HALL IS STILL GOOD....

Jason Gregor
January 06 2014 10:41PM

Listening to some Oilers fans and pundits it sounds like Taylor Hall is a complete failure as a player, and any mention of him for the Olympic team is laughable.

I don't expect Hall to make the team,  because the hockey world is infatuated with "safe" players, and a turnover is criticized 10x more than a great play, but mainly because Canada has a lot of depth.

However, I believe it is time for some clarity regarding Hall's game.

Here is a quick list of who I believe Canada (not me) will pick for the team, in no particular order:

Tavares-Toews-Stamkos
Benn-Getzlaf-Perry
Sharp-Crosby-Giroux
St.Louis-Thornton-Nash
Bergeron-Couture

Keith-Weber
Subban-Doughty
Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo
Vlasic-Seabrook

Luongo-Price-Smith

There are many others who should be considered like Duchene, Seguin, Hall, E. Staal, Kunitz, Marleau, Carter, Letang, Giordano, Boyle and Crawford, and I'm sure my prediction won't be 100% accurate.

Some very good players will not make the team, but during the past few weeks I've read and heard comments from people that make it sound like Hall is a terrible player.

It's gotten so bad/funny that today people said they would take Duchene over Hall because he has "better hands." One guy said, "Duchene can stickhandle in a phone both, and he has had more Highlight of the Night  honours than Hall. I did not know that making it on Sportscentre was part of the evaluation process, nor did that make you a more effective player.

Duchene can deke better than Hall and he stickhandles more, but Hall is a better skater, can beat goalies on the rush, from 20-30 feet out, and he has outscored Duchene 144-109 since the beginning of the 2011/2012 season. So having better stickhandling skills is now more valuable than producing 35 more points?

I've learned a lot during the lead up to the Olympic team selection.

The major knock on Hall seems to be his turnovers. There is no arguing he turns the puck over, and he sometimes tries to be too fancy. However, he has eliminated the toe drag from his game, and he is improving his overall game. He is a young, dynamic player, and getting all the bad habits out of his game won't happen over night. It rarely does for most players.

The final roster will be full of players with more experience than Hall, but very few of them have been more productive during the past three seasons.

Since the beginning of the 2012 season Hall has scored 144 points in 144 games; 13th most in the NHL and during that span is he one of only seven players who have averaged a point a game.

Crosby:    1.53   (514 career games)
Stamkos: 1.20   (390 career games)
Giroux:      1.07   (375 career games)
Neal:         1.05   (378 career games)
St. Louis:  1.03   (1,021 career games)
Tavares:    1.01   (334 career games)
Hall:           1.00   (209 career games)

Hall is producing with the best players in the game, and all of them have more experience and are on much better teams. Even Tavares' Islanders were good for one season. Hall is producing his points with the worst defence corps in the NHL. I don't think you can overlook how well he has produced considering the quality of his teammates compared to the other top scorers in the game.

The other aspect that can't be overlooked is that Hall scores the majority of his points at even strength. It is harder to score 5-on-5, yet Hall is the 3rd most productive ES scorer in the game this season.

Crosby is averaging 0.93 ES points/game, Getzlaf is at 0.85 and Hall is at 0.84. Despite all of his turnovers and supposed lack of an overall game he produces incredibly well at even strength.

Over the past two seasons here is a look at the most productive players at even strength:

Crosby:     80
Kane:        72
Toews:      72
Hall:           68
St.Louis:   67
Getzlaf:      66
Kunitz:       65
E.Staal:     65
Tavares:    62
Duchene:  62
Perry:          61

I'm not suggesting Hall's overall game is as good as those who will make the Olympic team, but people need to calm down and recognize that very few active players produce as much as Hall has early in their careers. Hall has worked on improving his overall game, and while he does that he has still managed to produce points. He isn't sacrificing offence, because he cut out toe drags or has become better at stripping pucks of the opposition by backchecking harder. That is a good sign, because it shows he will be able to improve his overall game, and likely become even more dangerous offensively.

And that is why people should be excited about his long-term potential.

His overall game is developing nicely, but it's become ridiculous how much criticism he has faced leading up to the Olympic selection.

