HALL: I TRIED TO IMPROVE MY PASSING

Jason Gregor
January 07 2013 10:39AM

When the NHL finally gets going, most likely on the 19th of January, you might see a small subtle difference in Taylor Hall's game. I chatted with the 2010 first overall pick before he played his final two games in OKC, and I found out that he worked hard on improving one specific skill set and that he'd love the opportunity to kill penalties.

Gregor: You tallied 10 points in your last five games, did you finally start feeling more comfortable after being out so long with an injury?

Hall: I had a long time off hockey and a long time where I just didn’t play any games. It’s always hard to come back and play after that. It took me a little while to get used to the AHL style of play, but lately I have been feeling really good. I feel like  when the NHL starts up my game will translate really well to that level. I’m getting some really good chemistry with guys like Schultz down here and more so with Eberle. We’re playing well, so it’s been a lot of fun. I think I’m ready for the NHL now.

Gregor: Tell me about MarK Arcobello, who has filled in for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, what do you like about his game?

Hall: He’s a really good centreman. He wins a fair amount of his faceoffs.  The thing that I like the most about him, since he has come on the line with me and Jordan, is he hasn’t tried to change his game too much. He’s played to his strengths and therefore, it’s helped us out a lot. He needs to keep going. It’s been a lot of fun playing with him and seeing him improve as a hockey player and really seeing his confidence go up. Nuge is a great centre too, it was a lot of fun playing with him, but so far with Arco we’ve had some success and the team’s relying on us. I think he really enjoys it, he hasn’t had that kind of pressure on him for awhile. He’s having a lot of fun with us. If he can keep going, it will help me and Ebs out a lot. It’s been a nice fill in for Nuge.

Gregor: When I spoke to you last, you mentioned you wanted to become more of a leader. In OKC, being a proven NHL player, I’m guessing a lot of your teammates would look to you and think, 'We’ve got to listen to what he has to say.' Is it an easier place to become more of a leader, because the guys look at you as a better player?

Hall: I think so, they really expect us to produce here, and the coaches do as well. I think the players; they really kind of gravitate to what we do. You see that if we have a good start to the game and we’re doing the right things and not turning pucks over, a lot of guys seem to follow. I think that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve noticed, that how we play kind of dictates how the other guys play and we’re fine with that. It’s a good responsibility to have. As long as we’re playing good hockey, good sound hockey usually the guys will follow. We have a few other guys on the team that kind of take care of the vocal stuff in the room. As far as the one ice goes, we like being in a role where guys count on us to do the right things out there.

Gregor: Just before the Christmas break Rousell and you got into a scrap. Have guys tried to take liberties with you more often in the AHL than in the NHL?

Hall: No, it’s been pretty much the same. There have been some players who slash us a little bit more and there’s obviously a line every night that’s pretty much out there to shut us down. For the most part, people have played just really hard against us and really fair. But, Rousell was taking a few liberties and cross-checked me for no reason so just dropped the gloves with him, got a few shots in and went down before anything else could happen. I wasn’t the worse for wear by any means. It’s kind of nice to have a fight, not necessarily that I’m a fighter, but just the last time I fought I got hurt. So it’s nice not to get hurt in a fight.

Gregor: Can you talk about Justin Schultz’s game and how you see it translating to the NHL game?

Hall: There has been many defenseman that have dominated juniors and not necessarily had that translate at the pro level, yet there are countless guys that do well at the AHL and then do well at the NHL. It really does translate and especially with a guy like Justin, who is a very good skater and he moves the puck incredibly well. What I’m trying to say is that everything he does in the AHL will work in the NHL. He’s fast, he moves the puck well, he knows when to jump in and he uses his hockey IQ very well. The coaches seem to put him out a lot with us, and it helps out us out a lot having a guy back there that is really an offensive threat.

Gregor: Is there anything specific, that you worked on in the AHL that you might not have been able to work on in an NHL game?

