Taylor Hall, Olympian

Jonathan Willis
August 28 2013 10:03AM

No less an authority than the TSN panel has predicted that the Edmonton Oilers best player, Taylor Hall, will be sitting at home watching the Olympic games rather than representing Canada in Sochi.

Here’s why they’re wrong.

TSN’s Roster

TSN’s left wing depth chart consists of Chris Kunitz, Rick Nash, converted centre Logan Couture, and Patrick Sharp. With all due respect to those four, there’s simply no way that Hall shouldn’t be part of that group.

The Competition

Chris Kunitz bafflingly gets the top left wing position on the team. The only possible defence of that ranking is that he has familiarity playing with Sidney Crosby, and it’s a terrible defence because presumably it isn’t difficult to look good playing on a line with the best player in the world. Kunitz has spent approximately 75% of his even-strength the last three years centered by either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin; Taylor Hall has done it with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff, players that aren’t exactly comparable. Despite being in the prime of his career and on a line with two of hockey’s five best players, somehow Kunitz has a worse point-per-game rate over the last three seasons than Hall, who was breaking into the league and playing in a tougher conference to boot. In three previous seasons Kunitz has hovered around a 60-point pace, so this last year was likely a one-off and if his scoring drops back to his established level nobody will be talking about him as an Olympian.

Rick Nash is likely a better choice for the top left wing position than Chris Kunitz. The 29 year-old is a veteran of international play, having represented Canada at two Olympic games, four World Championships and a World Junior tournament. Interestingly, like Kunitz, his points-per-game rate is actually less than Hall’s over the last three seasons, but he is more of a goal-scorer and arguably more of a complete player at this point in time.

Logan Couture, the converted centre, is another player who finds himself falling just short of Hall’s point-per-game pace over the last three seasons. He has an advantage in that he’s perceived as a better positional defender than Hall but a disadvantage in being a lesser skater and having less experience internationally (Couture has represented Canada only at the under-18’s back in 2006-07). Couture is an exceptional player – and a Corsi monster – but he both doesn’t tilt the ice the way Hall does in terms of out-shooting the opposition and he doesn’t come close to having the same level of offensive dynamism that Hall does. On a team loaded to the gills with converted centres, Couture’s positional strengths defensively shouldn’t trump Hall’s superior ability to drive results in his natural position.

Patrick Sharp should, barring a major drop-off, be on this team. A versatile skater who can play any position, he is both a dynamic offensive player and a skilled defensive forward. He’s coming off a tough year – he really struggled on a line with Dave Bolland for half the season, though he was fine with other centres – but he’s been excellent in the past and shouldn’t be a controversial choice.

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall is coming off a remarkable season, even by Canadian Olympic team standards. No Canadian player in the lower-scoring Western Conference put up more points than Hall; in terms of even-strength scoring per hour only Jonathan Toews (3.19 PTS/60) had a better rate than Hall (3.15 PTS/60) in the West. Hall finished eighth overall in Relative Corsi league-wide last season and was 20th overall the year before that. In his first three seasons in the league, he’s clear of every Canadian left wing other than 41 year-old Ray Whitney in terms of points-per-game, despite the fact that he’s just started his career and has played for a pretty awful team.

Hall is a special player. He’s Canada’s best scoring left wing at the age of 21 despite playing in the West and there’s a pretty decent case that no other Canadian left wing drives out-shooting the way he does when he’s on the ice. He took a leap forward last year and was the best left wing in the NHL, despite Chris Kunitz's nod as first-team All-Star.

Hall will, barring injury, be a fixture on future Canadian Olympic teams but he’s good enough to play for them right now, and if he picks up where he left off the team’s management will have no choice but to include him.

