UPDATED: CBC PULLS HALL STORY FROM WEBSITE

Taylor Hall has put the boots to the bogus, overblown bit of gossip that made the rounds Thursday about he and his dad somehow strong-arming jersey No. 4 from Kevin Lowe.

Not only that, the Edmonton Oilers rookie pulled it off with the deft touch of a seasoned veteran, laughing off the non-story penned by somebody named Mark Seidel on CBC.ca’s sports website.

Is Hall so obsessed with No. 4 that he and his father, Steve, twisted Lowe’s arm to get it, as implied in Seidel’s no-quote expose? Was anything going to stop Hall from getting his number, even if Lowe had to pull it out of mothballs for fear the kid might not report to Edmonton?

Hall, 18, had a flock of reporters waiting for him at his dressing room stall in Rexall Place after the Oilers pre-game skate this morning looking for the real dope on his alleged numeric fetish. Did you, Taylor? Did you want it that bad? Did your obsession with the No. 4 result in you and your dad leaning on the Oilers president of hockey operations?

The people have a right to know.

FOUR CRYING OUT LOUD

"Yeah," Hall declared, when asked if he’s got a stash of jerseys and banners emblazoned with the No. 4 back at the family home. "Our whole house, the walls aren’t painted. It’s just 4s."

While that punch line drew a hearty guffaw from all assembled, Hall showed a fair bit of composure for somebody who’d just been made to sound like a selfish, self-centred jerk by Seidel, whose unnamed sources for the item he wrote sound dubious, at best.

I covered most of Seidel’s dirt-dishing yesterday, as did Jason Gregor on his afternoon show when he had Lowe on as a guest, so there’s no need to go through it all again. That said, Hall had his say today.

"I was pretty surprised when I heard that. I didn’t even know I was wearing the number until before camp and Kevin called. It’s pretty much a non-issue."

"My dad called mid afternoon and told me, ‘There’s this article.’ I don’t care what it says about me, because I can take that. It’s more my family because they’re not used to that stuff. When they say stuff about my dad, that’s kind of hard to take.

"Like I said, two weeks before camp I was visiting my billets in Windsor and he (Lowe) gave me a call. We started talking about the number. He brought it up. He said he thought I’d look great in it and that it might make me a little more comfortable coming into camp wearing my own number. Other than that, I didn’t even think about it. That was pretty much it. I said OK."

End of non-story.

UPDATED

Seidel’s story has been pulled from the CBC website and his name is no longer listed among the site’s bloggers. This update from Rob Tychkowski at the Edmonton Sun:

"The Edmonton Oilers and Taylor Hall say a CBC report that the rookie and his family pressured a reluctant Kevin Lowe into turning over No.4 before the season is total fabrication. And it appears it was. The CBC pulled the story Friday evening while its author, Mark Seidel, sent an e-mail to the Oilers apologizing for the piece, saying “I am fully confident that these events did not happen as I layed them out in the article.”

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

  • Sadly this Seidel guy is such a nobody that this wont have any bearing on his credibility. He had none (as evidenced by his writing) and he has no male junk to take the appropriate righteous sack beating (as evidenced by his unsubstantiated character smear)

    As for the CBC….. no surprise what so ever that they would be involved. They suck.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    This Seidel guy seems to be getting all the attention he initially set out to get. Be it good or bad, the guys website is getting mega-hits now I’m sure.

    If I start up a site I’m going to publicly bash an Oiler and start making up fake rumours on it just so I can get a million hits a day.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      Don’t be fooled. You’re probably right when it comes to a lot of non-MSM sites, but “any hits are good hits” isn’t the mantra of CBC.

      They can’t run unsubstantiated crap like this stuff very often — especially if people write in and call them on it when they do — and maintain credibility.

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        True. I’ll give you that. CBC doesn’t like what’s happened and Seidel might even get fired but I along with many many people now know Seidel’s name and know about ‘North American Central Scouting’ when I didn’t before any of this.

        When it’s all said and done Seidel got his 15 minutes of fame he was looking for.

  • Ender

    CBC has now added this addendum to the article:

    Shortly after this article was published, CBCSports.ca was contact by J.J. Hebert, the director of communications and media relations for the Oilers, who said “this article paints an unfair picture of Taylor Hall and his father Steve.” Hebert also said “both the Halls have been great to deal with since the beginning of his young career with the Oilers.”

  • Jason Gregor

    I’m sure this will help Seidel’s character…

    http://www.nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?archive=true&e=1135334

    “The former commissioner of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League won’t have a criminal record for trying to acquire painkillers with a photocopied prescription.

    Mark Seidel, 37, of Lively, was sentenced earlier this month in Espanola to passing a forged document to obtain 120 Oxycontin pills.

    He pleaded guilty July 8 to uttering a forged document.

    Seidel had a valid prescription for the drugs and he was granted an absolute discharge because it doesn’t appear he had any intention of selling it on the street.”Seidel asked for the discharge because he needs to travel to the United States for his job as the chief talent scout for his company North American Central Scouting.”

    Court heard Seidel was prescribed the drug for a knee injury from when he was a teenager and for back pain.

    • Horcsky

      Maybe it’s just the way it’s written, but is the article stating that he was trying to get the pain meds with a 20 year old prescription from when he was a teenager, or was he recently prescribed the drug for an old injury? If it’s the former: *chuckle*