MONEY TALKS: HALL UP FIRST?

Robin Brownlee
August 14 2012 03:57PM

It's not a question of if the Edmonton Oilers sign new deals with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle with a season remaining on their entry level contracts, but when. Indications are it'll be sooner rather than later.

Speculation about new contracts for Hall and Eberle, and what kind of term and money it would take so sign them, has been rampant since the Carolina Hurricanes set the bar with a seven-year pact worth $34.35 million for Jeff Skinner.

Ryan Rishaug, TSN's reporter in Edmonton, added some fuel to the fire today with a short entry on Twitter: "Oilers have resumed preliminary talks with Taylor Hall's camp on a contract extension."

Not exactly stop-the-presses stuff, seeing as 630 CHED's Bob Stauffer indicated on Twitter on Aug. 9 he expected contract talks to heat up: "It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Oilers signed Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to long-term deals in the next couple of weeks."

Most noteworthy about today's update from Rishaug is there's no mention of any contract discussions with Eberle. What gives? What's up? Is GM Steve Tambellini talking to Hall and agent Bobby Orr but not with Eberle's rep?

Relax. They'll both get done.

NOT A PACKAGE DEAL

While there's no mention of Eberle, that doesn't mean his camp isn’t engaged in the same "preliminary" discussions Rishaug is reporting between the Oilers and Orr. Just because Rishaug, or Bob McKenzie or Darren Dreger, for that matter, haven't confirmed talks with Eberle, doesn't mean they aren't on.

The other possibility, obviously, is that Tambellini is taking one negotiation at a time and that he's starting with Hall. It's not like Hall and Eberle are Daniel and Henrik Sedin, a package deal. Hall is repped by Orr's agency and Eberle is represented by Don Meehan's Newport Sports, based in Toronto.

As Stauffer suggested, don’t be surprised if the Oilers kickstart the dog days of the off-season by announcing a new contract for Hall. Likewise, that a new deal with Eberle is done. Despite the exclusion of any mention of Eberle today by Rishaug, there's every possibility when an announcement does come, news of both deals will be made at the same time, even if negotiations are distinctly separate entities.

Stay tuned.

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.
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#1 ItsTheBGB
August 14 2012, 04:10PM
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Why overpay for Eberle now? Wait until after next year. Guaranteed that he couldn't command more money than Hall after next year. No one should make more money than Taylor Hall, on this team.

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#2 Dipstick
August 14 2012, 04:10PM
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I hope that Katz demonstrates a commitment to developing a championship team by informing the key players that he will spend to the cap to get it done. Otherwise there is no reason for them to moderate their demands.

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#3 jake
August 14 2012, 04:31PM
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Okay, Mr. Katz, don't go purchasing any meatpacking companies. Critical times ahead.

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#4 Zed
August 14 2012, 04:34PM
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Well, the Oilers have completed the easy part. Tank the team and accumulate high end quality players. A monkey can do that.

Now they need to ensure they stay without handcuffing themselves with the salary cap. Is anyone else as nervous as I am?

I'm reminded of a monkey driving a train and success is only a few stops away.

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#5 Jay Gray
August 14 2012, 04:37PM
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Am I the only one who envisions RNH has the future highest paid Oiler?

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#6 Quicksilver ballet
August 14 2012, 04:52PM
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[Archived quote: Archaeologuy]....I invented a Banana peeler once. Turns out people wouldnt buy it because "their own freakin hands" seemed to be working just fine for them.

They had no respect for my New Peel System. It revolutionizes the peeling of Bananas by unlocking the untapped potential of the colour spectrum and its positive energy fliud like movements THAT WE ALL USE INTUITIVELY.