Recently around the Nation Network

At Jets Nation, Kevin McCartney steps in from his vacation to imagine what the team's lines might look like if Mark Scheifele is ready to go at training camp:

Despite the many claims (even by me) that Jokinen and Schiefele will be auditioning for the same job of 2C, we can imagine this team organized in such a way as to reveal a hole at centre. Moving Tangradi outside the top-9, Frolik could take his LW role - if only the team had another centre. Does Eric O'Dell get a look for a soft-minutes assignment there? Is that Nic Petan's job down the line? What does the team do when Grabovski is a free agent again next year?

Click the link above to read more (includingthe lines Mccartney settled on), or check out some of my recent stuff:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 jetsfan
August 28 2013, 12:54PM
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Ladd > Hall.

Overall, Ladd is the more complete player with much more leadership qualities. If there's a fight for the final LW spot, he is way more qualified than one of the most overrated players in the game, Taylor Hall.

Players on teams that have been in the basement of the league for the past 7 years should not be making the Olympics to represent Canada, when there are much better, successful alternatives out there. Hall especially has no success at the international level, being benched, and that is another reason against him being on the team. So no thanks to him being an Olympian.

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
August 28 2013, 10:14AM
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Olympian pales in comparison to the financial benifits of being a Professional Athlete. Who cares about being a part time Olympian.

Hang onto your full time gig there Taylor. Kids dream of winning the Stanley Cup/playing in the NHL long before adding a gold medal to their safety deposit box. Hockey Canada will need Taylor Hall, long before Hall needs to have that Olympic experience.

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#3 jets
August 28 2013, 12:31PM
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Kunitz - Crosby - Tavares

Nash - Stamkos - St Louis

Sharp - Toews - Staal

Ladd - Bergeron - Giroux

Richards/Carter

No room for Hallsy. Maybe 2018.

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#4 DSF
August 28 2013, 08:35PM
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The team Canada brass made it pretty clear what they are looking for...scoring and a 200 foot game.

That would best be expressed by +- ON/60.

Here are the numbers for the LW camp invitees and those TSN has pegged to make the team:

Chris Kunitz - +2.93

Rick Nash - +1.65

Andrew Ladd - +0.91

Patrick Sharp - +0.91

Milan Lucic - +0.89

Logan Couture - +0.84

Taylor Hall - +0.45

As you can see, Hall isn't really in the conversation.

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#5 Zamboni Driver
August 28 2013, 10:49AM
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"TSN’s left wing depth chart consists of Chris Kunitz, Rick Nash, converted centre Logan Couture, and Patrick Sharp. With all due respect to those four, there’s simply no way that Hall shouldn’t be part of that group."

Well, being invited to the whatever-the-hell-they're-doing-in-Calgary event says he IS part of that group.

However...

I'm pretty sure T. Hall got benched during the "World Championships". That's generally a bad audition.

Hall is an excellent player, and 2018 he'll be right in there, but for this time, not happening.

And we really need to stop suggesting that Eberle has even the most remote snowball's chance, while we're at it.

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#6 madjam
August 28 2013, 11:10AM
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Left side defence and offence could both use upgrades beyond Nash and Keith . Hall with progression should be there . Seabrook should make defence . If Hall makes it we could even see Eberle , Schultz , Hopkins and Perron possibly taken into account if Oilers are dominant this early season . Heh, maybe even Gagner . Not sold on left side of TSN squad , looks weak for now . Strong right defence and mediocre right offence .

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#7 jetsfan
August 28 2013, 01:27PM
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Reg Dunlop wrote:

Andrew Ladd? Never heard of him. Thank goodness for NHL re-alignment, extra games against the lowly jets will pad Hall's stats just like it did for #99. Gretz would have won the Art Ross if they only counted his points against the jets.

Lowly jets? Sure.. and that's why Winnipeg has been within a few spots of making the playoffs within it's first two years back, meanwhile Edmonton was still trying to crawl out of the basement. Doesn't seem to be working, does it.

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#8 DSF
August 28 2013, 09:16PM
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Racki wrote:

One stat (especially one that is highly influenced by teammates) should not make or break a player.

Please try again.

All players on all teams in hockey are "influenced by teammates".