Hall: I think my passing has been something down here that I’ve really been able to utilize. I have, I think, 20 assists in 25 games or 24 games or whatever. I feel that on the powerplay and in certain situations, I’m able to move the puck a lot better than I did at the NHL level. I’m just going to be the same player when we do start the season. I’m just going to be that guy that takes the puck to the net and tries to get a lot of shots and direct the puck towards the goal. If I can add that other element to my game, passing the puck and being a threat, I think it’ll make teams look at me a little differently. That is something I think I have improved on and am still trying to improve on.

Gregor: Jordan Eberle was named the greatest Canadian Junior player. How much has he been telling you about that? Did you guys get him any special gag gifts for that nomination?

Hall: He put a list up on our board in the room of the Top 40 guys and he highlighted his name. At the bottom, he said, “Where’s Hallsy?” Of course I wasn’t on the list because I only played one World Juniors. He made sure I knew. He’s a little bit like that; if he gets some recognition he’s going to let me know that he did. (laughs)

Gregor: Does it just add to the healthy competition between the two of you?

Hall: Ya, there’s always a competition between us. When I say he’s competitive, he’ll let you know that he’s going to try to beat you, where as I’ll probably just maybe try to sneak up on you a little bit. I’d probably say that I show a little bit more passion out on the ice because he’s a little bit more of a cerebral player. As far as hat tricks and stuff, he got a hat trick and then I came back and got one, then he got one a couple games ago, and now it’s my turn. If I don’t get one for awhile, he’ll probably let me know about it. With me and him, it’s always fun. We’re best friends and we have a lot of fun with the fact that we’re good players and we can compete with each other.

Gregor: Have you been killing penalties lately?

Hall: No, they don’t let me kill down here.

Gregor: Is that something you’d want to do at the NHL level?

Hall: Ya, that’s something for sure I’d want to do. In junior I penalty killed all the time and I was a very good penalty killer. I’d go a month without being on for a powerplay goal, but it seems like since I’ve gotten to the pro level they don’t really see me doing that, which is fine, but I’d love to do it some time.

QUICK HITS

  • Ryan Jones suffered an eye injury in Minnesota last week when he got hit by an errant puck. It happened on a freak play when he was away from the play and the puck ricocheted off a skate and hit him directly in the eye. Very unfortunate. He's already had surgery but is expected to be out three to four weeks. I'm curious to see if the Oilers start the season with 14 forwards, and keep Magnus Paajarvi up with the team, or just go with 13.
     
  • Teemu Hartikainen was "the most consistent player we had from game-to-game," said OKC Barons' GM Bill Scott over the phone yesterday. Hartikainen will be at camp later this week and expect him in the starting lineup.
     
  • I'm very curious to see what line combos Ralph Krueger decides to start the season with. Krueger told me before that he believes more in duos than trios, mainly because it is hard to keep one line together for a long stretch. Best guess might be having Hartikainen with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky and Nail Yakupov start on RW with Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth. I doubt those combos last very long, but letting Yakupov stay on the RW to start season might make transition a bit easier for him.
     
  • Ladislav Smid told me his knee feels great. He tweaked it in mid-December, but he's been in Edmonton since before Christmas getting treatment. He'll be ready for the season opener.
     
  • I'm most interested to see how Ryan Whitney looks. He told me he feels great and was able to take powerskating lessons during the off-season for the first time in three years. Whitney's play will be one of the key factors whether the Oilers make a serious push to the playoffs or not. He is extremely motivated to show people he can still play at a high level, and if he does the Oilers will be a much better team. His first pass out of the D zone is one of the best in the NHL. The Oilers spent way too much time in their own zone last year, and if he's healthy that will change.
     
  • I'd love to see Whitney on the ice with Yakupov. Yakupov is great at exploding out of the zone, combined with Whitney's passing abilities I could see a few quick transition plays emerge. If Krueger plays Hall, Hemsky and Yakupov on different lines the Oilers could stretch the ice very quickly on almost any shift.
     
  • Here is a rule change the NHL should make, but likely never will.
     
  • Some have wondered if Hall, Eberle and Justin Schultz might be tired by the end of the season. I don't see it being an issue at all. They will get a one-week break before training camp starts and two-weeks with no games, so even  if they play all 48 games Eberle and J.Schultz will play 82 games while Hall will have suited up for 74. I don't see fatigue being a factor for Hall or Eberle.
     
