I just spoke with a source who said, nothing broken, but Hall is likely out for a few weeks at least. Severe sprain, possibly the dreaded high ankle sprain, if so, a return this year is doubtful.

Taylor Hall scored his 22nd goal, added his 20th assist and then surprised many when he dropped his gloves with Derek Dorsett for his first NHL fight. Hall started the fight. Dorsett had given him a few extra shots after Hall delivered a nice open-ice hit moments earlier and Hall finally had enough and went after him.

In the middle frame as Hall tossed his gloves the crowd roared, Dorsett only landed one really good shot, but Hall sprained/twisted his ankle when he fell awkwardly to the ice at the end of the fight. Hall skated off on his steam, and even picked up his own gloves in the process, but you could tell his ankle was bothering him.

The next time we saw Hall, he had a walking boot on his left ankle as he was addressing the media in a post-game scrum.

Prior to hearing from Hall the debate was on about Hall fighting. Many fans were saying he shouldn’t be fighting, or someone should have stepped in. Some even tweeted me that his injury proves why fighting should be banned from the game; I’m not lying.

I completely disagreed.

You can’t ask a player not to play with emotion, and while fighting Dorsett, a known pugilist, wasn’t the smartest move it showed how much Hall cares. We had spoke last week about how he was getting sick of guys trying to take liberties with him, but didn’t mention that he was going to fight. In fact, he told Ryan Rishaug from TSN this morning that he didn’t think he would ever fight in the NHL. I guess he underestimated himself.

Here is what Hall said after the game.

"After the fight, I kind of fell over and tweaked it (ankle) a bit. There is nothing in your contract that says you can’t fight or defend yourself. It is bad luck that I had to leave the game because of the fight, but I’d probably do it again if I had to…. There comes a time when you have to (fight), and there is nothing wrong with stepping up for yourself and just trying to defend yourself. Eventually if you keep getting hit, and people keep coming in for you, it is not a great feeling when you are that guy that keeps getting rescued."

Tom Renney had this to say about his 22-goal rookie.

"We drafted character, so you better expect character to show up and it did. We’ll deal with the consequences, that’s what a team does…Good for him. Scraps happen, that is part of the deal and clearly he had had enough."

How can rip Hall because he doesn’t want to be a player that needs to be rescued?

I don’t agree for a second with the argument that Hall shouldn’t fight, because for most fans had Hall not injured his ankle they would be raving about his heart, skill and character. Many are still raving about it, as they should be.

Do you remember how jacked Oiler fans were when Sam Gagner dropped the gloves with Ryan Kesler. No one was saying he shouldn’t be fighting, and he was their star first round pick at that moment.

It sucks that Hall got injured, but does it really impact the big picture? The Oilers aren’t in a playoff race. He was in the hunt, but not the leader, for the Calder, and his injury might cement their chances of finishing 30th.

Suggestions that his teammates should have jumped in are inaccurate, because it is clear Hall doesn’t want to be the guy who can’t fight, literally, his own battles. Plus it happened very quickly, and since he wasn’t getting destroyed in the actual fight there was no reason for someone to jump in.

I’m sure next time he might choose a more even opponent, but I will never rip a player for playing with heart, passion and a willingness to stand up for himself.

I think Hall should be applauded for his first Gordie Howe hat-trick, not ripped because of an unfortunate injury.

  • Jason Gregor

    When Ender said, “I agree wholeheartedly” I tapped out. Facepalmed myself from the douche chills and let out a long sigh. Seguin supporter eh? So we kinda know you are blind to the obvious.

  • Jason Gregor

    Even though Dorsett didn’t initiate the fight he should have been made to pay for his actions.

    The chance was given at the start of the 3rd period, but nobody challenged him to a fight. (I believe Jones was lined up with Dorsett)
    Renney talks about character, but what I saw was a team that wouldn’t defend their own superstar.

    Watching the hockey highlights I saw Lucic go after a TB player only because he had sidechecked one of Lucic’s linemates.

    A win is nice, but sticking up for your teammates is more important!

    • Jason Gregor

      I think Hall sent the right message to other teams! I will stand up for myself…

      The teams message in reponse to Halls actions, “we hang our star players out to dry, they can fend for themselves, and we’ll do nothing in the end”……

    • Jason Gregor

      Hall’s teammates know he was sick of being “rescued”. He stood up for himself in this case. That is the point. And Jones fighting Dorsett, and most likely losing would have proven nothing.