Are you suggesting that Hopkins, Eberle, Dubnyk and the Oiler D are all stiffs that Hall has to rise above?

I would argue Andrew Ladd plays for a worse team but manages to outperform Hall significantly.

Good management would also look at how players perform at even strength. (and Hall would likely get very little PP time on the Olympic team.)

Using those same players, here are the 5V5 goal scoring numbers:

Nash - 17

Ladd - 15

Couture - 14

Kunitz - 13

Hall -12

Lucic - 7

Sharp - 5 (only played 28 games)

Appears to me that the selection committee has this about right.

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#9 DSF
August 28 2013, 09:33PM
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Racki wrote:

I just personally thought your singling out one stat and talking matter-of-factly like it proved Hall couldn't hold a candle to the other names was an incredibly weak argument. Why don't you go dig up Jarome Iginla's +/- ON/60 back in 2010.. I seem to recall no regrets with the Canadian team selecting him.

I didn't realize Iginla was under consideration.

Any other straw men you want to present?

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#10 jets
August 28 2013, 12:31PM
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Kunitz - Crosby - Tavares Nash - Stamkos - St Louis Sharp - Toews - Staal Ladd - Bergeron - Giroux Richards/Carter

No room for Hallsy. Maybe 2018.

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#11 jetsfan
August 28 2013, 01:24PM
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Sailge wrote:

~ Easy now, your team hasn't made the playoffs since the 90's ~

But seriously, Hall's as good as Ladd already and will no doubt be the better player going forward.

There hasn't been a team since the 90's up until 2011.. And since then, the jets have undoubtedly been better than the oilers. But that is not the point here.

Ladd has two Stanley Cup titles.. Hall doesn't even know what the playoffs are. Ladd had 46 points this last year compared to Hall's 50, but his +/- was +10 compared to Hall's +5. Maybe if Hall had shown he could compete at the international level at the WC, he would be more likely to get in. But he didn't.

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#12 Impartial Oilers Fan
August 28 2013, 02:37PM
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Why does no one bring up Taylor Halls UNSUSTAINABLE 94.3% IPP when talking about his PTS/G and how he did so well last year?? For a reference point, Hall had a 75.6% the year previously.

The best superstars in the league are around 80-85% on a consistent year to year basis, and yet Taylor Hall projections are being based on a lot of "lucky" points that he received.

Don't get me wrong, he's a tremendous player, but come on please, use a little perspective!! Making last season a baseline for projections and comparing to established players like Toews is absurd.

(Individual Points Percentage - The percentage of goals scored by players team while player is on the ice that the player had a point on.

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#13 Death Metal Nightmare
August 28 2013, 11:22AM
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i dont know?... can Hall handle the pressure and burden of being an olympian when - as some say - he can't handle the burden of being team captain yet? better lobby to send Gagner to the Olympics instead. put up 8 points in a game once and has a cool girlfriend.

/facetious

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#14 Sanaa Montana
August 28 2013, 12:37PM
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If people can believe that Gagner can be the next captain of the Oilers-then I will believe that Hall can be an Olympian with Canada in Sochi.

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#15 jetsfan
August 28 2013, 01:45PM
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Dman wrote:

The Jets finished 6 points ahead of the Oilers last season and they were in the weakest division in the league. Hardly anything to be bragging about.

There's no bragging.. That was as a response to an Oiler fan (past four seasons placing 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th) referring to other teams as lowly.

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#16 Cowbell_Feva
August 28 2013, 11:39AM
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Off-topic, and maybe its just me, but the thoughts of having PK Subban on the blueline for Canada makes me sick. Him winning the Norris was a horrible act of East Coast journalists looking at point production and knowing Zero about the game.

The last thing the national team needs is a poor defensive defenseman, that takes one or two bad penalties a game, and runs around out of position to try to lay a highlight reel hit (which 9 times out of 10 does not work). He has a good one-timer...thats it. That and an ego that wouldn't fit through the Russian border. Please leave him at home. If he plays like he did in the playoffs I won't have to worry about it. Letang over PK any day in my mind.

