TAYLOR HALL: 200 IN THE BOOKS

Robin Brownlee
December 18 2013 09:03PM

Taylor Hall played his 200th NHL game for the Edmonton Oilers in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center Wednesday. In many ways, the milepost was a microcosm of his tenure since the Oilers made him the first overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Hall, 22, roared up and down the ice like a freight train coming off the rails most shifts, driving the attack on many of them, getting little accomplished on others. Hall pumped seven shots on goal. He busted to the net on a partial breakaway down the left wing, went to the backhand, fumbled the puck and crashed into the corner boards.

Defensively, Hall made a terrible giveaway, throwing a puck to Anze Kopitar, of all people. He missed some assignments. About the only thing that wasn't par for the course in all the above, as hot as Hall's been, is he didn't manage a point as Martin Jones turned aside all 24 shots he faced.

Still raw, often ragged, Hall is a work-in-progress. While he's knocked off some of the edges, he's in many ways still very much the same instinctual player he was as two-time Memorial Cup MVP of the Windsor Spitfires. Hall is more like a finicky Ferrari than a reliable Ford pick-up, which is exactly what you expect from a No. 1 overall pick.

He's far from a finished product. 

Class of his Class 

By the most basic numbers, Hall reaches the 200-game mark with 77-96-173, good for .87 PPG. He's scored 12-16-28 in 29 games this season (.97) after tearing it up for 16-34-50 in 45 games (1.11) last season. That, on the heels of a 27-26-53 through 61 games in 2011-12 and 22-20-42 in 65 games as a rookie in 2010-11.

When I look at the draft class of 2010, there isn’t a player, be it a forward or a defenseman, I'd rather have than Hall, not one player who stacks up better with draft day not so long ago. Not just by the numbers, but by any measure, at least from where I sit.

Not No. 2 pick Tyler Seguin, who has 154 points in 234 games. Not Carolina's Jeff Skinner, who has 152 points in 211 games. Defensemen? Nope. Cam Fowler of Anaheim is the best blueliner of the class to this point and I wouldn't trade Hall straight up for him, which is saying something as badly as the Oilers need actual NHL defensemen.

Flaws and all – and there are a few – Hall's performance through 200 games on a bottom-feeder like the Oilers is unmatched by his peers. There can't be any real argument about that, as there was for a time among the fan base in the Taylor-Tyler debate leading into the draft in Los Angeles. 

Trade Hall

Jason Gregor has long made the argument the Oilers are going to have to dip into their talented group of top-six forwards to make the mix right and more important, acquire other players necessary to round out the roster – notably, but not limited to, a proven top pairing defenseman. I agree with him.

If I'm looking at Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov as possible pawns in re-configuring this roster, the two players who don’t go on the table are Hall and RNH. I'm not saying they can't be traded, but unless Craig MacTavish has a Norris Trophy candidate coming back, they don’t enter the conversation, at least if I'm MacT.

Of course, with the Oilers facing an eighth year out of the playoffs, some fans, rightfully sour, and media types might feel differently. One e-mailer to Gregor's show today called Hall a prima donna, suggesting he'd trade him in a heartbeat. Really? For who? That's frustration talking. Crazy talk.

There are a lot of things wrong with the 2013-14 edition of the Oilers. Hall is not one them.

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 G-Unit
December 18 2013, 09:27PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Hall's a gem.

The warts we all see are there. But they are there on every player, esp. every really young player like Hall.

Hall's warts are just a lot more exposed because this team was built "by neglect" and there are no vets to shelter the kids from the storm.

No vets = tough sledding all the time. It also = losing all the time and that = a hell of a lot of scrutiny.

Bad recipe for clear headed evaluation.

At any rate, I don't trade any of Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov. I don't think you have to either to solve this puzzle.

Agree except Yak. His value will never be higher than it is now

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#2 G-Unit
December 18 2013, 09:21PM
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I give the over/under on Halls career at 500 games, because of his reckless style, but I want to see him in Oilers silks for the 500.

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#3 srbuhr
December 19 2013, 03:14AM
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While I think hall may become a great player he isn't now and frankly no way Dallas would trade Seguin straight up for Hall. That alone tells you who is the better player from 2010 at this point. I would take Tyler over Taylor anyday.

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#4 Serious Gord
December 18 2013, 09:37PM
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I will focus my comments on Taylor Hall - not the concept/idea of moving two of the six. But for the record, those moves would not have to be made if hemsky and gagner had been moved more than a year ago as i and others said at the time. The horse has left the barn on that opportunity and now the same inept management is going to have to sell some of the future to salvage some of the shorter term.

