Photo courtesy Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

The future of the Edmonton Oilers was on display last night. Taylor Hall was cleared to play, scored a goal early and the Barons won. However, the game didn’t completely follow the script and Hall may be facing a suspension.


The first 12 seconds of this video (courtesy Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm) are the story this morning. I’ve read a lot of online stuff suggesting it was a charge–I thought he took two strides, waited a heartbeat and then two more before the hit–and have also read that he targeted the head.

I’m no expert and these eyes aren’t what they used to be, but I think Hall hit him with his shoulder and it looked like the impact on Brodin was also shoulder. That’s my take, and as mentioned the internet has other views (I invite you to share your views too). The one thing I believe is dangerous–and all players seem to do this know–is the explosion through the man when Hall hits him. That’s how they coach it, right?


If you were offended by the hit, or are uncomfortable with your young Oilers being placed in a negative light, you may not like the next few seasons. The Oilers of 2012-20 are going to have that physical element and Oilers Nation should embrace it (in my opinion). I’m not suggested a Sean Connery "if they send one of yours to the hospital, send one of theirs to the morgue" mentality, but the bottom line is this a physical game and the Oilers have not been able to deliver that element in the past on their skill lines.

And it doesn’t mean you have to be ten feet tall–Milan  Lucic has a teammate named Brad Marchand who is 5 feet nothing and an extreme pain in the ass.

Last night, two of the best young Wild prospects were hurt against the Oilers farm team. I take no pleasure in it, in fact its a damn shame and if that happened to the Oilers there’d be a lot of anger among Oiler fans today.

I get that. I understand it.

However, too many times over the last many seasons Edmonton has responded to physical intimidation with no pushback and a leaky powerplay. This current group can kill you on the powerplay and give you some trouble in the alley.

There’s nothing wrong with it. Nothing.


You never want a player to be injured, but its also true that hockey has a lot of violence in it–that’s in the rules of the game. Hall’s hit wasn’t late to my eye, I do not think he charged Brodin, and as mentioned it looked like shoulder to me. If he gets suspended, I believe "check through the man and explode on your check"–which is coached into these kids from what I understand–is the culprit. The video posted here courtesy of Neal Livingston isn’t conclusive, but from what we see its pretty hard to give a suspension to a player with no history of head hunting. That and $5 will get you a cup of coffee.

Bottom line: I’m sorry Brodin got hurt, but don’t believe Taylor Hall did anything wrong or outside the rules of the game. If I stand alone, that’s fine too. The Edmonton Oilers of 2012-20 are going to be hell to play against. This fan thinks it is about time.

  • Truth

    If Brodins injury is true that it is a broken collarbone then that is 100% conclusive evidence the principle contact is not the head. One’s collarbone does not break from secondary contact or falling to the ice. The right thing to do for the AHL would be to rescind the match penalty and make Hall available for today’s game (although all reports are he would not play anyway). Since hockey is clearly not doing the right things nowadays that will not happen.

    Tough to see anyone get injured, even worse when it’s a very promising prospect.

    • Shaun Doe

      I’m sorry but you are just flat out wrong. A shoulder to shoulder check is NOT the only way you can break your collarbone. Or did I wear a butterfly truss for two weeks for no reason? You can break it from falling to the ice. I’m not saying that is what happened here, but I am saying its a possibility.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    I’m just glad there’s some drama. Make ’em pay on the power play, that’s the ticket tonight. Just don’t get injured fellas. These are the games Nelson has to really have a feel for and sit the young ones an extra shift sometimes if there’s a bad moon rising out there.

    Do you think Nelson got a call from MacT or Klowe or even Tambo about being careful with the golden geese?

  • Whatever play a player engages in……..do it without any hesitation and do it with all your might!

    The best hockey players historically never second guessed their actions…….indecision leads to failure.

    Good for Hall in delivering that hit they way he did. Shoot the same way, drive to the net the same way, pass e same way……..it does not matter what the play is just do it with all your might and abilities.

  • John Chambers

    I think by now the staff on both teams have reviewed the hit many times and have admitted the obvious,the hit was catalysed by an indecisive hesitation by the defensive player in his initiation of puck pursuit caused by his teammate in front of the net who was stickless and didnt clearly back away from the developing play,the injured player was drawn into the vulnerable position by his own teammate,Hall did not exhibit predatory tendancies on his entry to the hit or his engagment with the other player who was reaching and overextended and therefore unprotected at the moment of impact.