  • The grind of games every second day might fatigue J. Schultz, but I'm not sure it's as big a worry as some think. The AHL travel schedule is difficult in different ways. Travel days are longer, either on the bus or waiting in airports, and he's had to play back-to-back nights almost every weekend. Only 8 of the 34 games he's played in OKC occurred between Monday-Thursday, so he'll play fewer back-to-back games, but he'll play more often. Krueger is a huge believer in rest days, so I'm sure he will monitor Schultz closely.
     
  • The Oilers have 20 home dates secured at Rexall Place. They will use those dates and then add in more in April to finish out the season. It sounds like they will likely open the 2013 season at home on Saturday January 19th. They were scheduled to play the Ducks that night, but there are rumblings they might see the Flames instead.
     
  • Their remaining home dates are as follows:
    January 22nd
    February 2nd, 4th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 19th, 21st and 23rd.
    March 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 28th and 30th.
    April 1st, 9th and 13th.
     
  • The reason the Oilers are out of Rexall from Feb 23rd to March 15th is because the Brier takes over Rexall from basically February 25th to March 12th. They have to put in the ice, have practices and then the games are played March 2nd to 10th.
     
  • On the old schedule the Oilers had an 8-game road trip during the Brier, so expect something similar when the new schedule comes out. That 8-game trip, followed by a 7-game homestand could make or break their season.
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 A-Mc
January 07 2013, 12:50PM
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Calgary isn't looking so good on those odds. I saw the odds on TV last night and had a good chuckle.

While our precious Oilers have been bottom feeders for a while, there is no denying that there is significant buzz around the team. All the TV personalities light up when they talk about the Oilers, and the new players we have here.

Win or lose, we have an interesting team and i can't wait for this season to start.

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#52 dman09
January 07 2013, 12:52PM
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db7db7db7 wrote:

Anybody else think the Oilers might be looking at trading Yak for #1 goalie like Schneider, Lundqvist or Halak?

After Dubnyk's performance at the Spangler I think there will be no question this season Dubby takes this team by the reins

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#53 DSF
January 07 2013, 12:52PM
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DieHard wrote:

I agree that Dallas and Columbus will be up and coming but the Oilers will be making the most noise first.

Regarding bought-out UFA players. Who do you think will be the most sought after?

Pretty difficult to say exactly who will be bought out other than the obvious ones like Gomez, Redden and Horcoff.

Here's a rundown of who is available now.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2013/01/07/nhl_available_unrestricted_free_agents/

I think the Oilers should take a close look at Redden, Campoli, and especially Pavel Kubina as D insurance.

I also wonder if Columbus will buy out the Wiz who could be quite useful if he comes cheaply enough.

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#54 Czar
January 07 2013, 12:56PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

I really don't like the idea of Yak playing on the off wing. It's not going to help make his transition to the NHL any easier.

I'm glad to hear he'll likely stay at RW. This would have been Kruger's first mistake as the Oilers coach.

Hemsky on his off wing could be the set up man Yak needs. Yak did play some games in the KHL on LW.

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#55 Will
January 07 2013, 01:01PM
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I like the idea of spreading out the rushers, but how good would it be to see Nuge and Ebs on the top line, with Hall and Yak rushing the second line, and the veterans playing shut down on the third line?

Seriously, just the idea of Hall and Yak on one line is crazy, especially if Hall's been working on his passing.

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#56 Czar
January 07 2013, 01:03PM
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@DieHard

"It'll also be interesting to see how quickly John Davidson can turns things around in Colombus." @DSF

It's surprising how much talent they do have left with Howson at the helm. If anyone can turn them around it's JD.

This is the year the Oilers finish ahead of the Flames. Vegas seems to think so,why not you?

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#57 Czar
January 07 2013, 01:09PM
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Sorry DieHard was meant for DSF.

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#58 They're $hittie
January 07 2013, 01:13PM
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@db7db7db7

too bad we didnt have a replacement for horcoff right now. We could swap for Redden this year and buyout in the summer.

Other option is a one year deal for him next year.