I am no ordinary inventor, I dont ask, "What do we need?" or "How can I change lives?" Instead, I ask "How can I peel this G#d-D@mned Banana without getting my fingers ooky from the under side of the peel?" Well the New Peel System will do just that. It requires only the NPS tool...and a Banana. I've shown this tool to monkeys at the zoo and within minutes they Peeled more bananas than previous, just CHECK THE DATA. The zookeepers couldnt explain it but put any one of those smoking monkeys on a POLYGRAPH and they will spill the beans faster than you can Peel a Banana, WHICH WILL BE LIGHTNING FAST with the New Peel System. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway you'd resurrect this and possibly let other interested investors in on this Phil? As i sat in my living room last evening i had this epiphany, what if we went all Dragons Den on this baby, put an Oilersnation logo on the handle if they coughed up some bucks....dishwasher safe.

Oh look, there's one beer left from last nights six pack.

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#7 DrDave
August 14 2012, 04:53PM
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RNH may end up the highest paid of the bunch depending on the new CBA but for now, Hall is the future captain of this team and he needs to be locked up long term.

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#8 Bucknuck
August 14 2012, 05:15PM
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I love the fact that we are aving all these debates about who is the most awesome of the terrific forward arsenal they have on this team. So excited about the future!!

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#9 Weasel Wellwood
August 14 2012, 05:29PM
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jake wrote:

Okay, Mr. Katz, don't go purchasing any meatpacking companies. Critical times ahead.

Other than the missing drum roll, you nailed it Mr. Jake.

Mr. Jay Gray raises an interesting speculation. RNH just may well be the highest scoring player on the team for years to come.

And on that subject, what's really important, critical in fact, is that the top three, (and likely 5 if Schultz and the Yak are included, time will tell. . .) is that Paul Coffey's non-verbatim words are heeded: Had we a decent owner and all stuck together, we'd have won another 3-4 Cups easy.

The Oilers MAY have hit the jackpot. No two dynasties are ever alike but it just could be that lightning strikes again. If it does, I hope these kids and their agents recognize that if it does; i) They have the potential to be venerated not only in Oiler lore but in NHL lore, and; ii) Any home-town discount they provide to stay with the club will make them more money, over the longer term, than an extra million bucks or so per year will ever do.

Lots of maybe's in this little dream of mine, but, bottom line, the potential is there.

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#10 Oiler Al
August 14 2012, 05:48PM
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Hall should be signed first.. sets the pace so to speak for the young guns. He's No. 1 draft pick, ahead of Eberle. Besides, Eberle is handled by Meehan, who seems take his time on deals. Skinner, Kane, and Towes are the benchmarks to be watched as comparisons. Fab 4 have to be signed long term, and put there stamp on the team, show casing a solid rebuild here. Otherwise next summer Oilers wont attract much needed and improved veteran presence on the team. Present Vet,s are not the answer for a playoff contender.

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#11 ubermiguel
August 14 2012, 05:54PM
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I hope the team is selling them on the Miami Heat model. Instead of James, Bosh & Wade we have Hall, Eberle, and RNH (and Schultz Jr and Yak).

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#12 Jay Gray
August 14 2012, 06:02PM
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Is it wrong I'm cheering for Russia? Feels so dirty.

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#13 michael
August 14 2012, 07:16PM
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Would the possibility of a soft cap/luxury tax be just what the Oilers ordered.Many teams are chomping at the bit to see what the new CBA will bring in terms of cap relief. Othes like the Oilers would like nothing better than to spend at or above the cap. For the Oilers longterm success I would like a softcap/luxury system in place so that we wouldn't need to look at selling off our players in the future due to cap concerns. The cap has not done a thing to stem salaries because it was tied to revenue. The NHL has grown to a 3 billion dollar a year league. It could concievbly grow by another billion dollars if the NHL decides to move some of the money losers into new markets where the risk/reward would be greater. Southern Ontario.Quebec City. Brooklyn New York. San Diego, California. Yes I wrote San Diego. Another California franchise is needed. It seems that the NHL is at highest point in terms of brand recognition in California than at any other point in the leagues history. LA's Cup win has hockey on the mind of SoCals population. I would move the Pheonix franchise to California in a heartbeat. San Diego,Oakland, and Sacramento all would be viable options.The NHL if they are at all cognizant of the time and place that the league is at currently will do two things in the next month. The first is sign the CBA and move on with buisness. The second is form a committee that looks at relocating the Coyote franchise for the 2013-14 season. And also looking at expansion of another 4 teams in the next 5 years. 2 in Canada and 2 in U.S. The time to expand is now.