Back to TH. There is another player who had similar promise back in the day who had similar promise and who delivered good but not great perfrom

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#5 Taylor Gang
December 18 2013, 09:10PM
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Taylor Gang or die!!!

P.S. Got my oilersnation hoodie today, soooo sick :)

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#6 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 05:32AM
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Not only TH is a keeper but he is better then Seguin and should have been named Captain. He should also be on the Team Canada roster for Sochi.

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#7 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 07:40AM
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srbuhr wrote:

Then you started drinking far to early. Hall is a good player but far from great. Until he learns to play 200ft he will only be a player that has the potential to be a game breaker. No way should he be on the Olympic team, and until he truly starts to show leadership on the ice he should also not be captain.

And in the event he asks for a trade then that truly shows a lack of character. Good players make those around them better and help win championships. If Taylor isn't willing to do his part for the oilers let's hope he is worth enough in a trade to move the club out of the ditch.

Typical comment from a typical Oilers fan... I do acknowledge your pretentiousness.

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#8 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 09:21PM
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Hall's a gem.

The warts we all see are there. But they are there on every player, esp. every really young player like Hall.

Hall's warts are just a lot more exposed because this team was built "by neglect" and there are no vets to shelter the kids from the storm.

No vets = tough sledding all the time. It also = losing all the time and that = a hell of a lot of scrutiny.

Bad recipe for clear headed evaluation.

At any rate, I don't trade any of Hall, RNH, Eberle, Yakupov. I don't think you have to either to solve this puzzle.

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#9 Oiler Al
December 18 2013, 09:52PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I will focus my comments on Taylor Hall - not the concept/idea of moving two of the six. But for the record, those moves would not have to be made if hemsky and gagner had been moved more than a year ago as i and others said at the time. The horse has left the barn on that opportunity and now the same inept management is going to have to sell some of the future to salvage some of the shorter term.

Back to TH. There is another player who had similar promise back in the day who had similar promise and who delivered good but not great perfrom

Serious Gord, couldn't agree more. Hemsky and Gagner are Lowe's boys and his deals. Hemsky should have been dealth two years ago, and Gagner 10 minuetes after he got the 8 points against the Hawks.

I think Gagner means well, but he really is not a 2 nd line player center or wing. Yesterdays game he was on he ice for all 3 Kings goals.. I think his hockey IQ is not that good.

But I would give serious taught to trading Hall for a PK Suban or that other guy from the Preds.

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#10 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 05:47AM
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srbuhr wrote:

You forgot your sarcasm marker (~)

I stand by what I wrote. No sarcasm. Taylor Hall is the best player on the roster. If Tyler seguin would be an Oiler, not only would he be poison in the locker room but he would shut her down on the ice. Ference was a mistake as the C. Next C is Taylor. When looking at potential Team Canada's roster Hall should be on.

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#11 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 06:48AM
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I would trade him straight up for Pietrangelo in a heart beat.

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#12 Rdubb
December 19 2013, 10:59AM
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Come on Robin, really? Eberle MUST be on that list of non-tradable players with Hall & RNH as Eberle has by far the best touch of all the Oilers around the net. Eberle is a proven clutch player, & has proven time & time again over his young career, from the world juniors to the NHL, scoring big & timely goals. Ebe's is the opposite of Hall, who is a "power forward" in the making, skating up & down the ice with speed, & Ebe's is that stick handling player, making moves, passing the puck and picking corners, he also has a quick release as the puck is hardly ever on his stick very long...Eberle is Halls yang... It is my opinion that Yak is the player who MUST be moved on this team as from every Oiler fans perspective, he is a very hard player to coach since he doesn't want to work on his defensive game, his upside is his shot, and he is a hard worker on the offensive side of the puck. Yak plays his best (in my opinion) when he decides to hit, skate in all 3 zones & use his line mates, which he rarely ever does... Sam is the other, as he doesn't want to do what is best for the team, and that's moving to the wing. Sam has never been an offensive threat, and take out that 8 point game, and that season's total would look nearly as good. Should someone offer some value for him, MacT should jump on it, hand shake or not (and I believe in the handshake very much as it is as important as that piece of paper. A man's word is very important to his character)... And final piece, Petry...a good 3-4 d-man, but not a number 1 or 2. If a package could be worked out for a true #1, than he too can be & should be included... Hall, RNH & Eberle as NON-TRADEABLE pieces in the Oilers future...