Scoring goals and producing points is the hardest part of hockey, and Hall is one of the best in the NHL, yet it seems during this entire process all anyone focuses on is his defensive game. That doesn't surprise me, because many coaches, media and fans have decided that sound defensive play is more valuable than scoring points.

Hall can learn to become better defensively and to protect the puck better, but you can't teach other players to be as dominant offensively as he is. I believe too many of us are guilty of watching games and only focusing too much on the negatives, and too often downplaying the positives. Hall can do things that very few players in the league can do, and that won't change once his overall game matures.

Hall can make an unreal pass through legs and sticks, but if it doesn't result in a goal it is forgotten about 30 seconds later. However, if he tries to make a high risk pass that doesn't work he is looked at as a risky player.

Seems a bit unfair, no?

I understand why Hall won't make the team this year, but the suggestions that players like Duchene and Couture are significantly better players is ridiculous.

I would understand if fans in San Jose and Colorado felt that way, but it seems that all the losing in Edmonton is starting to turn some Oiler fans into constant cynics. You should be frustrated with the losing, but your frustration shouldn't be aimed at a 22-year-old who is producing on par with the best offensive players in the NHL.

You should be annoyed at Kevin Lowe. You should be annoyed at Craig MacTavish for icing the weakest blueline in Oiler history, but breaking down Hall's game and suggesting he isn't good is barking up the wrong tree.

He is only going to get better, and everything points to him become an elite player. If management can do their job and surround him with some decent players the Oilers should have success. Winning teams have great players, and as Hall matures he I can see his game becoming elite.

Hall not making the Olympic team as a 22-year-old shouldn't subject him to harsh criticism or inaccurate pot-shots about his game. The fact he is even in the conversation should be viewed as an accomplishment, and his play and future potential should be the main catalyst to believe the Oilers might eventually improve one day.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Retsinnab5
January 06 2014, 10:46PM
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Hall > Duchene

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#2 Jeffrey Chapman
January 06 2014, 10:47PM
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people think hall isn't good?

line up these infidels.

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#3 lostdog82
January 06 2014, 10:47PM
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Hall will be on team Canada for the next olympics. Hopefully he uses this as added motivation during the long days of training this summer and the next few to come.

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#4 BRHLBryce
January 06 2014, 10:48PM
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"Duchene can deke better than Hall and he stickhandles more, but Hall is a better skater"

As a former season ticket holder 06-10 who now is a season ticket holder in Denver, I can say this is 100% inaccurate. Hall is a great skater, but Duchene is probably THE best skater in the NHL. While I'd rather have Hall on my squad (though McKinnon will be better than both), he is NOT a better skater than Duchene.

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#5 hankthetank
January 06 2014, 10:49PM
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Amen

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#6 David S
January 06 2014, 10:54PM
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It was the toe drag that did him in I tell you.

The g*d d*mn toe drag.

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#7 Raine
January 06 2014, 10:56PM
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We saw Hall benched at the Worlds. That is a huge huge red flag. No playoff experience, doesn't play on a team with an NHL calibre system and ultimately all of those things are too much a gamble. This is a short tournament and they need to gel right off the hop. Can Hall really play with the elite? We don't know, and they won't risk it.

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#8 Rama Lama
January 06 2014, 10:57PM
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The responsibility for Hall not being on the team has everything to do with the way he was coached for the first 20 games of the season.

Add to that a blender approach to line management and Hall is still pushing for a finish in the top ten points category.

Very impressive........the guy is all world.

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#9 RexHolez
January 06 2014, 11:02PM
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Remember all those years ago when Hall was just a kid and this team sucked? We were all so excited to get a 1st overall pick and see just how amazing this team would be! We were gonna be like Pittsburgh and Chicago! Ah we were all so naive

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#10 nina russo
January 06 2014, 11:20PM
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BRHLBryce wrote:

"Duchene can deke better than Hall and he stickhandles more, but Hall is a better skater"

As a former season ticket holder 06-10 who now is a season ticket holder in Denver, I can say this is 100% inaccurate. Hall is a great skater, but Duchene is probably THE best skater in the NHL. While I'd rather have Hall on my squad (though McKinnon will be better than both), he is NOT a better skater than Duchene.

Absolutely agree. Duchene may be the fastest player with the puck on his stick in the league. He doesn't just skate north-south and try to skate through people turning over the puck he actually uses his brain to find creative ways to beat them.

