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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#51 Puck JammeR!
December 19 2013, 10:06AM
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@Walter Sobchak

Good call. An 18 year old defenceman is all this team needs to turn it around.

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#52 A-Mc
December 19 2013, 10:14AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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...

The problem with your comment is that it is well documented that the Oilers have tried to find a home for Omark and couldn't. No one wants him.

Can Omark bring in a D piece? No. Why do we say that? Because we can't seem to give him away for free, that's why.

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#53 Zamboni Driver
December 19 2013, 10:33AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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...

Actually I have lots of good ideas why the team is a failure.

I also am also absolutely certain that trading a 5'8" forward playing in the AHL, who cleared waivers at least once (and four months ago at that) is NOT going to bring help on defense for this team.

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#55 Spiel
December 19 2013, 02:00PM
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I think Hall vs Seguin is still a debate. Looking at career point totals is a bit of a red herring as Seguin was on a deeper team to start, so he was not given the same offensive responsibilities as Hall.

The question is more about which player you would rather have going forward. Look at this year, a season when both players are first line on what were supposed to be bubble playoff teams.

Hall - 29GP 12G 16A 28PTS -10 Seguin - 31GP 18G 15A 33PTS +4

Very close in the numbers. The -10 stands out for Hall. Seguin is also a center which I think is the more valuable position. Hall was a train wreck at center to start the year. There is an argument to be made that the Oilers would be a better team with Seguin at center instead of Hall on a wing.

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#56 pelhem grenville
December 19 2013, 04:09AM
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...but I'm still allowed to be impatient

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#57 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 08:07AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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

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

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#58 Hemmercules
December 19 2013, 08:18AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

How long before he demands a trade?

I don't see it happening,Hall gets his 6mil a season win or lose and that type of move would look pretty bad on him. In the event that it did happen, I should hope that Katz would finally drop the hammer on Lowe and tell Mact to get on with those bold moves we heard about.

I think I would be devastated if one of the young guns demanded a trade. That would be really hard for the organization and fan base to bounce back from.

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#59 Spider
December 19 2013, 08:48AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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?

HALL - 200 games under his belt and at least 3M in the bank - thats the name of da game BABY!!!!!

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#60 S cottV
December 19 2013, 09:51AM
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@S cottV

If Hall could go back in time, he would have gladly given up first overall status to go to the Bruins.

First line with the Bruins - Chara in the back end and Rask in net. Hall would be looking pretty awesome. Maybe even going to the Olympics.

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#61 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 10:48AM
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Want to know what you would get in return for trading Gagner and Dubnyk right now. Two roster spots and some cap space.

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#62 Walter Sobchak
December 19 2013, 10:54AM
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Puck JammeR! wrote:

Good call. An 18 year old defenceman is all this team needs to turn it around.

Who said anything about Ekblad or Nurse coming in to play & turning the team around?

I'm talking about leverage & the possibility of Nurse & Ekblad being part of the future whether that's with the team or not.

You can keep one or both or use them for a trade! Ekblad to another team could be the equivalent to what Hall means to the Oilers.

But ya, I guess a 18 year old could help turn this team around, but in your case thanks for being short sighted.

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#63 Cubro
December 19 2013, 11:22AM
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@TigerUnderGlass

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

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#64 Oilfan69
December 19 2013, 11:25AM
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can someone get wayne to get rid of the half naked man on the background ?

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#65 LOIL99
December 19 2013, 11:33AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

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!

"This kid is as rare as they come" - I completely agree. Pure power and speed and he is going to be our best overall player hopefully for many many years.

"I can't believe that there are fans out there that criticize him" - I completely disagree. Why would he be above criticism? He has all the making of a superstar but he has some MAJOR holes in his game that need improvement. He is a giveaway machine (and no, its not because he always has the puck, its because he does stupid blind saucer passes across the middle), he has to become more responsible defensively and he currently has very weak puck control in close quarters.

I believe that these holes will be filled as he moves into his mid-20s. I am almost certain. But to say he is above criticism leads to entitlement. I actually thing that him not being held accountable for his mistakes by the coach will actually slow down his progress.

I had to comment because I agreed and disagreed with the same one sentence ha.

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#66 TigerUnderGlass
December 19 2013, 11:39AM
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@LOIL99

and no, its not because he always has the puck, its because he does stupid blind saucer passes across the middle

Exactly, who cares about a league-wide, unmistakeable, correlation between possessing the puck and turning it over!!!!