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#14 Spydyr
August 14 2012, 08:11PM
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Jay Gray wrote:

Is it wrong I'm cheering for Russia? Feels so dirty.

After watching all 4 games Yak did very little to impress.Small sample size but it looks like he has a ways to go.

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#15 Pajamah
August 14 2012, 08:15PM
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michael wrote:

Would the possibility of a soft cap/luxury tax be just what the Oilers ordered.Many teams are chomping at the bit to see what the new CBA will bring in terms of cap relief. Othes like the Oilers would like nothing better than to spend at or above the cap. For the Oilers longterm success I would like a softcap/luxury system in place so that we wouldn't need to look at selling off our players in the future due to cap concerns. The cap has not done a thing to stem salaries because it was tied to revenue. The NHL has grown to a 3 billion dollar a year league. It could concievbly grow by another billion dollars if the NHL decides to move some of the money losers into new markets where the risk/reward would be greater. Southern Ontario.Quebec City. Brooklyn New York. San Diego, California. Yes I wrote San Diego. Another California franchise is needed. It seems that the NHL is at highest point in terms of brand recognition in California than at any other point in the leagues history. LA's Cup win has hockey on the mind of SoCals population. I would move the Pheonix franchise to California in a heartbeat. San Diego,Oakland, and Sacramento all would be viable options.The NHL if they are at all cognizant of the time and place that the league is at currently will do two things in the next month. The first is sign the CBA and move on with buisness. The second is form a committee that looks at relocating the Coyote franchise for the 2013-14 season. And also looking at expansion of another 4 teams in the next 5 years. 2 in Canada and 2 in U.S. The time to expand is now.

Do you really want to see the NYR/Philly/Boston be the hockey version of NYY/Phillies/Red Sox

Sure, the Oilers would spend $100 million on salaries and be competitive, and the three afformentioned teams would spend $180 and pay everyone 5M -8M/yr just because they could.

It doesn't work in baseball, it won't work in hockey

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#16 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
August 14 2012, 08:35PM
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Yeah, but what does NewAge think of this?

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#17 DLS
August 14 2012, 09:09PM
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I am with you jay gray. Nuge will top the salary charts of the oilers in a few short years.

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#18 Jay Gray
August 14 2012, 10:12PM
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Spydyr wrote:

After watching all 4 games Yak did very little to impress.Small sample size but it looks like he has a ways to go.

I do agree. But it was 4 games…in August

I feel very strongly that he'll be knocking on the 30 goal door in his rookie campaign (barring injury, please baby Jebus, please, I beg, lay off the Oilers in that dept this year)

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#19 OIlerfool
August 14 2012, 10:13PM
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Jay Gray wrote:

Is it wrong I'm cheering for Russia? Feels so dirty.

Yes, yes it is.

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#20 DonDon
August 14 2012, 11:24PM
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Spydyr: "After watching all 4 games Yak did very little to impress.Small sample size but it looks like he has a ways to go." Don't they all?

We may be able to discuss the likelihood of the Oil signing its young stars to long-term contracts more intelligently after we receive further information on the NHLPA's response to the NHL CBA offer. Looks like there could be a salary cap (high and low) plus a luxury tax for the rich franchises. Goodbye parity?

In the meantime, is anything happening regarding strengthening the roster? Or is it the plan to be another lottery winner again? See where the Bleacher report is picking the Oil for 14th in the West, just above Columbus.