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#59 dman09
January 07 2013, 01:14PM
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Czar wrote:

"It'll also be interesting to see how quickly John Davidson can turns things around in Colombus." @DSF

It's surprising how much talent they do have left with Howson at the helm. If anyone can turn them around it's JD.

This is the year the Oilers finish ahead of the Flames. Vegas seems to think so,why not you?

I think people are forgetting something else as well. Kruger is running the team. I honestly think he can make this team finish well above the flames. In a shortened season. Van better be on their games because the Oil are coming to take the top spot

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#60 DieHard
January 07 2013, 01:19PM
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@DSF

Overall, how do you think the bought-out UFA market will go? Do you see most of them getting new contracts and will there be a bidding war (but not too much as to have regret)? Or, are most of these guys just toast?

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#61 DSF
January 07 2013, 01:32PM
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Czar wrote:

"It'll also be interesting to see how quickly John Davidson can turns things around in Colombus." @DSF

It's surprising how much talent they do have left with Howson at the helm. If anyone can turn them around it's JD.

This is the year the Oilers finish ahead of the Flames. Vegas seems to think so,why not you?

It could happen but the Oilers are very, very dependent on DD being above average and any injuries on D or at centre could sink the ship really quickly.

Imagine if Hopkins and Smid missed significant time.

Word today that Roman Cervenka is out indefinitely with a blood clot so that has to hurt the Flames.

I do think, though, that Bob Hartley was the best offseason pickup for the Flames.

Should be interesting to watch.

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#62 DSF
January 07 2013, 01:57PM
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DieHard wrote:

Overall, how do you think the bought-out UFA market will go? Do you see most of them getting new contracts and will there be a bidding war (but not too much as to have regret)? Or, are most of these guys just toast?

With the cap set at $64.3 million for next season, there will likely not be as many buyouts as earlier anticipated.

For example, with Luongo on his way out of town, the Canucks likely won't have to buy out anyone, although they may choose to do so.

Boston will likely have to move someone and I'm sure Buffalo would like a mulligan on the Leino signing.

There are quite a few teams like Calgary who will have oodles of cap space, so it's hard to say what they will do.

Since there are now two buyouts available in the summers of 2013 and/or 2014, there may not be the frenzy that was expected.

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#63 Darrell
January 07 2013, 02:33PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

Unless it's Lundqvist: GOD! PLEASE! NO!

I have a feeling the Oilers will move Yak for a package tat includes Subban or Getzlaf and Perry .... Just a hunch.

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#64 DieHard
January 07 2013, 02:34PM
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DSF wrote:

With the cap set at $64.3 million for next season, there will likely not be as many buyouts as earlier anticipated.

For example, with Luongo on his way out of town, the Canucks likely won't have to buy out anyone, although they may choose to do so.

Boston will likely have to move someone and I'm sure Buffalo would like a mulligan on the Leino signing.

There are quite a few teams like Calgary who will have oodles of cap space, so it's hard to say what they will do.

Since there are now two buyouts available in the summers of 2013 and/or 2014, there may not be the frenzy that was expected.

I think you're right. There will not be a lot of buyouts. I don't even think Horcoff will be bought out. He could be traded next summer instead but if he isn't then probably a buyout in his last year of contract when cap space is really needed.

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#65 stevezie
January 07 2013, 05:28PM
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@The Soup Fascist

I would love to give the flake 4-5 million, but not at the expense of Yak.

Someone help me out, did where did the rules on when/how a guy becomes a UFA finally settle?

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#66 Czar
January 07 2013, 05:35PM
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@DSF

With this schedule everyone is very,very dependent on their goaltending. Kipper goes down or even Backstrom and they could be out of it in a hurry.

I like to Imagine the team we start the year with finishing the year,for once. Can you Imagine?

Cervenka is unproven when he does finally hit the ice but have to agree with the Hartley assessment as well as your take on the buyouts.

Still can't get over the Suter's better than Weber stance but Cheers!

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#67 Darrell
January 07 2013, 05:46PM
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Czar wrote:

With this schedule everyone is very,very dependent on their goaltending. Kipper goes down or even Backstrom and they could be out of it in a hurry.

I like to Imagine the team we start the year with finishing the year,for once. Can you Imagine?