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#67 Rick Stroppel
December 19 2013, 12:02PM
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PASSION FOR THE GAME

A few days ago I saw Blake Wheeler interviewed after a Jets loss. He was genuinely upset. He was swearing and they had to bleep out a lot of what he said. This morning the Jets are 10 points out of a playoff spot, the Oilers are 20. The Jets actually have a chance to make the playoffs, the Oilers do not. When you compare the talent on the teams, this is remarkable.

To my mind, the only Oilers who have a real passion for winning, and hatred of losing, at this time, are Taylor Hall, David Perron and (strangely enough) Devan Dubnyk.

Where does the complacency in the Oilers DNA come from? Maybe it comes from a Coach who loses game after game and often says something like "we played a good game...we played an excellent game...the breaks went against us". Maybe it comes from a POHO who, when he is confronted with the fairly obvious mistakes he has made, falls back to bragging about the success of a team he played on thirty years ago. Maybe it comes from an Owner who serves up year after year of uninspired, losing hockey to one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases in North American sport. No apology, no rationalization, no explanation of "the plan" (if there is one).

If the Oilers allow Hall to slip away like Jason Arnott, this team is doomed.

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#68 S cottV
December 19 2013, 12:03PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

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.

Had the Oilers made an assessment that Gagner was not going to cut it as a 2C, then maybe they lean more toward Seguin at the draft.

Centres should get priority over wingers, if close and certainly when you have no projected depth in the middle.

Now we have a 20 yr old 1C, a guy who cant play 2C, a decent 3C but on a contender would be a 4C and an unproven 4C.

So - while I support the Hall selection, arguably - we might have been better off right now with Seguin in the middle.

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#69 Zarny
December 19 2013, 12:55PM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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.

Not a chance. Ference was the right player to name Captain this year. The only other player that has proven himself worthy is Perron.

One day I expect Hall or Nuge to wear the C. This year though all of the kids have proven they aren't ready yet.

Too often Hall, Nuge and Eberle are not the best players on the ice. They make far too many defensive errors and they aren't ready to lead a group of men.

Being Captain isn't about scoring points.

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#70 Zarny
December 19 2013, 01:19PM
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Cubro wrote:

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

Not surprising.

NHL 14 was released on Sept. 10th.

Ference wasn't named Captain until Sept. 29th.

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#71 srbuhr
December 19 2013, 02:58PM
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Spiel wrote:

On what were supposedly equally skilled teams this year Seguin has more points (and points per game) than Hall while being a plus player and playing center as opposed to wing.

Taylor vs Tyler is not the closed book that this article makes it out to be. Think about the Oilers roster with Seguin instead of Hall.

Having Seguin and RNH at center means Gagner was traded a long time ago. The team would still have Perron, Eberle, Yakupov, Hemsky as top 6 wingers.

And at least two games annually where Tyler and the Nuge would feast on the turnovers at the blue line Hall is famous for. I think Hall could be great but he has a lot of work to do yet.

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#72 HOFFFF
December 19 2013, 03:15PM
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Zarny wrote:

The Oilers and Leafs have discussed that very trade likely with some picks and/or prospects involved as well.

Here is the problem - Gardiner is 23 and has only played 122 NHL games.

Assuming N.Schultz is gone next season Ference is the only D with more than 200 games experience. Petry will at least cross that threshold shortly.

J. Schultz has only played 76 NHL games and Klefbom and Marincin are rookies.

A young group of F shouldn't be supported by an even younger group of D. I like Gardiner but imo MacT should be looking for top 4 pairing D with 400+ NHL games to help shelter the young and inexperienced D we already have.

Like the fearless one we just gave to Calgary?

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#73 Spiel
December 19 2013, 04:49PM
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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.

If anything, a rookie playing on a superior team means less playing time since said rookie is stuck behind veteran players. He has to earn powerplay time, etc. Seguin dealt with this in Boston. So hard to make that comparison on numbers alone. One number you didn't compare was +/-. Seguin is a career +62, Hall is a career -17.

A more fair comparison is the current season where both Taylor and Tyler are playing first line minutes on comparable teams. Well at least teams that were considered comparable before the season started. Seguin has matched/exceeded Hall in points and is a +4 to Hall's -10. All this while playing center instead of wing.

The point is these players are pretty even. If anything Seguin has a slight edge due to his position and relative team success this year.

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#74 Robin Brownlee
December 19 2013, 06:50PM
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@Spiel

That's a helluva spin, especially this part:

"A more fair comparison is the current season where both Taylor and Tyler are playing first line minutes on comparable teams. Well at least teams that were considered comparable before the season started . . ."

So what was "considered" trumps reality?

