COLUMBUS,OH - OCTOBER 28: Taylor Hall  of the Edmonton Oilers skates up ice during the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 28, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated Edmonton 3-2 in a shoot out. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Did Taylor Hall somehow lean on Edmonton Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe to pull his old No. 4 out of mothballs and hand it over to him?

To hear Mark Seidel tell it in a blog carried on the CBC Sports website today, that’s pretty much what happened. Seidel’s jersey jabs at Hall, which runs without on-the-record attribution from anybody, paints an unflattering picture of the 18-year-old Oiler and flies in the face of what he and Lowe said about the decision to give the former Windsor Spitfires Star No. 4 last summer.

Also interesting, Seidel isn’t some anonymous Hall-hater hiding in his momma’s basement. According to the bio accompanying the article: "Seidel is the chief scout for North American Central Scouting. Mark has been involved at all levels of hockey, including the position of regional scout for the Minnesota Wild, as well as consultant for various NHL teams and personnel regarding the draft."

Does Seidel know something we don’t?


I spoke to Lowe about what’s implied in Seidel’s story, and he wasn’t indecisive with his response.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Lowe said. "It’s utter nonsense, It’s shoddy journalism. His dad never even talked about it for one, but Taylor was so respectful of the whole thing, it never even came up."

That’s a jarring denial of Seidel’s version of how Hall ended up taking the number from Lowe, especially the following passage:

"People who are 40 and beyond remember the absolute greatness with which the Oilers of the 1980s played the game. They know how important Kevin Lowe was to that team. Yet, Team Hall was bound and determined to secure No. 4.

"Pressure was even applied to Lowe. Many former and current stars were outraged and spoke to both Lowe and members of the organization, but Team Hall was determined. Ultimately Lowe quietly agreed to the "transfer" of the number."

That’s news to Lowe.

"Initially, Taylor’s first response was he’d just wear whatever number we wanted him to wear," Lowe said, who said the same thing months ago when Hall was handed jersey No. 4 at a team photo-op.

"I said, ‘I think you look good in No. 4. I thought that from the first time I saw you.’ Nothing could be further from the truth."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Oilers4ever

    The trademark encroachment is hilarious, but also too mickey mouse to be an issue. Trying to borrow credibility from NHL’s central scouting? Nothing says ‘central’ like a 1 man band. Pompous Ass.

  • book¡e

    I find it interesting that this article comes to surface after Hall is starting to put points on the board. Where was this so called controversy when Hall first got his number? Its a non-issue to me, I don’t really believe much that CBC has to say. I’m sure if this was true it would’ve been reported by TSN or Sportsnet or would’ve been on OilersNation a long time ago.

  • Here is an excerpt from an article in the Toronto Sun by Robert Tychkowski on this subject:

    “Hall said in face-to-face scrums with reporters for weeks before receiving No.4 that he didn’t care what number he wore and, in fact, he might want to steer away from 4 because of the added pressure that might come with it.

    “I was prepared to wear 19, 44, I had a few numbers in mind,” he said, adding it’s ridiculous that somebody in his position would try a power play before he’d even played an NHL game.

    “I wasn’t even on the team yet! It’s kind of hard to have a number unless you‚re on the team.

    “I’m not worried about me, I can take this stuff because I know what happened, but it’s tough when they say things like Team Hall.”

    Hall then laughed at the CBC headline about his “obsession” with No.4.

    “Yeah,” he chuckled. “Back home we don’t even have paint on the walls of our house, just a whole bunch of 4s.” ”

    His last comment about sums up this whole stupid issue.

    Taylor Hall is a real gem.

  • Jamie B.

    @MarkSeidel (Twitter): 3 people that told me this story stand by it but I’m now unsure of context so someone is lying but I don’t know who. Im sorry I posted it!!!

    As the kids today say, r u f’in srs?