Cervenka is unproven when he does finally hit the ice but have to agree with the Hartley assessment as well as your take on the buyouts.

Still can't get over the Suter's better than Weber stance but Cheers!

Hey DSF - listen carefully any you can hear Coach K licking his chops and ready to prove you wrong:

http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=191975&lang=en

Cheers brother ....

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#68 justDOit
January 07 2013, 06:06PM
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@Darrell

Was just going to post the link to that interview. I know talk is cheap, but Mr. K is smooooooooooth!

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#69 The Soup Fascist
January 07 2013, 06:08PM
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DSF wrote:

Pretty difficult to say exactly who will be bought out other than the obvious ones like Gomez, Redden and Horcoff.

Here's a rundown of who is available now.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2013/01/07/nhl_available_unrestricted_free_agents/

I think the Oilers should take a close look at Redden, Campoli, and especially Pavel Kubina as D insurance.

I also wonder if Columbus will buy out the Wiz who could be quite useful if he comes cheaply enough.

Not sure I am all that excited about any of these guys. Two UFAs / two likely UFAs after buyout.

Redden - 35 years old / legs are gone. Some tough years on / off the ice (allegedly). Do the words "ten foot pole" mean anything?

Campoli - didn't mind him with the Isles / totally lost his games with Habs.

Kubina - another 35 year old with some tough miles. Euro. Meh.

Wisniewski - like his skill. Injury issues / suspension issues appear problematic. Like his age (28) but has been with 5 teams in 7 years since breaking into the NHL. Warning bells are going off in my head.

So it is easy for me to dis all these guys. Harder to come up with the name of a UFA I like, so I know I sound like a negative nelly. These guys are unsigned / getting bought out for a reason. I think the Oilers are going to have to trade if they want a veteran D-man with some gas left in the tank. I don't see any "freebies" that get me excited.

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#70 The Soup Fascist
January 07 2013, 06:13PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Now I'm no doctor, but I'm like 60% sure we could be looking at this kind of a scenario, but with hockey.

Would give you 2 props if I could. One for the reference / the other for being able to hyperlink on this site.

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#71 The Soup Fascist
January 07 2013, 06:25PM
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stevezie wrote:

I would love to give the flake 4-5 million, but not at the expense of Yak.

Someone help me out, did where did the rules on when/how a guy becomes a UFA finally settle?

Long term / high cap hit to sign him. Don't mind the kid's game at all, but is he a fun-loving kid who matures or is he Dion Phaneuf who could not lead water down a drain and divides a room?

In my mind, a big gamble and you would be tying up a wad of cash you would need, when Nuge / Schultz Jr. / Petry / Yakupov / etc come hat in hand in a couple of years.

We could use his skill set, just not sure how long before he would wear out his welcome. Can only have so many "big" personalities in a room.

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#72 DSF
January 07 2013, 06:54PM
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Czar wrote:

With this schedule everyone is very,very dependent on their goaltending. Kipper goes down or even Backstrom and they could be out of it in a hurry.

I like to Imagine the team we start the year with finishing the year,for once. Can you Imagine?

Cervenka is unproven when he does finally hit the ice but have to agree with the Hartley assessment as well as your take on the buyouts.

Still can't get over the Suter's better than Weber stance but Cheers!

Calgary's AHL goaltenders have been spectacular and you have to remember that Minnesota has Harding as a back up as well.

Suter is better than Weber, although both are great.

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#73 DSF
January 07 2013, 06:56PM
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Darrell wrote:

Hey DSF - listen carefully any you can hear Coach K licking his chops and ready to prove you wrong:

http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=191975&lang=en

Cheers brother ....

Krueger could be Ralph or he could be Freddy.

Lot's of rookie coaches talk big and then fall flat on their faces.

We'll see.

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#74 Harlie
January 07 2013, 07:01PM
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justDOit wrote:

Those are astonishing odds given to the Oilers. I never would have thought they'd be that high.

Hall killing penalties? Leave the foot-shaped ice bags for guys like Belanger or Petrell, please and keep Hall's ice time for situations where he can do some good - scoring.