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#75 Edsez
December 19 2013, 09:32AM
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Hall & RNH are the only two off the current roster that I wouldn't, at least, consider moving for the right return.

With no 1st round pick, up tight against the cap and clinging to contention, how far would Jersey have to slip out of the playoffs for Lou to consider Gagner & 1st for Zajac & 2nd?

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#76 S cottV
December 19 2013, 09:35AM
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It would be interesting to see Hall play with a more ideal accompanyment around him and the frustrating part for him and in turn Oiler fans, is that this may be a couple more years away.

If we could only see him with a mature RNH, a pure first line sniper who plays with an edge and backed up with legit first pairing d men, I think it would be very impressive - probably awesome.

Sure - a player of his stature needs to make others around him better, but - this only goes so far. Hall would be rooting for MacT to come through sooner rather than later, about as much - as anyone, because his ideal time is now.

Hall probably needs to more fully understand that while the organization is not at its ideal time, he needs to step up the process of making others around him better - by developing his 200 ft game and maximizing 2 way plus minus performance. We see him cheating to the offensive side way too often, in relation to team needs at this point in time.

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#77 Zamboni Driver
December 19 2013, 09:37AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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.

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.

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#78 james_dean
December 19 2013, 09:38AM
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W wrote:

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

Props bud thats pretty funny

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#79 Puck JammeR!
December 19 2013, 09:41AM
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Posti wrote:

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.

I agree, I think Eberle is the one who should and probably will go. I think out of all our young guys, Eberle is the closest to a finished product. He's a very good offensive player and I think he'll have a long career and score 400+ goals, but I doubt he'll ever turn into a player who's defensively capable or hard to play against. He's also got the track record of being a young 30 goal scorer and I think his trade value is higher than anyone, save maybe Hall.

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#80 Spydyr
December 19 2013, 09:50AM
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Rheal1 wrote:

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.

Omark cleared waivers anyone could have has him without giving up anything. Still you expect him to bring help on defense. The truth is he will bring no more than a very late round pick or perhaps a prospect.

Thinking you're going to get immediate help on defense for Omark show a lack of hockey smarts .

It is my belief trading Omark is more about freeing up a roster spot and perhaps helping him out with a fresh start.

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#81 A-Mc
December 19 2013, 10:13AM
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Having Ekblad, Nurse and Klefbom as young capable defensemen would be pretty awesome. The only part that sucks is that the fan base has waited too long already, and defensemen take years to work out!

~300 games according to some coach, whom i can't remember the name of. One of the short fat ones.

By the time the defensemen were rounding into form, our forward assets would be on their way out carrying 6 years of losing baggage and a bad hangover.

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#82 Oiler Al
December 19 2013, 11:51AM
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MacT and Co., should be carefull not to be digging one hole to cover another. Getting rid of their high draft picks might be a bad idea, when the team cannot attract high[er] end UFA's or trades.

Better that you live with the fact that Hemsky and Gagner should have been traded earlier.

You want to trade Yak and Eberle, because you have useless NHL assets in #83 and 89, both saddled with expensive contracts. Then be prepared to have 83 and 89 as your core players... we know how that would turn out.

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#83 Zarny
December 19 2013, 01:09PM
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Good assessment of Hall. He's needs to embrace the saying "work smarter, not harder".

No one is untradeable but I agree Hall and RNH are off the table unless we start talking about Norris trophy winners or a guy like Malkin coming back.

Seguin certainly trails Hall on the scoresheet to date; but he's also played behind better players and out of position. I wouldn't trade him straight up for Hall because you don't gain anything; you're just moving parts around.

Over the next 5 years though I expect Hall and Seguin to put up similar numbers. They were considered to be head and shoulders above their draft class and thus far have proven so.

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#84 Zarny
December 19 2013, 01:29PM
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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?

The Oilers and Leafs have discussed that very trade likely with some picks and/or prospects involved as well.

Here is the problem - Gardiner is 23 and has only played 122 NHL games.

Assuming N.Schultz is gone next season Ference is the only D with more than 200 games experience. Petry will at least cross that threshold shortly.

J. Schultz has only played 76 NHL games and Klefbom and Marincin are rookies.

A young group of F shouldn't be supported by an even younger group of D. I like Gardiner but imo MacT should be looking for top 4 pairing D with 400+ NHL games to help shelter the young and inexperienced D we already have.

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#85 Walter Sobchak
December 19 2013, 01:41PM
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Zarny wrote:

The Oilers and Leafs have discussed that very trade likely with some picks and/or prospects involved as well.

Here is the problem - Gardiner is 23 and has only played 122 NHL games.