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#13 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 08:36AM
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Spydyr wrote:

What happened to you boycotting all things Oil. Can you get on with it already?

Beyond your obvious superficial sarcasm, I would remind you that my boycott is of a financial nature. Nothing to do with blogging. In exactly what way am I annoying? Some folks here are on full lip service trip, speculating on exactly what solution will get the boat afloat in stormy waters. As fans, where do we go from here? More lip service on who should be traded? Really? How about another "moral victory" tonight perhaps? Let's not point fingers at the source of this failure, namely the development dept and the assistant coaches. Oh no! Let's feed on the mob mentality on here and all offer our biased opinions. What will be attributable to tonight's loss?

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#14 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 09:58AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Omark is not being traded for anything, ever.

And even if he was, I'm pretty sure a flat spare tire for my Zamboni that we'd get in return isn't going to help the D-core.

This is such a humbling moment. There are definitely brilliant hockey minds here. All knowing fan like you are justifiably "little miss know it alls" but yet you have no clue why this organization is a failure. Tell the world then what this team requires to become a winner and why the management have failed to make this team a winner. Both Eakins and MacT have talked the talk so far...

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#15 Rama Lama
December 19 2013, 11:58AM
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Briere is a healthy scratch tonight.........just wondering if anyone out there would like to see him in an Oilers Uniform?

He would suddenly make our players look big......and he is fit!

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#16 srbuhr
December 19 2013, 05:38AM
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@Rheal1

You forgot your sarcasm marker (~)

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#17 Taylor Gang
December 19 2013, 10:30AM
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Anyone who says Seguin over Hall should give their heads a shake. Hall has more points in less games on a worse team. He won 2 memorial cups and won MVP both years. You could say Seguin won a cup but I doubt many people would say he was an "integral" part to their cup win.

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#18 W
December 19 2013, 08:51AM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Taylor Gang or die!!!

P.S. Got my oilersnation hoodie today, soooo sick :)

You wasted after tax dollars on a piece of garbage like that! FOOL!

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#19 VK63
December 18 2013, 09:29PM
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A common misnomer but Hall was not captain of the Spits.

Harry Young in 09 Ryan Ellis in 10

He was a captain in the prospects game.

No matter… he was the engine that drove the bus… as he is here.

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#20 Posti
December 19 2013, 08:51AM
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Everyone is so hot on Eberle and that's the piece I would trade because of it. He is a sniper but soft on the defensive side of the game. Never on the body always stickwork. He misses a poke check and then he gives up. Yakupov can take his spot on the top line if it means we have the all star d man this team so desperately needs. Webber makes Nashville at least competitive imagine what he could do here. All the best teams have a complete stud on D.

Nothing will happen this year in landing a star d-man but at the draft I could see MacTavish making some noise. I would throw everything I could at Nashville and go for Webber. Eberle, Petry and our 1st round pick might make them wake up and take notice.

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#21 Manfly
December 18 2013, 09:12PM
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bang on when you say you wouldn't trade Hall or Nuge. I wouldn't either only because Hall is our best player and Nuge is the best center we've had here since, what, Doug Weight? and we all know how starved the organization is for top centers.....we have none after Nuge! but, after a season like this, as far as I am concerned, it's open season on everyone else!

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#22 Rod from Viking
December 18 2013, 10:31PM
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I really like Hall but to me it looks by his body language that he is getting tired of losing and this year with the center experiment, injury, his third coach and out of the play offs by Nov 1. How this team thought they would be competitive with this defense and initial goal tending tandem. Mac T do something to improve or Hall will want out and then we will never get anyone to come here even if they are drafted(aka Eric Lindros)

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#23 ooj
December 18 2013, 11:57PM
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Well..if taylor hall's sick of all the losing, maybe it's time for him to lead this team by example.. Maybe he should actually try to hit someone on the forecheck instead of looping around the opposition with a weak stick check...and quit turning it over at the blueline...yeah he skates hard and rushes up the ice like a freight train but if he's a leader like so many people have annointed him as, then maybe he should be doing the things his teammates aren't willing to do in order to send a message.

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#24 **
December 19 2013, 12:01AM
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Hall and RNH are the best things to happen to this team in 2 decades. ( I don't count Chris Pronger because he abandoned ship).

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#25 TayLordBalls
December 19 2013, 07:47AM
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Hall's a stone in a pan of marshmallows.