Last 3 minutes of the Stanley Cup final game...Oilers have a penalty...you send out 2 foot-shaped ice bag idiots or you send out Hall?

How about testing the kid often and early in his career to get some experience?

Sometimes a shorty is more important and tide changing than a PPG.

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#75 Darrell
January 07 2013, 07:03PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Not to throw cold water on your trade, but why would you trade a 1st overall for one of two guys (Getzlaf / Perry) who are UFAs in five months?

Only way it makes sense if there is a sign and trade. Which begs the question if you are Getzlaf / Perry why wouldn't you test the free agent market, seeing as how you are 27 or 28 years old and likely to see some nice UFA offers from your choice of teams? Don't see it.

Subban somewhat addresses a need, but how much is it going to cost coming off his ELC? Nice tough D-man, but I am not sure I want to lock up $4-5mil or so on someone who is a bit of a flake, while giving up 3 ELC years of a Yakupov who should be excellent value for 3 years at least.

Just my thoughts. Feel free to disagree.

I agree but something has to give eventually. The Oil could reap the rewards of a 2 for 4 trade that turns them into a contender and then sign a couple free agents like the Jays. Unfortunately is may come at the expense of a six million dollar man ..... We pretend here so pretend Getz, Perry and a top 4D in the line up minus one of the top 4. It's gonna be fun is something we can all agree on now :)

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#76 Darrell
January 07 2013, 07:19PM
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DSF wrote:

Krueger could be Ralph or he could be Freddy.

Lot's of rookie coaches talk big and then fall flat on their faces.

We'll see.

I know it's not your style to give Oiler props but your too smart to miss this guys passion to succeed with this team ..... I feel your coming back to the Oil as you have to be tired of kissing your cousin in front of the Nation ? Maybe we can get you your own radio show and security guard ...... Come on over - first beers on me.

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#77 David
January 07 2013, 07:25PM
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I looked at team depth charts and could only come up with a very small list of Defensemen that I would want and would be available through trade if we aren't giving up the first overalls and ebs which I don't want to do. Mark Staal, Ryan Ellis, and maybe Zach Bogosian. I don't think montreal would trade Subban and I'm nervous of getting him anyways. Other than those guys it would be prospects or older Defensemen. But are the blues going to trade Barrett Jackman? Or the senators Chris Phillips? No. what we would trade I don't know. I think the oilers will continue there path of letting the players they've drafted develope.

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#78 justDOit
January 07 2013, 07:27PM
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@Harlie

Last 3 minutes of the SC final and you're cheating for a short handed goal? If you're down by one, sure - but that's not a normal situation.

I send out the best penalty killers - preferably two guys who can take draws. Nuge will hopefully be one of those guys.

Maybe Hall will develop into a PK guy, but his time in OKC was to get his game back on track after surgery, and by the looks of his boxcars in the last 20 games, mission accomplished. Needlessly increasing the odds of an injury while in the AHL doesn't make any sense.

Hall also wasn't auditioned for a center position while down on the farm. The only possible conclusion as to why he wasn't a PK-ing center while in OKC is that the Oilers mgmt are complete imbeciles. Right?

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#79 justDOit
January 07 2013, 07:30PM
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@DSF

Krueger is as much of a rookie as Makarov was in '90.

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#80 Darrell
January 07 2013, 07:31PM
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David wrote:

I looked at team depth charts and could only come up with a very small list of Defensemen that I would want and would be available through trade if we aren't giving up the first overalls and ebs which I don't want to do. Mark Staal, Ryan Ellis, and maybe Zach Bogosian. I don't think montreal would trade Subban and I'm nervous of getting him anyways. Other than those guys it would be prospects or older Defensemen. But are the blues going to trade Barrett Jackman? Or the senators Chris Phillips? No. what we would trade I don't know. I think the oilers will continue there path of letting the players they've drafted develope.

Its fun holding all four aces in a deck of cards :)

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#81 Darrell
January 07 2013, 07:32PM
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justDOit wrote:

Krueger is as much of a rookie as Makarov was in '90.

Great call !