Hall is a great player, and may even be as great as Messier one day, but Duchene can think on the fly, which is what separates those who simply make the NHL from those who excel. Like the difference between Crosby and Ovechkin, it takes more than just being the best you are to win championships, you have to be able to make those around you better as well.

And the simple fact of the matter is when Hall plays he takes away from those he plays with more than he creates for them. Its not bad, every team needs a Hall or an Ovechkin but they need the Crosbys, Kovalchuks, and Duchenes more ... good thing we have the Nuge.

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#11 Jay
January 06 2014, 11:27PM
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RexHolez wrote:

Remember all those years ago when Hall was just a kid and this team sucked? We were all so excited to get a 1st overall pick and see just how amazing this team would be! We were gonna be like Pittsburgh and Chicago! Ah we were all so naive

Whatever happened to those guys in charge of the team when they became the worst franchise in hockey?

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#12 @Oilanderp
January 06 2014, 11:44PM
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Why the extra 'O' in the title, Gregor?

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#13 Walter Sobchak
January 06 2014, 11:45PM
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nina russo wrote:

Absolutely agree. Duchene may be the fastest player with the puck on his stick in the league. He doesn't just skate north-south and try to skate through people turning over the puck he actually uses his brain to find creative ways to beat them.

Hall is a great player, and may even be as great as Messier one day, but Duchene can think on the fly, which is what separates those who simply make the NHL from those who excel. Like the difference between Crosby and Ovechkin, it takes more than just being the best you are to win championships, you have to be able to make those around you better as well.

And the simple fact of the matter is when Hall plays he takes away from those he plays with more than he creates for them. Its not bad, every team needs a Hall or an Ovechkin but they need the Crosbys, Kovalchuks, and Duchenes more ... good thing we have the Nuge.

I can't even explain to you how ridicules this is, almost in every facet of your argument you have completely baseless remarks.

If you don’t realize that Hall is the best player on the Oilers just by the eye, then you my friend are lost.

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#14 RexHolez
January 06 2014, 11:53PM
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Jay wrote:

Whatever happened to those guys in charge of the team when they became the worst franchise in hockey?

Good question. I believe the G.M is now V.P of hockey ops and the coach is G.M. In charge of the rebuild. Now you're probably thinking to yourself... "the same people who crashed this ship into the cliff are the same guys rebuilding it?" The short awnser is yes, don't worry though. They have the same assistant coaches teaching a rookie head coach the ropes. Once Horcoff retires and comes onboard the coaching staff lookout! This team will be a dynasty!!

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#15 BC BOY
January 06 2014, 11:54PM
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BRHLBryce wrote:

"Duchene can deke better than Hall and he stickhandles more, but Hall is a better skater"

As a former season ticket holder 06-10 who now is a season ticket holder in Denver, I can say this is 100% inaccurate. Hall is a great skater, but Duchene is probably THE best skater in the NHL. While I'd rather have Hall on my squad (though McKinnon will be better than both), he is NOT a better skater than Duchene.

Duchene is better on his edges and in tight spaces but Hall is one the fastest straight line skaters in the NHL. Which would probably be more useful on the big ice.

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#16 Spoils
January 06 2014, 11:57PM
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The rest of Hockey has to notice eventually.

The frustrating thing for me is he isn't even in the conversation. I don't think McKenzie mentioned him once but Couture "is a lock"!

Big ice, tape to tape superstar outlet passes... would have been a ton of fun and it might have brought fire back to the Oil.

Let's hope it motivates him to turn it up another notch the rest of the year.

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#17 K_Mart
January 07 2014, 12:00AM
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BRHLBryce wrote:

"Duchene can deke better than Hall and he stickhandles more, but Hall is a better skater"

As a former season ticket holder 06-10 who now is a season ticket holder in Denver, I can say this is 100% inaccurate. Hall is a great skater, but Duchene is probably THE best skater in the NHL. While I'd rather have Hall on my squad (though McKinnon will be better than both), he is NOT a better skater than Duchene.

There's a difference between having better edges and being a better skater. Hall is faster and has better acceleration than Duchene. Duchene just has a more efficient stride and better edges. But he's still slower.