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#26 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 09:04AM
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Today is the pre-xmas trade deadline. Could Omark be moved for D help? MacT: please do a bold move soon. While the kids are good on the ice - for the team they're on - and Bryz the cosmonaut plays huge, bring in a Dman with attitude to whip this team out of its torpor.

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#27 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 09:55PM
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G-Unit wrote:

Agree except Yak. His value will never be higher than it is now

You are talking about a former 1st OV who is the midst of a massive slump.

This may well be his lowest value point for the next 15 years.

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#28 mlcselli
December 18 2013, 11:26PM
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Taylor Hall--a keeper to be sure. If MacT and 6 rings don't get some key players on this roster before the 2014/15 season, Hall will want out and demand a trade. Really who could blame him. Hall has been a huge part of a winning environment his whole life, and for the last few years, he's been a huge part of a gong show. I'm sure when the Oilers announce a much improved roster, Halls mistakes won't be as glaring and also be minimal. His new line mates will be much more offensively/defensively responsible than his current ones.

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#29 @Oilanderp
December 19 2013, 05:09AM
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Don't trade Hall indeed.

In other news, bears admit to defecating in the woods. The Vatican has released a statement that the Pope is indeed Catholic. In sports, the Oilers went 0-4 on their west coast road trip. Here's Tom with the weather.

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#30 The Real Scuba Steve
December 19 2013, 06:18AM
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How long before he demands a trade?

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#31 RexHolez
December 19 2013, 09:35AM
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I'm starting to hate this team

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#32 Quicksilver ballet
December 19 2013, 11:18AM
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It's difficult to tough out another year like this, but as we pass the halfway mark and things start to wind down, the Oilers should be set for a solid draft.

Hoping they should get a late first and a second for Hemsky and Schultz. The Gagner situation could present a unique opportunity as well. With one of the kids, along with that top 3 pick the Oilers have coming, could be the ticket to landing a legitimate top pairing blueliner. Oilers need to do whatever it takes to start next season with top two pairing blueliners, and a second line center.

MacTavish needs to narrow his field of vision as far as those blueliners go. Gudbranson instead of Ehrhoff, Yandle over Phanuef, and so on. Don't be dropping your drawers for nobody.

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 18 2013, 09:56PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I will focus my comments on Taylor Hall - not the concept/idea of moving two of the six. But for the record, those moves would not have to be made if hemsky and gagner had been moved more than a year ago as i and others said at the time. The horse has left the barn on that opportunity and now the same inept management is going to have to sell some of the future to salvage some of the shorter term.

Back to TH. There is another player who had similar promise back in the day who had similar promise and who delivered good but not great perfrom

I'll bite.

Get to wherever you want the team to go today by moving Hemsky and Gagner a year ago.

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#34 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 18 2013, 10:06PM
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Are Hall's rough edges not a result of the Oilers poor development practices? If Eastern Hockey writers actually cared about the sport Hall would have been the 2nd team all-star winger. Amazing considering the stagnation around him.

I would move a couple of the kids for sure. i wouldn't move them for just anything but I certainly would trade them if the situation were right. I wouldnt want current management to do it cause they will screw it up.

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#35 james_dean
December 19 2013, 12:18AM
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Eberles playing to be here when hes bak on ppg pace....

bandwagon better grease them axles

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#36 Walter Sobchak
December 19 2013, 09:44AM
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I'm not huge on trade speculation, mostly cause they never happen and when they do happen its nothing to get your panties in a twist over.

I've noticed though two types of arguments, one for trading the kids & one for trading spare parts.

Personally, I don't think any of the kids need to be traded & second the Oilers won't get any value for Gagner, Hemsky or even Yakupov.

If the Oilers continue down the road of futility as expected & are in a position to draft Ekblad, that pick alone might be worth as much as a 1st pairing defensmen.

I can't see the Oilers getting out of 29th. It will come down to whether the Sabers want the forward or the defensmen?

If the Oilers have a shot at Ekblad they have a nice decisions to make, keep Ekblad, trade Ekblad or trade Nurse, or keep both?

Good position to be in, by all accounts Ekblad is suppose to be the real deal, certainly has the pedigree & size the Oilers sure want.

This pick alone may get the Oilers a great player ether way they go, I think we can stop speculating that the kids need to be traded though.

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#37 oil fan in calgary
December 19 2013, 10:22AM
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as long as 6 ring circus and MacT think sam gagner is a second line (any position) NHL player nothing will change.

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#38 Rama Lama
December 19 2013, 11:00AM
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If there was a Stat called, Driving the Play, Hall would own it.