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#21 K_Mart
August 15 2012, 01:29AM
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Just from the Canada Russian challenge I thought Morgan Reilly and R.Murray were the two best players. Reilly got more points than Yakupov did and he's a defenseman. But Yak still looked good most shifts and it was way too small of a sample size for any accurate evaluations...hmmm... I wonder if Id be saying that had Yak scored 10 pts. Probably not, Id be blind to the fact it was only a few games and just be extatic that he turned out so good.

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#22 Pouzar99
August 15 2012, 01:47AM
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Okay, first I heard the well connected Bob Stauffer suggesting the Oil would likely seen these two guys long term in the next few weeks. Then its Ryan Rishaug. Then I see a story based on a conversation with Olycyk on the team website hinting a signing could be coming, and now one by Matty, the ultimate inside man.

It might just be Hall to begin with, it might be both, but it looks like something is happening. If we can start signing these guys to fair, long-term deals it would be great.

I am also excited to see the players seem to be taking a very fair negotiating position in the CBA talks. Unless the owners behave like greedy fools, always a possibility, this can get done by Sept. 15th. The league is the most profitable it has ever been, why on earth would anybody want another work stoppage? The onus is now on the owners to compromise and drop somme of the silly stuff, like 5-year entry level contracts and 10 years until free agency, so we can get started on time.

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#23 TonyT
August 15 2012, 05:24AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Gold! Arch needs to add how through "ultra-focusing" he was able to see the entire banana and not just the tip...

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#24 Justrav
August 15 2012, 06:26AM
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If the mighty Oil want to put a positive step forward signing Hall to a long term deal is a must. I would love to 7 years at 5.25 million. With Halls upside as the future captain you can't go wrong! Remember two things boys that are always true.. Oiler will always rule and the Flames will always suck!!!!

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#25 pelhem grenville
August 15 2012, 07:24AM
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@Arch...you ok with Qs' extrapilation of your inventive nature?...or was his comedic value ever cross referenced prior to his whitty pithiness? monkeys everywhere should be able to chime in on this debate no?

more of this topical issue ... please note that our GM can't be expected to talk with TWO agents at the same time man...when he's done assessing the 'sitch' with TH he'll surely get around to making us believe he talked to both of the agents at the same time!

...but he won't extend either of them until he gets the ok from MacT anyway

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#26 Pat Hughes ruled
August 15 2012, 10:25AM
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So what if Hall is going to be the future captain. RMH is the cornerstone of the Oilers and Ebs is second. Hall is real useful when he is on the IR from getting himself crushed into the boards, getting into useless fights, putting off needed surgery......Hall= Cam Neely. give the money to the players smart enough not to get creamed and smart enough to listen to doctors.

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#27 The Soup Fascist
August 15 2012, 11:51AM
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Pat Hughes ruled wrote:

So what if Hall is going to be the future captain. RMH is the cornerstone of the Oilers and Ebs is second. Hall is real useful when he is on the IR from getting himself crushed into the boards, getting into useless fights, putting off needed surgery......Hall= Cam Neely. give the money to the players smart enough not to get creamed and smart enough to listen to doctors.

RNH's contract is not due to expire for two years. This is not a discussion of who you "like" better but which contracts should be extended first. Again a discussion of strategically whether you sign Hall or Eberle first is a reasonable topic (although they are likely going to sign very similar deals). To bring in RNH's name is a red herring.

If you are not a Hall fan, fine. If you think he should avoid collisions, er ... OK. But please don't ask him to be a perimeter player. There are lots of guys who are "smart enough" not to get hit. Meet Alex Tanguay, Scott Gomez, Alex Semin and Phil Kessel plus the many others who end up in the AHL. You are welcome to them.

Hall has been affected by a junior shoulder injury, a freak ankle injury and severe cut in the head (due to a freak incident and a couple of clumsy teammates). If that is your basis - so be it. I agree Hall could be more selective of when and where to play "balls out" but make no mistake he is the heart of this team and the team will go as he goes.

Hall is NOT Cam Neely for a lot of reasons, positively and negatively. But please do not mistake Neely's chronic knee and hip problems (which were related) to three separate and totally diverse injury issues that Hall has experienced.