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#18 Zarny
January 07 2014, 12:06AM
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Utterly ridiculous. Couture and Duchene are better than Hall like Mike Richards was better than Stamkos in 2010.

Hall was the youngest player at the orientation camp by 10 months behind Duchene. No other '91 was even invited.

There was only one 22 y/o in Vancouver...Crosby. And Hall is 3 months younger than Crosby was. Everyone else in 2010 was 24+.

Like Logan Couture...who is over 2.5 years older than Hall.

Offensively Hall is the best LW in Canada. Duchene has less risk in his game. He's also played close to 100 more NHL games than Hall so that makes sense.

4 years from now Hall will have a lock as top LW like Crosby does on C now.

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#19 Johe
January 07 2014, 12:09AM
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Hall won't be on the list tomorrow, but I'm willing to say he'll be a lock for 2018. Sky's the limit for this kid, especially if he actually gets surrounded by an actual NHL team.

Also, just thinking out loud here, but how cool would it be to see Hall and Seguin on the same line for next Olympics? Maybe centred by Nuge? Ahh. Dreaming is fun :)

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#20 Jay
January 07 2014, 12:10AM
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Zarny wrote:

Utterly ridiculous. Couture and Duchene are better than Hall like Mike Richards was better than Stamkos in 2010.

Hall was the youngest player at the orientation camp by 10 months behind Duchene. No other '91 was even invited.

There was only one 22 y/o in Vancouver...Crosby. And Hall is 3 months younger than Crosby was. Everyone else in 2010 was 24+.

Like Logan Couture...who is over 2.5 years older than Hall.

Offensively Hall is the best LW in Canada. Duchene has less risk in his game. He's also played close to 100 more NHL games than Hall so that makes sense.

4 years from now Hall will have a lock as top LW like Crosby does on C now.

Perfect! Accept I don't think hall will play in the Olympics in 4 years cuz the NHL doesn't make money off it so they'll stop sending players. They probably just have 15 outdoor games instead

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#21 Dangilitis
January 07 2014, 12:10AM
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Great article. Funny thing, Oiler fans and bloggers often blame the MSM for running Oilers out of town. Cynicism amongst the fanbase has progressively increased to the point that the most harsh words I have seen and heard this year about Gagner, Yak, Hall, and even Hemsky have been from frustrated friends and other fans who comment on Oilers websites and blogs. Far worse than what is mentioned in the Sun or Journal.

I also agree that if you call yourself an Oilers fan, you can stick up for the best Oilers' player on the team in nearly 20 years, especially when douchebag fans from other teams try to kick the Oilers when they are down using recycled and unsubstantiated claims. You can do so with confidence, as Gregor has so elaborately pointed out. If you cannot, then you are either not a fan of good hockey or not a knowledgeable fan (whether you are Tier 1 or Tier 2...).

I am always reminded of Hall's interview by Oilers management on Oil Change before being drafted. They asked him about his "injury-prone" style with respect to a specific play. His response at the time was very mature and insightful. He said that the "safe play" at the time would have been an average play, and while he acknowledged that he can't continually put himself in harm's way (another aspect of his game in which he has vastly improved upon), he was not in the business of making average plays. This not only represents the creativity that Gregor is referring to that cannot be taught, but also his continual passion and drive to be better. He's improved his playmaking skills and his defensive play since arriving, despite being thrown up against the best in the league, and a revolving door of coaches, none of whom were close to league average in development.

Yes, sometimes the average play is the safe play, but it rarely ends up in the back of the net. And a great play can still be a safe play, regardless of whether it ends up in the back of the other team's net.

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#22 Monkeyswan
January 07 2014, 12:11AM
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He will be the reason the Oilers retire #4 one day

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#23 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
January 07 2014, 12:15AM
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@Zarny

Well said.

Hall is the only player drafted from 2010 or later that is really getting consideration (arguably Seguin, but I'm pretty sure Chiarelli won't be lobbying hard for Tyler to make the team). We've seen the risk in Hall's game decrease recently and lately he's really improved his defence, but he hasn't had the opportunity to show enough over a large sample size and in meaningful games.

Really hope the NHL sends their players and Hall can be a cornerstone player for Canada in 2018.