This kid is as rare as they come.......I can't believe that there are fans out there that criticize him??

Totally agree with you Robin except I would add Perron to that untouchable list and make it three!

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#39 Walter Sobchak
December 19 2013, 11:05AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Want to know what you would get in return for trading Gagner and Dubnyk right now. Two roster spots and some cap space.

I'm hearing T.O needs a center & Gardiner might be available, pure speculation of course, but would MacTavish make that trade?

Gagner for Gardiner?

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#40 Walter Sobchak
December 19 2013, 11:23AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Well they are both under performing. The team needs help on defense. IMO what you see with Gagner is what you will get the rest of his career. So I make that trade every day of the week.

I personally would, given that the Oilers have room for Gardiner on the immediate roster, however.

MacTavish is a huge Gagner fan, plus the Oilers would be that much worse down the middle.

It seems even if the Oilers were given this deal, they almost can't make it even if they wanted too.

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#41 Rheal1
December 19 2013, 06:28AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

How long before he demands a trade?

That's my big concern. Not only Taylor but RNH or Eberle must be extremely frustrated now. They cannot further their respective developments as start players. Those guys also need size to help them out. Hall demanding a trade right now would be very controversial and very telling on the goings on behind the scenes.

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#42 Brian
December 19 2013, 07:13AM
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It was a question from the Journal's John Mackinnon that sparked KDumbs 6Rings speech. Other than that, no other media type to my knowledge has seriously addressed the desecration of the Oiler franchise under Lowe 's watch. The man should be totally embarrassed by his incompetence, cronyism, and arrogance.

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#43 Zamboni Driver
December 19 2013, 10:38AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I like Seguin as well. Did going into the draft and I do now. I just don't move Hall, at least right now, for a player who hasn't matched his numbers or clearly outperformed him while playing on superior teams.

I wouldn't trade him either, don't think either team would today either (unless the Oilers threw in Omark of course, in which case....)

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#44 TigerUnderGlass
December 19 2013, 11:09AM
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VK63 wrote:

A common misnomer but Hall was not captain of the Spits.

Harry Young in 09 Ryan Ellis in 10

He was a captain in the prospects game.

No matter… he was the engine that drove the bus… as he is here.

I don't think "misnomer" means what you think it means.

Also....Where did anyone say Hall was the captain? I see "MVP", but I don't see "captain".

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#45 Zamboni Driver
December 19 2013, 11:13AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I'm hearing T.O needs a center & Gardiner might be available, pure speculation of course, but would MacTavish make that trade?

Gagner for Gardiner?

Personally I think it's a great idea, if only for the fact that we'll continue to butcher the spelling of the player's name should we acquire:

Gardener

Gardoner

Gardonier

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#46 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 11:14AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I'm hearing T.O needs a center & Gardiner might be available, pure speculation of course, but would MacTavish make that trade?

Gagner for Gardiner?

Well they are both under performing. The team needs help on defense. IMO what you see with Gagner is what you will get the rest of his career. So I make that trade every day of the week.

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#47 TigerUnderGlass
December 19 2013, 11:35AM
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Cubro wrote:

Funny fact but NHL 14 has Hall as captain of the oilers.

Does it? That's hilarious. As though some Hall fan who worked on the game is trying to tell the team something.

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#48 6 ring circus
December 19 2013, 12:13AM
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Lets hope the Oiler's start to improve in Hall's next 200 games with the team,a few playoff appearances would be a great start.

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#49 srbuhr
December 19 2013, 07:32AM
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@Rheal1

Then you started drinking far to early. Hall is a good player but far from great. Until he learns to play 200ft he will only be a player that has the potential to be a game breaker. No way should he be on the Olympic team, and until he truly starts to show leadership on the ice he should also not be captain.

And in the event he asks for a trade then that truly shows a lack of character. Good players make those around them better and help win championships. If Taylor isn't willing to do his part for the oilers let's hope he is worth enough in a trade to move the club out of the ditch.

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#50 Zamboni Driver
December 19 2013, 09:03AM
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props

Hall is going to have a good career.

Way too soon to call him either a superstar or a bust. But it is WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY too soon to speak the word "Olympics" in the same sentence. (2014 Olympics I mean, '18, maybe)

Not sure I agree with the assessment of Seguin, though Robin. Kid's maybe a bit of a partier, but seems to me makes other people better as well as being a lights-out scorer. I actually think that one is a draw right now.

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