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#28 2004Z06
August 15 2012, 04:28PM
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I love the "useless fights" comment. After half a year of being the target of the oppositions cheap shots and keying on him, the guy steps up and says enough is enough! He needed to show the league that he didn't need someone to fight his battles all the time and he wouldn't continue to be pushed around. You criticize him for it because he was injured in the takedown? I for one am all for him stepping up from time to time. No ones takes liberties on Jerome Iginla anymore, do they? How about Mark Messier? Go watch figure skating!

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#29 The Soup Fascist
August 15 2012, 05:23PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

I love the "useless fights" comment. After half a year of being the target of the oppositions cheap shots and keying on him, the guy steps up and says enough is enough! He needed to show the league that he didn't need someone to fight his battles all the time and he wouldn't continue to be pushed around. You criticize him for it because he was injured in the takedown? I for one am all for him stepping up from time to time. No ones takes liberties on Jerome Iginla anymore, do they? How about Mark Messier? Go watch figure skating!

Agree. One or two mitt drops a year does serve a purpose. He does need to do his homework though. A Gagner / Beauchimin type matchup, while brave is ill-advised.

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#30 Pat Hughes ruled
August 16 2012, 01:57PM
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As you can tell I wear a 14 jersey not a 4. Let's just hope that we have hockey this year to see how things progress. Is it worth it to see the new CBA and go from there or take a chance and do it now. I knew that RNH is not due for a little while. I guess it all depends on what you like to watch. Do you like that guy who gets points and scores big goals and even some highlight reel ones or the guy who can skate like the wind and bring you out of your seat a couple of times a day?

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#31 Pat Hughes ruled
August 16 2012, 02:00PM
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Hall should book a dance with a certain d-man in LA. At least he is not a borderline tough guy like he chose before and hey Oiler vets.....why are you letting your young guys get treated like this?

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#32 NewAgeSys
August 17 2012, 01:30AM
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This is the one single negotiation that has worried me the most for a few reasons,first and foremost all eyes are watching,second is the dynamic we have with Halls shoulder injury becomeing a weighted factor in discussions,then there is the IMHO mitigateing factors surrounding the shoulder injury itself and its disclosure the initial injury happened years ago and had it been a known fact going into the draft it may have been a factor regarding their choice for the Oilers to have known that a player with Halls style had been reaming our his shoulder for three years before he got proper attention--dureing his most critical growing years,this is sometimes termed a chronic injury and I dont recall reading about any chronic shoulder injuries hindering the number one draft pick overall,do you??This will be a factor.

I understand from articles that the injury is fixable and he should be better than ever,and there has been no big stink about the issue,however I view it as relevant considering negotiations are going to happen.Halls style of play is system induced anyways he goes where the system says right??He is no more an injury risk in the future than anyone else,it is the old injury he needs to make everyone forget about,i believe the team and Taylor both have a sound perspective on the issue that overshadows my guessing game completely as they are professionals,and i expect a better healthier more balanced Taylor Hall,as an ex-athlete I understand how playing with an upper body injury that directly affects your balance and leverage can force you to stretch out the strong side to compensate and this gets you caught in funny positions you are constantly trying to recover from,I could tell initially there was some reason for the reaching and balance issues,so with the excellent care he will get here and elsewhere I expect a potential Captain and an all-star winger to return to action soon.

The intangibles the Oilers will use in negotiations will be long listed to be sure,I am afraid that the gloves had to come off sooner than later and Hallsy is the first into the fray. We will all be given a template for the Oilers plans through this negotiation,so it is critical,I have one last major concern and this one relates to Tambellini and his influences,I am concerned that he will have taken the dynamic I explained a little to seriously and will revisit in some form at some time to in his view correct it wether it is a conscious effort or a reactionary one I expect one to some degree.So I hope he has come to terms with this and made a conscious effort to police himself in the future for as long as it takes.I hope the hatchet has been buried there.