  • smiliegirl15

    It’s just an ankle; they heal pretty fast. It’s also an area you can work on strengthening so it won’t happen again and that you can also tape until it’s strong again.
    Good for Hall. The Edm vs Vancouver game when Gagner fought was epic! There were a ton of penalty minutes handed out that game. One of my favs.

  • geoilersgist

    I think it sucks that he got hurt, but he showed that he wont get pushed around in this league. To me his stocks went up even more and I’m happy to see he isn’t going to take any BS from anybody no matter how big they are.

  • positivebrontefan

    It showed leadership in a big way. He showed an entire team how to conduct yourself, with passion. The kid was on a tear last night, i think with Hemsky out he decided to really step up and show this team what a leader is. He took the lesson he learned from Renney when they sat for a brief period the last game and learned from it, so did Eberle. They were both on fire.
    This guy is going to be a very successful captain on this team in the near future.

  • zigster

    Gregor, great blog.

    We all clamored for Hall at the draft because A) he clearly was the best player come draft time and B)he displayed drive, passion and a hard nosed attitude to succeed which this team has lacked.

    The whole Hall package was on display last night. To paraphrase Lowetide, the boy became a man. He is Mark Messier lite.

    For all that were hoping for retribution post fight I can understand to a point. But this all came about because of an agitator, disturber, pugilist as you say, the type of player this team sorely needs to initiate these types of scenarios. We have to become pro active and pre emptive.

    I applaud Hall for wearing his emotions on his jersey every game. This is the kid we all hoped he would become.

  • I have to say that as much as we’d all prefer Hall didn’t fight, this was something that needed to happen. In fact, its part of his development as an elite player. You think he was getting confident before? Just you wait until he gets back.

    Just the fact that he knows he could go if he had to will make him even meaner going forward. That attitude is often what separates the good from the great. If I ran across him in the elevator in my building, I’d shake his hand and say “well done”.

    • Crash

      Gerber wasn’t even on the ice to jump into the fight. 😉 Even without Penner, Hemsky, & Hall out they’re still taking all measures to avoid passing the Senators.

  • reaperfunkss

    You’re wrong, Hall didn’t start that fight. Dorsett did by following Hall around for 20 seconds prior hitting Hall with his stick whilst chirping him. I think you’d fight the guy too in that case.
    Tell me this, why wasn’t the multiple slashes called a penalty? And why did the Oilers respond with nothing?
    Reverse the roles JG, if JFJ followed Nash around for an entire shift hitting him with his stick, what do you think would happen?
    I didn’t say anything about Mac. At all.

    • Jason Gregor

      Dorsett went up to Hall after a hit, not the entire shift…it was about five seconds at the most…And Hall clearly dropped his gloves. Dorsett slashed him, but didn’t drop his mitts and make Hall fight.

      The slashes weren’t that hard, that’s why..

      Guys have chirped Hall lots, and he hasn’t fought. That is the job of guys and you don’t always respond. Hall CHOSE to respond, and I’m fine with that. Vandermeer said after the game that when players saw the replay and realized it was Hall who initiated fight. So didn’t see need to respond. It is a man’s game.

  • reaperfunkss

    Can someone please tell me where the candle-light vigil for Taylor Hall will be this evening?

    He handled himself well last night. Was anyone watching when Hall pointed out the rut in the ice to the refs when he was warming up, and then made the refs fix it? It looked like he caught his skate in another rut during the fight…

    In the end, we should be mad at the ice. It found a way to get in his head, and when he wasn’t looking BLAM, it swallowed his foot.

  • Jamie B.

    What the heck are you smoking dude?

    Hall doesn’t react every time he gets hit. He said himself he was tired of guys taking runs at him and having his teammates “rescue him”. You chastise him for doing the very thing you say he should do… He dropped the gloves and fought his own fight.

  • Jamie B.

    Wow O Fan, you really don’t get it do you. Hall said he doesn’t want anyone having to rescue him. he never cried or whined about the hit. it was a shot to his head, he responded. Have you ever played a contact sport? sometimes you get pissed. He did what every player should, he tried to handle it himself instead of waiting for someone to run Dorsett. Did you even see the play? Dorsett was coming after him because he hit Dorsett earlier in the play. I will take that from Hall every time, instead of him being a pansy and spearing Dorsett and hoping someone runs over and runs him.

    More of this, more experience, and I think the Messier comparison starts to be more and more likely.