Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin? Discuss . . .
I hope Bingofuel shat his shorts reading that opening line because I told him just last night that first sentence would be the entirety of my next offering in an effort to draw traffic in the seemingly endless and circular debate about Hall and Seguin.
I’m not going to rehash the rehash on that overdone bit of business — write an item about Steve Tambellini falling down the stairs and hitting his head or the arena question and it turns into Hall-Seguin XXIV — but I do have some thoughts on the wood Oilers fans are sporting over Hall’s performance at the Memorial Cup.
Yes, Hall is a player. Yes, he’s been dynamite. Yes, the kid is a stud with sick skills, plenty of jam and he’s damn sure grabbed the spotlight away from Seguin with his performance for the Windsor Spitfires in Brandon.
But . . .
HOW MANY FINGERS?
Framed by what Windsor GM Warren Rychel (pictured above) told Jason Gregor last week about Hall’s penchant for getting starched, if I was Tambellini, I’d be taking notes after seeing Hall take yet another wicked hit, this time from Travis Harmonic of the Wheat Kings.
Rychel said: "I haven’t seen a player over the last three years get hit more than him, harder more than him. He doesn’t get hit a lot because he is shifty and his speed, but sometimes he gets cleaned really hard and it’s amazing he gets up. Nothing seems to bother him."
And it doesn’t seem to bother Tambellini, who told 630 CHED the following when he was asked about Hall’s penchant for getting laid out:
"That play there, you don’t like to see any player, let alone Taylor Hall, go into the boards that way. It was what every coach, player, parent, you get just a bad feeling when you see something like that. Thank God he was able to get up and perform the way he did.
"But he’s reckless player and he plays with no fear. That’s just the way he is. He’s finding a way to get to the net, so I think overall from a scouting perspective you have to admire that."
Heaven help Tambellini and the Oilers if they select Hall and he doesn’t learn to get out of the way. Taking hits like Hall does makes for a short career when it’s NHL defencemen, and not kids, laying the smack down.
MORE LEFT COASTERS?
— It appears Tambellini might be leaning on his Left Coast connections again with speculation from CKNW Radio that Vancouver Giants GM Scott Bonner is the leading candidate to take over as GM with the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City next season.
If true, and I wouldn’t bet against it, Edmonton-based player agent Ritch Winter and The Sports Corporation will certainly have an in with the new AHL boss — Bonner is buddies with agents Manny DeSousa and Gerry Johannson of TSC.
Bonner’s been around the WHL a long time and his resume with the Giants, one of junior hockey’s big money operations under owner Ron Toigo, is certainly impressive. He knows talent and he’s been good at acquiring it — like David Musil, the son of Oilers scout Frank Musil.
One thing I’m wondering, though. If Bonner is the guy, will he be given the freedom to bring in his own coach? If so, what does that mean to Rob Daum, who has been a good soldier on the farm in Springfield?
THIS AND THAT . . .
— If Glen Sather gets the heave-ho from owner Jim Dolan as GM of the New York Rangers, might Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe be a candidate? Well, it might be worth a phone call on the part of the Rangers, but I don’t see it. Maybe Mark Messier gets the gig.
— I’m wondering if we might see some turnover in the Oilers scouting staff when the Entry Draft in Los Angeles is over. I haven’t been told by anybody who calls the shots there’s changes in the offing, but it stands to reason the entire staff won’t stay intact.
— Speaking of the draft, Gregor and I will be attending in L.A., so there won’t be any shortage of live coverage here at Oilersnation. I’ve done a bushel of them, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also the best event, bar none, to get the scoop from the people who call the shots.
— Still waiting on an announcement from the Oilers that radio play-by-play man Rod Phillips is retiring after 37 seasons. What’s the hold up?
UPDATE: INK FOR MPS A FORMALITY?
Tambellini has returned to the World Championships and I’m told the main reason for his flight back to Germany is to complete contracts with 2009 first-rounder (10th overall) Magnus Paajarvi-Svenson and second-round pick (40th overall) Anton Lander. Don’t be surprised if announcements about contracts for both are made by the end of the tournament.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.