I believe the Oilers will follow league standards with Taylor money wise to start out then peck away,the money side will be easy,the length of term wont be,I expect Taylor to be gunning for 5 yrs and the Oilers to be pressureing for seven at least,at the end of the day I think the Oilers realise they have a tough dynamic forming in the leadership department,Hall is destined to be a leader if he stays healthy so he will be looking for a chance to do that early in his career,hence he wants a chance to leave if that doesnt develop here,I see Gagner takeing over for Horcs,and after Sam we have Hall and Nuge,because winning will define the man after Sam, we need to do that to discover who will lead this team deep into the future,we need to win first,so that dynamic will be discussed then as it cant be now.

I think if the Oil plan on doing as I think and openly defineing the core as catalysing from the center position and base their template off of that they will be ok,our team identity needs a starting point and the time to committ to that is approaching.

Nuge is a center and we all know how difficult elite centers are to trade for ,impossible,in another dynamic we would be loseing a hall or and an Ebbs to get a Nuge,so let stay grounded here and remember which side the bread is buttered on.I think the Oilers hit Nuge with ten years,Hall and Ebbs with five,Gagner comeing up with five and Yakupov will be a swing vote and he will be able to choose after the long term team future is a bit clearer.

If we can find a system that will equally spread out the offense and the numbers we will be in a great negotiateing position in five years,if we play a system that is front end loaded and the kids rack up sick numbers as individuals we are in big trouble,so system choice to me plays a huge part in the overall template of who and how long we sign guys for,the how much right now is not as critical as it will be in 5 yrs.

This funny little system question keeps popping up for me but I dont see anyone else concerned about it??Only management knows the type of system Mr.Krueger is going to use so they have the keys to the kingdom,if we are discussing the potential impact a specific player will have on our system he needs to actually play the system in its entirity for at least six mths before we can make a long term assesment.For example considering the system we have been useing I suggest Taylor can lean on his PP numbers in his favor and the Oilers must respect that,but if we need to change this PP for our new coaches system requirements then maybe the Oilers see this comeing and will push hard on that point,I cant imagine the amount of work that goes into this type of research prior to negotiations and signings.

I think that the Oilers are less concerned about the money than the future dynamics in terms of keeping studs motivated and happy in all areas.

This will be a great one to see completed,and put it this way--I expect Gagner to bust out this year and throw a monkey wrench into this mix,in a big way,I watched some tapes of his dad and he was just like sam always finding himself in an opportune spot consistantly,this seems to be naturally passed down like with other father son combos,as it is apparent and I expect it to manifest itself as consistant multi-point games from Sam this year.System dependant of course.

We are really doing a practice run with everyone but Nuge in the contract dept,the bottom line is that the Oilers longer term plans will all fall into place based off of this signing of Taylor,and to be honest both the team and the fans need a seamless year of hockey if we get to see it played.

What i would do but the Oilers arent me,is offer hall seven years at league value,I would bury the hatchet with him now and eat the risk of injuries,i would exhibit loyalty now,I would toss Ebbs the same seven,Nuge a straight up ten and the rest we work out later.I am assumeing one of our d-men will be showcased offensively this year so one will require a long term lockup as well,likely J.Schultz.

To be honest this is an absolute crapshoot in my mind in the absense of system suitablity data,as I havent a clue about the coaches projected system i cant project Taylors total potential impact so what does that leave us with???Simple league average salary amounts and the rest remains non-analyseable because of a deficit of system data.I put so much stock in system dynamics and execution that Taylors physical skills dont knock me over at all,I have seen faster in Marchant,tougher in Hemsky,and as far as scoreing goals Satan comes to mind,and the list goes on,hence my lack of understanding of exactly how this negotiation can even begin from the Oilers perspective without system data,talk about being in the passenger seat,eh??Actually I had similar feelings when we lost Satan,loseing an obvious talent because of system incontinuity,its a long long list.

Dollar amounts are all league averages dictated ultimately anyways,so whats the point of conjecture??The stone is already cast.

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