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#24 Jay
January 07 2014, 12:18AM
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The real question we should be asking is..,, Do we even want Hall to go to the Olympics and see how much fun it is to be in a winning environment? He'd come back and realize he needs to get out of this gong show

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#25 D
January 07 2014, 12:32AM
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My worry is that when Hall makes the Olympics, he will be playing for another franchise because he long gave up on the "brain trust" that ru(i)ns this one.

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#26 WHH
January 07 2014, 12:44AM
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Hall is the main reason I attend Oiler games. I get my entertainment value from his dynamic, passionate play. When he picks up the puck the entire rink becomes electric. One day I hope to get my entertainment value from watching the Oilers win games and compete on a consistent basis. Hopefully, maybe even playoffs.

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#27 Danger Pay
January 07 2014, 01:06AM
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Hallsy's a Stud, hopefully he uses this as motivation and turn's this Franchise around by 2018! P.S, could management give this kid a True NHL Vet to learn from? Just a humble request from a die hard fan.

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#28 andrewmk20
January 07 2014, 01:50AM
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He shows promise in terms of his defensive game. When he does back-check he is very effective because of his speed and strength. I noticed it during the Tampa game on Sunday that whenever he would back-check he broke up the play fairly quickly and transitioned the puck very quickly. It's going to take time for him to play defensive hockey consistently. I mean the biggest stars took time. Thornton, Sakic, Yzerman, Kariya, etc. all took at least until their mid twenties to find a consistent effort on the defensive side of the puck. I remember analysts and fans deriding these players during their early careers about not being good defensive hockey players. To me because of Hall's lethal speed he won't sacrifice offense as much as a lot of other young offensive stars. Oiler fans need to chill out about this kid. We should be exclusively ragging on the ineffective management and coaching structure in place instead.

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#29 Devolution
January 07 2014, 03:40AM
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Zarny wrote:

Utterly ridiculous. Couture and Duchene are better than Hall like Mike Richards was better than Stamkos in 2010.

Hall was the youngest player at the orientation camp by 10 months behind Duchene. No other '91 was even invited.

There was only one 22 y/o in Vancouver...Crosby. And Hall is 3 months younger than Crosby was. Everyone else in 2010 was 24+.

Like Logan Couture...who is over 2.5 years older than Hall.

Offensively Hall is the best LW in Canada. Duchene has less risk in his game. He's also played close to 100 more NHL games than Hall so that makes sense.

4 years from now Hall will have a lock as top LW like Crosby does on C now.

I agree that Hall will be on the 2018 Olympic team, but I sort of doubt he will be an Oiler.

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#30 Sisyphus
January 07 2014, 04:09AM
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You have to feel for Hall. He's an incredible player, but at this point, given who he plays for, he's a "risky" pick. He has no real experience playing with top NHL-quality lines, and when he plays against them, so often his team is absolutely trounced. Could he pick it up and play with the big boys, on genuine quality lines? I have no doubt--but the question is, how fast. Unfortunately, I really think his biggest negative this year is due to him playing for the Oilers.

And as someone said above--if he DID get picked, and played with those kind of guys all around him, realized what a GOOD team felt like, you have to wonder if it would speed up the process of "Nope, I'm done, trade me please, I'd like to play on a team with at least a remote shot at the cup sometime before I turn 30"

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#31 a lg dubl dubl
January 07 2014, 04:54AM
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Couture is out 3-4 weeks, which might be Halls ticket to the Olympics. That being said Id rather have Hall on the team than the old farts that will(St.Louis, Thorton etc) because, well, "they're safe pics".

Canada just might surprise themselves if they ever stop making the "safe pics" and go against the grain abit.

I hope the NHL lets players go to the Olympics in 2018 and beyond, its the only reason why I really watch them anyways.

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#32 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 05:41AM
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St. Louis being on the team is a joke. He is a guy who grinds it out, and has a playmaker feed him. He doesn't have even close to the same talent of Hall who would light up the big ice in Europe. Also Eberle should also be considered. Play him and Hall with Thorton, and they would light up the score board.

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#33 ToppsSmith
January 07 2014, 05:59AM
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Danger Pay wrote:

Hallsy's a Stud, hopefully he uses this as motivation and turn's this Franchise around by 2018! P.S, could management give this kid a True NHL Vet to learn from? Just a humble request from a die hard fan.