    Mr.Nelson has a firm and solid system approach to team integrity and we dont need to worry about rough stuff,this is a good hockey league and the refs will be ready to shut the teams down early if it looks even a tad ugly out there.I would be more concerned with goaltender abuse which I see just around the corner–the only way to beat a team this skilled is to get down to basics and crash their net.
    I believe that Nelson has an excellent system tactic for asset protection on-ice,I think it is so effective that teams will be forced to go the traditional route and retaliate on our crease to try to stay somewhat competative out there.No one wants to get beaten twice in one night,and this system the Barons use seems to be designed to do exactly that to you if you dont react to it and cover and move.Teams have to step back to compete,if they try to step forward and take control of momentum they get steamrolled one way or another scoreboard or washboard,its beautiful to watch.

    I would rather see the battles in front of our net where fights happen more than out in open ice where careers are ended by questionable hits,the Barons system forces opponents to use this net crashing tactic,teams will soon see that this is REALLY the only effective way to counter our tactics.Till then we simply continue to execute as we have been and continue to encourage teams to use this tactic in front of our net,it means a lot of fisticuffs on center stage and action for our tender, but it is what it is.

  • stevezie

    It wasn’t a hit to the head, but Hall did take six strides into the hit. I don’t think he was taking them thinking he was going to make a hit; Brodin took a very, very ill-advised lunge and does bear some responsibility, but I think the strides make it a charge.

    I think 5 and a game was more than enough for the charge and do not expect a suspension, but who knows?

    • Wax Man Riley

      Exactly how I see it.

      We all know Hall plays like a bull, 100% all the time. I think he was seriously racing for the puck, and tried to rub Brodin out.

      It’s just that when you are 6’1″ 200lbs of elite athlete that skates like Hall does, a rub out turns into an exploded helmet.

      Hall was finishing a check like all of us were taught to. I think 5 and a game for a charge is fair for sure.

      Maybe not a suspension.

      Also, the league ruled no suspension.

  • book¡e

    I’d say it was a borderline hit – the type I would prefer players not do, but its going to happen some times when you have ambitious aggressive players so I am ok with it and am also ok if there is a short suspension.

  • Dipstick

    Collarbones can break in many ways. I broke mine playing tackle football without pads. Got my shoulder slammed into the turf with my arms tied up. I was never known as being smart.

  • DSF

    Thought it was clean, saw two strides, shoulder on shoulder and a guy putting himself in harms way by turning at the last second. The last second turn by guys avoiding the hit can be more dangerous. Taylor said last night if he hit him the head, why was his collarbone broken. The guy should of taken the hit.

  • go-oil

    I thought it was a pretty clean hit. I think what made it bad was Brodin reaching for the puck in a pretty relaxed way. I like Hall taking the body, but I think Hall had the opportunity to play the puck instead.

  • Bi-Curious Gord

    @ New Age System,
    Are you on Twitter? I’d love to follw you if so. Your in depth analysis is always spot on. The way you present your thoughts in a clear, coherent manor is a treat to read. Truly a wordsmith that comes along once in a generation.

      • Bi-Curious Gord

        @rheumatoid arthritis

        Thank you rheumatoid arthritis–I am on Twitter.I have only used it a few times and am still new,i cant get on it now as I forgot my password and havent reset it yet,but I am learning and will do that soon.I dont really know how it all works yet.I set it up during the playoffs last year to acess a specific team ASAP but didnt really use the account after that I think I made 4 tweets.I am not a Tweeter by nature.I am nervous using it because I am not sure exactly who the tweets go to –all I know is I get tons of Twitter stuff in my e-mail–time to sharpen up I guess.