On topic, Lindy Ruff didn't like what he saw from Hall at the Worlds and benched him. JW is throwing out all kinds of NHL numbers, but the game is way different on bigger ice, and after watching Hall play last spring, it was hard to argue with Lindy. Hall will have to have one whale of a first half to make this squad.

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#17 Harlie
August 28 2013, 05:35PM
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I love Hall but I think Eberle will be the one going.

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#18 DSF
August 29 2013, 11:58AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

If you were an honest broker all manor of conversations would be possible.

As it stands, you are not and have never demonstrated a serious interest in understanding any facts not serving your own emotional needs.

In other words...you've got nothing.

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#19 DSF
August 29 2013, 10:28AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

You have no clue what you are talking about.

TH is one of the best two-way players in the game. He destroys his competition and pushes the river. All relevant stats are beyond clear on this. Beyond clear.

Any one doubting this is buying into bias and bs narratives about "chemistry" "playoff faceoffs" etc.

garbage.

"All relevant stats"?

Which ones?

Let's start with CorsiOn.

Taylor Hall - +2.79.

183rd in the league.

124th among forwards.

31st among left wingers.

How about CorsiRel QofC?

Taylor Hall - .585

185th in the league

124th among forwards

36th among left wingers.

There's no doubt Hall can score...his P/60 5V5 is 6th best among forwards in the league behind Crosby, Staal, Kadri (hmmm), Kunitz, and Toews.

But I'm curious what "relevant stats" you are using to support your narrative that Hall is one of the best two way players in the game?

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#20 DSF
August 29 2013, 03:10PM
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oilerman53 wrote:

@DSF

Hockey is played on the ice and not a computer, Hall will never get his due simply because he plays in Edmonton. He was the second most effective offensive forward in the West last year. Better then Sedin x2, Kesler and whoever else your stats can bring up. 51 points in what, 45 games?

There's more than scoring points to winning hockey games.

For example, preventing them is just as important.

Hall scored more than Toews last season.

Is he a better hockey player?

No, he isn't.

He also scored more than Kopitar last season.

Is he a better hockey player?

No, he isn't.

There are many other examples.

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#21 DSF
August 29 2013, 10:57AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Oh, gosh. How could I forget +/-ON/60, the only stat that matters!

I guess it was premature to establish Shea Weber and Drew Doughty as locks; as you can see, they aren't really even in the conversation:

Jake Muzzin: +1.50

Subban: +1.49

Letang: +1.33

Keith: +1.13

Garrison: +1.10

Seabrook: +0.85

Staal: +0.58

Boyle: +0.53

Hamhuis: +0.45

Pietrangelo: +0.07

Weber: -0.06

Doughty: -0.06

Look at that gap between Doughty and Muzzin - on the same team no less! Clearly, if Canada's looking for two-way play, they should stop fooling around with these pretenders and just bring Jake Muzzin.

Muzzin - Subban

Keith - Seabrook

Garrison - Letang

Staal - Boyle

/endcrazy.

No one suggested it is the "only stat that matters" but it is likely one that the team brass are looking at.

You used primarily scoring and Corsi Rel to make your original point while ignoring a host of other factors.

No one disputes Hall's scoring ability but Corsi Rel, as you know, measures how Hall stacked up against his own team mates.

That doesn't tell us much of anything since the rest of the team was dreadful.

If you're, then basing your argument merely on scoring prowess, I wonder how you feel about Corey Perry not being selected?

Over the past 3 seasons:

Perry: 102G 98A 300P

Hall: 65G 80A 145P

Clearly, team management is making their decisions based on more than pure scoring ability which is likely wise.

The "chemistry" argument being used to support the Kunitz selection is a little weak in my opinion but I think it'll take a little more than scoring to overcome it.

I have no doubt that Hall can play his way onto the team if he improves his 200 foot game and I'm sure they've told Hall what he needs to do so now it's up to him.