I agree but the issue is guys don't want to play for Edmonton. There was a few great F.A. out there that would have been great to put with these kids. Daniel Briere would have been great for RNH to learn from. RNH is scared out there and doesn't have anything for size. Neither did Briere and he worked with it. Vincent Lecavalier was also up for grabs. Imagine if he played with Hall and showed him how to work that 2way power game. However Edmonton didn't have a shot with at guys.

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#34 Sevenseven
January 07 2014, 06:15AM
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It could be just an experience factor. He is only 22 and played just over 200 games. Could be why Tavares might not make the team, hes just over 300 games. Same reason Subban might not be on the team. I hope its good for Hall. Maybe him getting the snub will make him want to prove himself more.

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#35 BRHLBryce
January 07 2014, 06:38AM
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BC BOY wrote:

Duchene is better on his edges and in tight spaces but Hall is one the fastest straight line skaters in the NHL. Which would probably be more useful on the big ice.

Hey I love Hall, he's on my Olympic team, but you're wrong. Even in a straight line race, Duchene isn't getting beat by Hall.

Again Hall > Duchene, but not because of his skating.

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#36 Sizzay
January 07 2014, 06:46AM
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Zarny wrote:

Utterly ridiculous. Couture and Duchene are better than Hall like Mike Richards was better than Stamkos in 2010.

Hall was the youngest player at the orientation camp by 10 months behind Duchene. No other '91 was even invited.

There was only one 22 y/o in Vancouver...Crosby. And Hall is 3 months younger than Crosby was. Everyone else in 2010 was 24+.

Like Logan Couture...who is over 2.5 years older than Hall.

Offensively Hall is the best LW in Canada. Duchene has less risk in his game. He's also played close to 100 more NHL games than Hall so that makes sense.

4 years from now Hall will have a lock as top LW like Crosby does on C now.

Pretty sure toews was 21/22 in 2010 and doughty was 21.

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#37 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 07:18AM
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lostdog82 wrote:

Hall will be on team Canada for the next olympics. Hopefully he uses this as added motivation during the long days of training this summer and the next few to come.

There won't be a next Olympics. It will be the 2018 (or maybe the 2016 World Cup).

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#38 Spydyr
January 07 2014, 07:23AM
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Hall should have his chance next time. He has to learn not to give the puck up in bad areas of the ice. Such as both blue lines. I have no doubt he will learn the 200 ft game very shortly. Then look out he will be one of the games best players. People forget just how young he still is.

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#39 Spydyr
January 07 2014, 07:25AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

There won't be a next Olympics. It will be the 2018 (or maybe the 2016 World Cup).

"There won't be a next Olympics."

How do you know this? No one knows this for sure.

You are stating opinion as fact and that is wrong.

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#40 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 07:29AM
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Jason your pick estimates are probably very very close to what will actually be the team. Very safe, lots of seniority in play. Establishment players. I do wonder if Eric staal also gets on.

If that formula fails. And the women's Olympic team fails (as is likely). Then we could see a rejigging of how teams are picked. Not sure how it would be changed, but certainly the seniority stuff would be what's addressed.

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#41 camdog
January 07 2014, 07:47AM
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This article is somewhat contradictory. Big and bold is "safe player" and then you have Suddan on the team. He's not a safe player, however he deserves to be on the team.

If Hall played on another organisation he would be getting a lot more consideration. Starting at centre, crushed his confidence. As well I don't think we can discount what happened in the World Championships. There is a belief that players in Edmonton are permitted to float.

It's not just the turnovers that negative about Hall's game. As Ray Ferraro said on your very show, Hall needs to be able to find the trailer and sometimes he gets tunnel vision. In year or two when he figures this out he's going to be even better. The Olympic ice is not about speed, it's about overall puck possession.

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#42 Wintoon
January 07 2014, 08:09AM
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With all this talk about Canada's team choosing "safe" players, I wonder if the brain trust is building a team "not to lose" rather than building a team "to win".

Canada has great talent, it is our strength. Why not build a team to overpower the opposition with offensive talent? With the big ice surface, the big bulky puck cyclers are less of an asset than the players who can outskate their opponents.

Will be very interesting to see what the outcome is in Sochi. In the long run will wwe need more goals for or less goals against?