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#82 DSF
January 07 2013, 07:36PM
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Darrell wrote:

I know it's not your style to give Oiler props but your too smart to miss this guys passion to succeed with this team ..... I feel your coming back to the Oil as you have to be tired of kissing your cousin in front of the Nation ? Maybe we can get you your own radio show and security guard ...... Come on over - first beers on me.

Passion to succeed is only about a tenth of what it takes.

I've already had my own radio show...more than once...and security guards tend to be creepy.

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#83 DSF
January 07 2013, 07:37PM
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justDOit wrote:

Krueger is as much of a rookie as Makarov was in '90.

Or as much as Jiri Dopita was in 2002.

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#84 Darrell
January 07 2013, 07:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Passion to succeed is only about a tenth of what it takes.

I've already had my own radio show...more than once...and security guards tend to be creepy.

What was the radio show called ? Wait let me have some fun with it "Oxy-moron" or maybe "Twin CityTroller" how about "anti-statistics" perhaps "roamer is burning" Come on folks help me out here as DSF needs a new gig .....

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#85 justDOit
January 07 2013, 07:48PM
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@DSF

Well Krueger doesn't have a gold medal, so that's not a fair comparison. I think coaching is coaching, no matter where you are - very dissimilar than a player adjusting to a new country, ice surface and league. Especially a slow, out of shape player.

But a good point nonetheless. Krueger is, after all, a rookie NHL coach.

Instead of just smacking down all the reason for Oiler fans to be encouraged by this new crop of faces for this season, why not regale us with your breadth of knowledge on those Minnesota Wild that you love so much?

Do you anticipate any struggles for that star-laden group in trying to coalesce into a team?

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#86 DSF
January 07 2013, 07:51PM
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justDOit wrote:

Well Krueger doesn't have a gold medal, so that's not a fair comparison. I think coaching is coaching, no matter where you are - very dissimilar than a player adjusting to a new country, ice surface and league. Especially a slow, out of shape player.

But a good point nonetheless. Krueger is, after all, a rookie NHL coach.

Instead of just smacking down all the reason for Oiler fans to be encouraged by this new crop of faces for this season, why not regale us with your breadth of knowledge on those Minnesota Wild that you love so much?

Do you anticipate any struggles for that star-laden group in trying to coalesce into a team?

No.

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#87 justDOit
January 07 2013, 07:56PM
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DSF wrote:

No.

Well at least the pressure is off of Dany now. He no longer is the offensive savior on a goal-starved team. Heatley ($6M) is only making half of what Parise ($12M) makes, which means he should be counted on for half the goals - which should be right around 10 for this shortened season.

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#88 Darrell
January 07 2013, 08:02PM
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justDOit wrote:

Well at least the pressure is off of Dany now. He no longer is the offensive savior on a goal-starved team. Heatley ($6M) is only making half of what Parise ($12M) makes, which means he should be counted on for half the goals - which should be right around 10 for this shortened season.

Karma - I am so glad Heatley is a Wild as it just makes sense ....

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#89 David
January 07 2013, 08:05PM
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Minnesota has a very unimpressive defense. Great goaltending though. They are still a few years away from being a great team in my opinion.

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#90 DSF
January 07 2013, 08:09PM
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justDOit wrote:

Well at least the pressure is off of Dany now. He no longer is the offensive savior on a goal-starved team. Heatley ($6M) is only making half of what Parise ($12M) makes, which means he should be counted on for half the goals - which should be right around 10 for this shortened season.

Parise's cap hit is $38,000 more than Heatley's.

With new playmates and Koivu healthy I expect both will thrive.

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#91 DSF
January 07 2013, 08:13PM
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David wrote:

Minnesota has a very unimpressive defense. Great goaltending though. They are still a few years away from being a great team in my opinion.

Any defense that has Suter playing 25-30 minutes a night will not be "unimpressive".

The Oilers can only dream of having a player of that calibre.

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#92 David
January 07 2013, 08:20PM
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DSF wrote:

Any defense that has Suter playing 25-30 minutes a night will not be "unimpressive".

The Oilers can only dream of having a player of that calibre.

I make no claim the oilers defense is great and they could definitely use a number one d but unimpressive and underwhelming is exactly how I would describe a defense that has spurgeon as a number two, Gilbert and scandella as a second pairing and stoner and a group I've never heard of to fill out the bottom. If Heatley and Setoguchi return to form and Granlund is ready then their offense will be good and they should be a playoff team. But they are years away from being a serious cup threat.