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#22 PopeJordon
August 28 2013, 10:53AM
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LinkfromHyrule wrote:

yet another reason why the MSM is (mostly) a joke. You and Gregor both summed it up nicely. A year ago Kunitz was not even in the conversation, and now because of an extremely small sample size they have him as 1LW. I think you could argue that just about any player will play well with the best player in the game.

The "MSM" has been explicitly clear on this point.

"It's not who we think should be on the team, it's who, based on our insight, management/staff may be leaning towards"

This disclaimer has been made over and over and over and over and over again by every single MSM journalist who is reporting and or commenting on the story. It's baffling that people are still missing it.

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#23 2004Z06
August 28 2013, 11:15AM
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Please let hockey season start soon so we can read about "actual hockey news" and not every so called experts projection of who will fart and who will smell it first.

This is getting as bad as Sidney Crosby's headache updates.

We will know who will be on the team in 2-3 months time. Let's talk about it then.

Good grief!

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#24 madjam
August 28 2013, 11:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Brent Seabrook is a right side defenceman; if Kris Letang isn't on the team there's no way he should be.

I prefer Seabrook to Letang , and he does well on the big ice surface as well . Doesn't hurt he makes Keith better also . I am also surprised pesky Perry not on list . Like our center position , but Hopkins can thread a needle and may push Getzlaf .

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#25 DrDave
August 28 2013, 10:15AM
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Hard to hard with that... Go Hall!!

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#26 DSF
August 29 2013, 11:00AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Hilarious that you know nothing about a stat you disdain only to trot out when it "appears" convenient to a trifling non-argument.

Enjoy thinking Hall isn't amazing!

Suggesting I "know nothing about a stat" is nothing more than thinly veiled ad hominem attack.

Poking holes in those stats is relatively easy

Still waiting for your "all relevant stats" so we can move this discussion beyond a "trifling non argument"

Fire away.

What have you got?

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#27 They're $hittie
August 28 2013, 12:14PM
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Wow, i dont care about left side right side. This is team canada and the best of the best. Same thing goes for offensive specialist and defensive specialists. We have 8 guys that can do both. Look at the locks. They do both.

Subban to big of liability, marc staal not enough offense.

Best all around, bring both offensive and defense as well as physicality and puck moving. and I dont care about side

Weber, Doughty, Keith, Seabrook, Pietrangelo, Letang

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#28 jetsfan
August 28 2013, 09:35PM
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DSF wrote:

All players on all teams in hockey are "influenced by teammates".

Are you suggesting that Hopkins, Eberle, Dubnyk and the Oiler D are all stiffs that Hall has to rise above?

I would argue Andrew Ladd plays for a worse team but manages to outperform Hall significantly.

Good management would also look at how players perform at even strength. (and Hall would likely get very little PP time on the Olympic team.)

Using those same players, here are the 5V5 goal scoring numbers:

Nash - 17

Ladd - 15

Couture - 14

Kunitz - 13

Hall -12

Lucic - 7

Sharp - 5 (only played 28 games)

Appears to me that the selection committee has this about right.

I was with you up until this point

"Andrew Ladd plays for a worse team"

Clearly you only watch Canuck and Oil games otherwise you'd know that not to be true.

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#29 DSF
August 29 2013, 11:14AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

statements of fact.

you both don't understand the stat, or ignore its context. And, you don't put any stock in it when you perceive some non-hockey benefit, i.e., a weird emotional high from being silly online.

fun!

Oh, I understand the stats just fine and "context" has replaced patriotism as the last refuge of the scoundrel when it comes to discussion about them.

Now, put on your Big Boy Pants® and support your sweeping conclusion that Hall is "one of the best two way players in the game".

Please feel free to add all the "context" you like.

Giddyup.

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#30 Baresnake
August 28 2013, 10:16AM
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Only way Hall isn't on this Olympic team is if Corey Potter follows him around every Oilers warmup.

