With Taylor Hall suffering a concussion as the season wound down, many suggested that he be shut down for the season to prevent any further injury. Today, those people got their wish, but in an unlikely manner.
The Edmonton Oilers have announced that Taylor Hall will not return this season; instead he’ll have surgery on his left shoulder.
Hall (labral shoulder surgery) will not return to the #Oilers lineup this season, according to GM Tambellini
"Recovery time will be between five and six months, so our hope is that Taylor will be ready for the start of next season." – Tambellini
Going for a midpoint between five and six months puts Hall’s return at some point early in September, likely just prior to the start of training camp.
For those wondering when this injury occurred, the Oilers’ feed also included a quote from Hall on the length of time since the injury occurred:
"Four years now … I injured it in junior and it’s been wearing away." – Taylor Hall when asked when he first injured his shoulder
It seems highly plausible that the Ryan Wilson hit shown above – a hit that cost Hall seven games back in December – exacerbated the situation.
Naturally, the question now will turn to why Hall was allowed to play this year with an injury, but I’m not at all sure that things are so clear-cut. The simple fact of the matter is that NHL players play through pain, and they play through injury. To know whether Hall’s specific injury should have been dealt with via surgery immediately, one would need to know what the risk of injuring it worse was. We don’t have that information. Without that information, it seems only fair to assume that the Oilers were doing what every other team does whenever possible: delaying surgery until the off-season. At this point, I’m not close to ready to criticize the medical staff; there simply isn’t enough information here to have an opinion one way or the other.
And while this isn’t good news, it could be far worse. Hall’s getting a nagging problem looked at, and he should be ready to return to the Oilers next season. This will cost him his chance to represent Canada at the World Championships, but it’s probably the best decision.
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