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#93 DSF
January 07 2013, 08:41PM
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David wrote:

I make no claim the oilers defense is great and they could definitely use a number one d but unimpressive and underwhelming is exactly how I would describe a defense that has spurgeon as a number two, Gilbert and scandella as a second pairing and stoner and a group I've never heard of to fill out the bottom. If Heatley and Setoguchi return to form and Granlund is ready then their offense will be good and they should be a playoff team. But they are years away from being a serious cup threat.

Spurgeon is not #2.

Gilbert is.

Suter-Gilbert

Stoner-Scandella

Falk-Brodin

Spurgeon-Prosser

Kampfer

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#94 Johe
January 07 2013, 08:43PM
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@DSF

Thank you for recapping the Wild's poor defensive depth for the umpteenth time. Please move along.

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#95 stevezie
January 07 2013, 08:59PM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Long term / high cap hit to sign him. Don't mind the kid's game at all, but is he a fun-loving kid who matures or is he Dion Phaneuf who could not lead water down a drain and divides a room?

In my mind, a big gamble and you would be tying up a wad of cash you would need, when Nuge / Schultz Jr. / Petry / Yakupov / etc come hat in hand in a couple of years.

We could use his skill set, just not sure how long before he would wear out his welcome. Can only have so many "big" personalities in a room.

I am basing this mostly on the confidence he exudes in interviews, but doesn't Hall seem like the kind of guy people fall in line behind? Remeber when Rodman was a talented guy who was too much trouible to be worth it, but when he met Jordan he just fell in line? True Hall is no Jordan, but I don't think Subban is a Rodman either.

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#96 David
January 07 2013, 09:05PM
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DSF wrote:

Spurgeon is not #2.

Gilbert is.

Suter-Gilbert

Stoner-Scandella

Falk-Brodin

Spurgeon-Prosser

Kampfer

My bad. Gilbert being number two all of a sudden makes it a great defense. I'm pretty sure they will be playing spurgeon in the top four but anyway you want to slice it that defense does not impress. I like Brodin a lot but I don't think he'll be much of an impact this year if he makes the team.

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#97 DSF
January 07 2013, 09:11PM
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David wrote:

My bad. Gilbert being number two all of a sudden makes it a great defense. I'm pretty sure they will be playing spurgeon in the top four but anyway you want to slice it that defense does not impress. I like Brodin a lot but I don't think he'll be much of an impact this year if he makes the team.

It's not a great defense but it's likely among the top 8 in the WC.

Their forwards and goaltending are tip drawer though.

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#98 Crispy
January 07 2013, 09:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Passion to succeed is only about a tenth of what it takes.

I've already had my own radio show...more than once...and security guards tend to be creepy.

Who are you? Seriously!

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#99 The Soup Fascist
January 07 2013, 09:22PM
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stevezie wrote:

I am basing this mostly on the confidence he exudes in interviews, but doesn't Hall seem like the kind of guy people fall in line behind? Remeber when Rodman was a talented guy who was too much trouible to be worth it, but when he met Jordan he just fell in line? True Hall is no Jordan, but I don't think Subban is a Rodman either.

As you say, Jordan was a generational player. But leaving that aside he was much older than 21 when he was given the task of bringing guys in line.

No matter, I am guessing Subban is not going anywhere. You are correct that he is the type of player the Oil could use. Just not sure how he would fit in the room. Hope I am wrong. He has all the tools. If he matures he could be top 10 in the league.

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#100 Eddie Shore
January 07 2013, 10:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Spurgeon is not #2.

Gilbert is.

Suter-Gilbert

Stoner-Scandella

Falk-Brodin

Spurgeon-Prosser

Kampfer

I heard on the radio Scandella is hurt and you seriously think Stoner is a top 4 dman? He is at best a 5-6. So they have two good dmen and a bunch of unproven players after that. Its a stretch to say that their d-core is even better than Edmontons. Member when Gilbert was our #2 dman? How'd that work out for us?

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