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#31 Oiler Al
August 28 2013, 04:54PM
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jetsfan wrote:

There's no bragging.. That was as a response to an Oiler fan (past four seasons placing 30th, 30th, 29th, 24th) referring to other teams as lowly.

Ya, but you forgot to mention that the Jets have the ugliest uniforms in NHL.! Hope no war breaksout, as they would have to turn the jerseys into Arms Canada.

Great Fans in Wpg, but the city is a snore.

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#32 LinkfromHyrule
August 28 2013, 10:26AM
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yet another reason why the MSM is (mostly) a joke. You and Gregor both summed it up nicely. A year ago Kunitz was not even in the conversation, and now because of an extremely small sample size they have him as 1LW. I think you could argue that just about any player will play well with the best player in the game.

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#33 Shifty203
August 28 2013, 10:54AM
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You can't really state that TSN is wrong with this list. If you disagree with the choices, then you should be complaining about hockey canada's management, not the panel on TSN.

Their list isn't built around who they would put on the team. TSN isn't choosing any one of these players over Taylor Hall. They said several times that after talking to players, personnel, and management, that they believe this is the list that management is leaning towards at the moment. I beleive they stated this several times during the broadcast, and the article online.

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#35 Jeffff
August 28 2013, 12:39PM
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You look at last and how some of these players played .

Nash does not make the team based on last year.

Eric Staal based on last yr does not make the team

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#36 Tim in Kelowna
August 28 2013, 01:42PM
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Also, Ladd has to be one of the extra forwards. He would be a spectacular utility player.

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#37 The Last Big Bear
August 28 2013, 02:30PM
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In the same way that chemistry between players in juniors rarely translates into chemistry at the NHL level, chemistry at the NHL doesn't seem to contribute much at the Olympics.

Witness Seabrook in 2010, who was half of the NHL's best pairing, but was clearly way over his head at the Olympics even when paired with Keith. As a result, he had the least ice time of any defenceman on TC (and not just a little, IIRC he had less than half the TOI of anyone else).

Which is to say there's no way in heck Kunitz should be on this team.

Especially not because "he has chemistry with Crosby", that's just retarded. A green rubbermaid garbage bin placed at the hashmarks (no doubt provided by CWD) would have great chemistry with Crosby.

Hall deserves a definite look at that spot, but so do a lot of transplanted centremen. I know he's a natural winger, but if that roster position comes down to something like Hall vs Giroux, it could be a tough call.

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#38 Rocket
August 28 2013, 05:46PM
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At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if TSN picks Ben Affleck & Miley Cyrus to make the Olympic team instead of an Oilers player.

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#39 Harry
August 28 2013, 11:39PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I wonder what Taylor Hall's +-ON/60 would have been if he had played a season with Sidney Crosby as his center?

Classic stat geek in DSF. This guy prove ho little he knoes about hockey day after day. Kunitz over Hall is rediculous.

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#40 Serious Gord
August 29 2013, 04:47AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I wonder what Taylor Hall's +-ON/60 would have been if he had played a season with Sidney Crosby as his center?

DSFs point is valid - if a bit overstated. TH has some weakness in his two way play. We have all seen it. The stats cited indicate it.

There is no denying at this point that TH has yet to demonstrate that he is capable of it.

But he has his instructions from Crawford and yzerman on what they need to see and TH has 25 - 30 games to demonstrate that he is able to add that dimension.

If he does then he's going to Russia.

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#41 Clyde Frog
August 29 2013, 08:16AM
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@DSF

Letting out a sob of relief DSF took a moment to quietly reflect on his absolute victory!

The last 12 hours of Googling had worked, he finally had definitive proof that Taylor Hall is a Canadian bust! It had taken a lot of work to look past and ignore all the other "stats" his "fans" kept bringing out... Such as points and a full suite of other advanced stats; but he had done it!

Finally he had a stat that proved what he knew deep down in his heart, Taylor Hall just isn't any good.

