 2011, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Clay wrote:

I'm all for a guy making room for himself, and I love Messier as much as the next guy... but before we all go endorsing Hall throwing a few elbows, let's be clear what we're saying.

The buzz-phrase these days is "head shots".

C'mon guys, if you're in the group that thinks it's acceptable for Hall to elbow or cross-check a guy in the teeth, then you're a hypocrite if you get mad when an opposing player does it to an Oiler. Can't have it both ways.

One of my favourite memories of Doug Weight was when he was leg-whipped by Bryan Marchment, he came out the next shift cross-checked him right in the mouth. Beauty. Loved it. But that NHL is gone, boys.

I would be all for Hall dropping the gloves if he needs to; I think he's more than capable. But I hate to see cheap shots by anyone on anyone, and don't want to see any Oiler adopt it as a strategy.

Either head shots are wrong or they aren't.

I think you're missing the point. There is a big difference between hitting a defenseless player (with a head shot), and protecting yourself from an attacking player (with a well placed stick in the teeth).

Avatar
#38 Pucker
November 28 2011, 05:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Nostalgia is fine and all, but Glenn Anderson would have had to find another way to get it done today. With the rules as they are now, Andy have his own personalized section of carpet in Shanahan's office. I lost count of how many guys Anderson accidentally raked with his stick.

That's true but Ryan Smyth seems to be doing okay lately.

it might be worth the risk of a suspension or two over the next couple of years while Mr. Hall is in his entry level contract.

I'm not advocating the agressive type elbow/lumber(metal) but sometimes self defense is worth the risk if not necessary.

When the game plan involves taking runs at you, it's best to create some doubt about how soft the contact is going to be.

Avatar
#39 Jerk Store
November 28 2011, 05:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ The Towel Boy

Excellent point. I have really noticed Eberle taking advantage of defencemen with soft chips this year. Hall could learn from that and utilizing the give and go more(assuming Hemmer gives it back vs being Mr. Dipsy Doodle).

Avatar
#40 Rama Lama
November 28 2011, 05:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

There are ways to make room for yourself on the ice. Everyone who has played the game knows this and knows how to do it.

Hall has to learn the hard way a a few injuries will help drive home the point better than all of armchair coaches out there.....me included.

Avatar
#42 A-Mc
November 28 2011, 05:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ugh, it makes me sick to my stomach to think of Hall getting a Career Ending Injury.

He has so much to do and prove, and a guy with his drive will do it. I really hope he finds a balance of Relentless attack and Self preservation.

Avatar
#43 6 ring circus
November 28 2011, 06:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Lets all be thankful, that Hall has not suffered a concusion.Didnt he say it himself that he has to play smarter and watch for the hits?

Avatar
#44 Haajarverle
November 28 2011, 06:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

" It can't be balls-out in every race for loose pucks and open ice, every showdown with a defenseman. That's easier said than done of course, given playing that way seems part of Hall's DNA."

I honestly don't think he'll ever change. He's the type of guy to sacrifice the body for a play and he always has been. Hopefully rooming with Hordichuck will teach him a bit of nastiness.

Side note: I had a similar shoulder incident last year and went to the bench with a limp arm. It was a torn labrum (like Hemsky had) and needed surgery :-/

Avatar
#45 Ken
November 28 2011, 06:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

When the oil where looking at drafting Hall i asked an assistant coach if they could take some of the recklessness out of his game .He said yes!! I see a certain amount of that but unfortunatly it may take an injury to make him a little more aware

Avatar
#46 nofool6110
November 28 2011, 09:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

7-10 days, preliminarily.

Avatar
#47 FastOil
November 28 2011, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The NHL is a more dangerous place now than what it was when the Glory Oilers played and the decade before. There were incidents of psycho play, but they were incidents, and other than pugilists, those players were often gone from the league soon after. A matter of honour and appropriate respect.

Barring the difference in analysis of concussions (all of several months old), players getting incapacitated from contact now has gone to a level I think has never been seen.

There were big hits in the 80's, a new level in the 90's when obstruction and open cheating became the norm (Stevens' hits 5 seconds after the player had moved the puck for eg.), and now with the level of competition, money, Gladiator equipment, boards and glass, it's a new world.

Players who can't accommodate this will not play full careers as much as they once did. Eberle has seemed to me to limit the big hits he was taking along the boards, and RNH seems to be learning this quickly. We'll see about Hemsky, although it may be too late for him.

If Hall (whose puck skills are seeming perhaps a little lacking, but I love) can't get this, I think I might cash him in. He will likely not reach his potential if he doesn't stop self destructing while he finds his groove.

Is his value to the team more as a premium trading chip now, or as Hemsky in four years? I wouldn't want that choice to make, but I think it might reasonably have to be considered soon.

Avatar
#48 Clay
November 28 2011, 11:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Robin Brownlee

I understand what your argument is, Robin, and agree with you. What Smyth did to Weber in Nashville the other night is a perfect example. My comments were more in response to the "he should be like Messier" comments.

A lot of what Messier (and what most guys) did "back in the day" would garner 10+ game suspensions now. Look up his hit on Modano on Youtube - an elbow to the head like that these days would be a 20 gamer.

Avatar
#49 Dodd
November 28 2011, 11:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Let's keep in mind that this is as small and weak as he gets - Hall's size, training and strength should eventually make him a Getzlaf to play against.

Avatar
#50 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 29 2011, 08:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
FastOil wrote:

The NHL is a more dangerous place now than what it was when the Glory Oilers played and the decade before. There were incidents of psycho play, but they were incidents, and other than pugilists, those players were often gone from the league soon after. A matter of honour and appropriate respect.

Barring the difference in analysis of concussions (all of several months old), players getting incapacitated from contact now has gone to a level I think has never been seen.

There were big hits in the 80's, a new level in the 90's when obstruction and open cheating became the norm (Stevens' hits 5 seconds after the player had moved the puck for eg.), and now with the level of competition, money, Gladiator equipment, boards and glass, it's a new world.

Players who can't accommodate this will not play full careers as much as they once did. Eberle has seemed to me to limit the big hits he was taking along the boards, and RNH seems to be learning this quickly. We'll see about Hemsky, although it may be too late for him.

If Hall (whose puck skills are seeming perhaps a little lacking, but I love) can't get this, I think I might cash him in. He will likely not reach his potential if he doesn't stop self destructing while he finds his groove.

Is his value to the team more as a premium trading chip now, or as Hemsky in four years? I wouldn't want that choice to make, but I think it might reasonably have to be considered soon.

Congratulations, this is the first "trade Hall" post I've seen.

I was just mentioning to a friend yesterday that Oil fans will have him ran out of town in 3 years. You might just be "that guy" that gets the whole thing underway.

Comments are closed for this article.