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#43 Truth
January 07 2014, 08:10AM
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With the 2018 Olympics in South Korea I think the chances of the NHL opting out for a "World Cup" instead is high.

If my memory is correct it was reported that the proposed World Cup would be every two years instead of four for the Olympics and would be held in the off-season. Who knows if the players and teams will feel this event to be as important as the Olympics, so we could potentially see players opt out to rest after a lengthy playoff run or prior to the start of the NHL season. These Olympics could be the very last of the national super teams, unfortunately.

I'd love to see Hall play on this team but there is no chance he makes it.

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#44 alkali
January 07 2014, 08:35AM
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One mistake in a NHL game means nothing, there are 81 other games to make amends.

One mistake in a short tournament can be the difference between a medal and going home early.

Hall is a high risk, high reward player; that's why he will be (most likely) on the outside looking in

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#45 Rdubb
January 07 2014, 08:35AM
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If Eakins were to leave the Hall-RNH-Eberle line alone, than it is my belief that Hall's production would be a whole lot better than it is. And lest we forget that experiment earlier in the season where Hall played C, a position he hasn't played @ a high level in many yrs, and don't forget about the line mates he had too during that span.. Also, Hall has come back from some injuries, and these take time to get back from, even if it is only 3-5 games to get back up to the NHL speed, they are still generally games needed to play, generally w/o much production, unless ones name is Crosby. It is rare for a player to come back from Knee surgery and start producing out of the gate, or shoulder surgery, or any other type of surgery... And, again, lest we forget, who was the 2nd best LW'inger last season? How many of the group mentioned above are playing LW? Hall would fly on the bigger ice surface & his overall game would (should) improve playing with such great players and leaders in the game. If nothing else, Halls speed should get him on the Oly team, as his speed would create how much open ice... Not only that, but if the Oly committee is looking into the future too, they need younger players on this team so that we (Canada) has experience in 4yrs. I think that Lowe will be pushing for his player to get the nod and gain the experience, just as Stevie Y is saying the same of St.Louis (although this is his last stab at the cat, but it'd be a feather in Stevie's GM cap)...we'll see going forward, but I think and believe that Hall should be on the team on merit alone, being the 2nd best at his position last yr and in the top 5 this season, and the 4 ahead of are not all from Canada... Just my thoughts Peck

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#46 Zamboni Driver
January 07 2014, 08:45AM
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Again.

The guy who, for more than half of the year was the second best player on the second worst team in the league does not make it.

DAVID PERRON SHOULD BE ON THE OLYMPIC TEAM!

That sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?

Hall doesn't deserve it. Simple.

He's a very good player, sure, but that doesn't make him an Olympian.

Next time around, hell make him captain if you want, he'll be there for sure (if the pros are there) but this time, no.

and if anyone uses the word "snubbed", you've been watching the Oilers and not watching actual NHL hockey waaaaaaaaaay too much.

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#47 Zamboni Driver
January 07 2014, 08:45AM
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@Wintoon

Yeah because without Taylor Hall the Olympic team will score zero goals.

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#48 Zamboni Driver
January 07 2014, 08:48AM
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ToppsSmith wrote:

St. Louis being on the team is a joke. He is a guy who grinds it out, and has a playmaker feed him. He doesn't have even close to the same talent of Hall who would light up the big ice in Europe. Also Eberle should also be considered. Play him and Hall with Thorton, and they would light up the score board.

Okay you need to stop posting at Oilersnation.

MARTIN ST. LOUIS WON THE HART TROPHY YOU TWIT.

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#49 KSC10032
January 07 2014, 09:00AM
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IMO -- Hall's early season knee injury was far more hindering than has generally been reported, and -- like Gagner -- he probably came back to play a bit too soon.

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#50 Serious Gord
January 07 2014, 09:01AM
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A little off topic - more of an aside:

There is much talk about how much wider the Olympic sheet is - 14.5 ft. And it obviously is a factor.

But what seems to always be overlooked is that the offensive zone is much shorter - 58 ft vs 64. That's 10% less. Which means that the ability to pressure d-men at the point is 10% better making getting off a shot in the PP is considerably tougher/riskier. And pinching - combined with the width issue - is far harder. Etc etc.

Not sure what it means in toto, but certainly plodding type d men are a real liability - pronger and phaneuf being examples

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