Hitting refresh 17 more times, he contentedly waits for his new internet worshipers to heap praise and other accolades on his mighty shoulders.

His eyes light up with a mad gleam, "What!?!" he bellows... Someone has dared to look at how his mighty stat factored into the past!? This will not stand!

Writing out his well thought out response he clicks the post button and trundles off to his secret thoughts journal, where he promptly places a single bold line through the name Racki; forever removing him from friend contention... That is if he ever sees the need to leave the mighty bachelor pad he has built that is his mother's basement.

Cracking a new can of Dr.Pepper he savors the sweet aroma and contentedly starts planning out the parade Oilers Nation will throw him once they come to recognize his utter genius in all things Hockey.

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#42 The Oilers Shot Clock
August 28 2013, 10:31AM
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I kept waiting for someone on that panel to make an exception or at least bring up how tough of a cut he would be but instead they mentioned just about everybody else.

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#43 Czar
August 28 2013, 10:38AM
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I'd also rather have Hall on the team than Lindy Ruff.

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#44 OilFire
August 28 2013, 11:14AM
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@Archaeologuy

No friggin' doubt. I have an unstoppable hate for the Bruins, but if I'm choosing the Olympic team, I've got Bergeron centering Couture and Sharp as a beautiful shutdown line that can also score.

I wouldn't worry too much about the current list not having Hall. If he plays like he did last year he'll be put on the team, no question.

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#45 The Oilers Shot Clock
August 28 2013, 11:26AM
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I'm betting Kunitz spends the rest of the summer telling Crosby to be careful when getting out of the tub and to remember to cut your food into small pieces.

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#46 Lochenzo
August 28 2013, 12:44PM
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One other factor that may get Taylor Hall on this team; Kevin Lowe. Kevin has managed to get an Oiler on to previous Team Canadas.

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#47 Jackson
August 28 2013, 01:02PM
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Taylor Hall is a thoroughbred, who can dominate all by himself in the NHL. but, with Team Canada he needs to play more of a team game because the competition is higher. Hall will need to prove he can play a 200ft game this year and make players around him better, if he wants to make Team Canada.

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#48 Tim in Kelowna
August 28 2013, 01:41PM
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JW, you are wrong about Kunitz. If having him on the team means that Crosby is guaranteed to hit the ground running in Sochi then I want him on the team.

Nash deserves to be on the team because he was great in Vancouver and he is still in the prime of his career.

Sharp is too versatile to ignore, so he would have to have a horrendous October/November to not be on the team.

As far as I'm concerned, Hall takes Coutures spot. Hall is one of the fastest players in the world and speed is may be the most important factor when picking this team due to the larger ice surface. In fact Hall might be a great fit with Crosby because they both love to play a fast-paced north/south game. Not to mention the fact that Hall finished in the top 10 in league scoring last year. If gets off to a good start, they have no choice but to pick Hall.

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#49 Spydyr
August 28 2013, 06:07PM
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Anyone with eyes know what Hall brings offensively.What will keep him off the team is his age,his play away from the puck,his play at both blue lines,and his defensive play.

Hopefully for the Oilers sake he will improve these things.I believe he will he is too competitive to driven not too.

If he does become a 200 foot player, again I would not bet against him.He will be on the Olympic team for at least the next two games ,after this one.

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#50 Racki
August 28 2013, 10:35PM
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DSF wrote:

I didn't realize Iginla was under consideration.

Any other straw men you want to present?

I have no problems with you or anyone doubting that Hall is a good candidate for the Olympic team.. I personally am unsure he'll make it on to the team (solely based on the fact that Canada has a lot of solid players to choose from). If your argument was that he was too green to the NHL to make the Canadian team, I would have accepted that, however your argument was basically "Taylor Hall has a less awesome +/- than the other guys so he won't make the team, book it".

Provide a paper thin argument, and people will call you on it. Looking at +/- ON/60 is a huge waste of time.

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