Assuming N.Schultz is gone next season Ference is the only D with more than 200 games experience. Petry will at least cross that threshold shortly.

J. Schultz has only played 76 NHL games and Klefbom and Marincin are rookies.

A young group of F shouldn't be supported by an even younger group of D. I like Gardiner but imo MacT should be looking for top 4 pairing D with 400+ NHL games to help shelter the young and inexperienced D we already have.

You won't get an argument from here, I just mentioned as it stands Gardiner would be a step up from the likes of Belov, Potter, Larsen, Possible N. Schultz.

I also mentioned that I can't see MacTavish making that deal.

The Oilers top four has to drastically change, I agree with the rest of that.

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#86 Towersofdub
December 19 2013, 01:44PM
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I like how people who post comments on here think MacT can just magically trade the underacheiving players on Edm's roster for perennial Norris Trophy candidates. If only someone who posts comments on this page was the GM of the oilers. They'd have this solved by dinner time.

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#87 Will
December 19 2013, 01:44PM
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I also agree that Hall and Nuge are untouchables. I really like how Mac T overhauled the bottom 6. Unlike the Erick Coles and Belangers of the world, Gordon exceeded expectations and is having a career year on one of the worst teams.

Gazdic has been the best at that role the Oilers have had since Laroque.

And it was nice to Arcabello come in and be able to out perform Gagner in the role of centre.

Also good was the addition of Perron who was the exact type of player the Oilers were missing, and is really a one of a kind in the league when you consider his level of both skill and agitation.

So really, I think the team comes down to needing at least average goal tending (thank you Bryz), better Defense (see comment in previous article on that) and a mix up in our top 6. Considering Perron, Hall, and Nuge need to stay, that leaves Gagner, Yak, Hemsky and Ebs as possibles to trade for legit D, or a nice big two way second line centre (which doesn't really exist in terms of availability). The only way to get the latter it seems, is to find a third line guy who can do more. Like an O'Reily type of guy.

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#88 Spiel
December 19 2013, 02:08PM
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@Taylor Gang

On what were supposedly equally skilled teams this year Seguin has more points (and points per game) than Hall while being a plus player and playing center as opposed to wing.

Taylor vs Tyler is not the closed book that this article makes it out to be. Think about the Oilers roster with Seguin instead of Hall.

Having Seguin and RNH at center means Gagner was traded a long time ago. The team would still have Perron, Eberle, Yakupov, Hemsky as top 6 wingers.

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#89 Zarny
December 19 2013, 03:27PM
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HOFFFF wrote:

Like the fearless one we just gave to Calgary?

No, because Smid isn't a top 4 pairing D.

He's not very mobile, poor puck mover and on several occasions this year guys literally walked out from the corner to the net past him and he didn't even graze their jersey.

I like Smid. He worked hard and blocked a lot of shots; but he wasn't doing much for the Oilers blueline.

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#90 g bearpoo
December 19 2013, 03:45PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You won't get an argument from here, I just mentioned as it stands Gardiner would be a step up from the likes of Belov, Potter, Larsen, Possible N. Schultz.

I also mentioned that I can't see MacTavish making that deal.

The Oilers top four has to drastically change, I agree with the rest of that.

walter sobchak.....walter slobchuk..... valter upchuk...... falter blobchak....fartler boobchuk!!!!

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#91 Zarny
December 19 2013, 06:32PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

You won't get an argument from here, I just mentioned as it stands Gardiner would be a step up from the likes of Belov, Potter, Larsen, Possible N. Schultz.

I also mentioned that I can't see MacTavish making that deal.

The Oilers top four has to drastically change, I agree with the rest of that.

I don't think the top four have to change drastically; just the top two.

If the Oilers top 2 D were Ryan McDonagh and Braydon Coburn, Ference and Petry probably work out as a 3-4 pair.

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#92 LOIL99
December 20 2013, 11:34AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
and no, its not because he always has the puck, its because he does stupid blind saucer passes across the middle

Exactly, who cares about a league-wide, unmistakeable, correlation between possessing the puck and turning it over!!!!

Wait, so there is no such thing as a bad pass? If you have the puck then you have the right to turn it over without criticism?

Watch a game or two. Its a league-wide, unmistakeable, fact that Taylor Hall makes bad decisions with the puck and turns it over at a far higher rate than other players who have the puck just as much as he does.

If you argue that he doesn't make huge mistakes in this regard then you are blinded by your love for Hall or don't watch the games.

Again however, criticizing someone doesn't mean you think they are bad player. Simply means they have areas to improve. I see him being the Oilers best player for years. His areas of required improvement are just very obvious.

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