        I dont really prefer a social media format as I dont play well with others who arent into winning 100% and unless I start a blog I need to use proper forum manners which I find to confining when I am trying to problem solve.I am on ATS “moma2s NewAge Hockey System” its not an organised blog but its a NHS thread you can respond on.Right now its pretty much a maze of random posts,all NHS related,but not in chronological order at all.I was a player/coach through high school-coached 3 teams and played on one myself so I have some very basic competative tactics and philosophys to share,not much but some.It seems in many cases the tactics and ideas fit really well into a hockey mindset.But anything new is always denied until it proves itself to be superior to the old.To be quite honest I am used to competing and in that environment I am in control and a constant communicator and very verbally involved,I was a quiet leader in practises and a loud verbal one in competition,as a result I am used to people just trusting me based on results they are personally witnessing that prevent them from questioning me and my tactics.It saves tons of time when you can just do it and show someone.I am very ill-prepared to handle the constant questions and debates from people that i am forced to accept when I cant just go out and do it as an answer to their inquiries or simply have them comply first and experience the results and ask questions later??So I end up writing huge volumes of text because if i was on the ice I would be considering all of these things–so how can I justifiably leave anything out if I am playing to win or teaching to win???

        90% of the time the questions are the same from people,the sticking points are the same and it is soooo frustrating because hockey is so well coached from such a young age that players are indoctrinated and really handcuffed into conforming to convention and tradition or they just dont ever hit the ice.And my lack of basic hockey knowledge drives people batty especially when after two thousand words they finally get it–they couldnt define the dynamic situations but they had all of the data all along–which I wasnt getting,ha ha ha.I think and communicate in dynamic terms always,I cant change that anymore than I could throw any type of game on purpose,its just not possible.

        If a G.M just told a team I was a consultant with carte-blanche and didnt give any more dynamic data other than I was untouchable as per managment then Players would listen and learn new dynamic tactics faster than in other sports because then that deep and complete coaching system would be working in my favor even if some of what i said was counter to conventional thinking.But if there is even the slightest chance that conventional thinking and tradition can be used to trump or impede me ,all is lost because those steel trap hockey minds will instinctively revert to their lifetime of teaching.I personally would have paid attention as a competitor to the freaking janitor just out of curiosity and the understanding that critical data can come from literally anywhere.
        Social forums are a death-trap for my methods.But alas I need the hockey brains because I have no technical baseline as a non-player–just a dynamic baseline from being a winner at many other sports.I NEED the people who fight new ideas so i can learn what they are thinking and seeing dynamicly.The problem starts after we communicate and I begin to introduce non-traditional dynamic actions,because all hockey players do is demand results or shut down,they are seriously not even willing to explore anything that isnt 100% results based,they are like storm-troopers.So I hit and run,post and duck,make a point and retreat to let the smoke clear–and do it again.Its the long way but without the basic hockey knowledgebase to properly do a blog I need hockey peoples perspectives controversy or not.

        I love coming here because of the direct and short manner in which hockey people make their points and counterpoints based in large on each ones paralell personel experience,I learn a tremendous amount from them.I know that even a pee-wee player outguns me here but it is a learning environment for me not them,I know I am the one asking strange questions and presenting strange ideas to them.But I also know that places like this are the BEST resource if you are trying to learn about the game and how it works aside from just watching games on TV. Hope to see you on the moma2 thread when I straighten out Twitter I will post the name there.But I am here the most where I can learn the most.

        • Bi-Curious Gord

          Amazing, utterly amazing!

          Your hypothesis tends to be cogruent to my original observations REgarding the fundamentality of The Abbreviated race car. The system employed by one Mr. Nelson has proved, time, an,d again, to be both effective, and, chewbacca mask. The untrained eye might not be able to identify the catalyst needed, to recognize! a mad hatter in the dead of winter, and will always equal the half of the quotient, but I digress. Magenta, RANSACK.

  • stevezie

    Rescinded that match penalty? Wow. It was a charge, non? I thought two minutes would have done it.

    I guess they didn’t think Halls strides leading up to the hit were of a predatory nature?

  • Oil Vice

    If you consider the fact that Brodin reached with his right arm and was hit on his right side and take note of where Hall’s elbows/forearms are at the moment they collide it seems physically impossible for Hall to hit the head. Technically it was a charge but…i say good hit

  • TyeDye

    I’ve watched the video several times.
    Hall does not appear to take strides into the player, he shifts his weight
    to his side to make shoulder to shoulder contact (not head). I do also
    think he was first wanting to play the puck; Brodin stands there looking
    foolish for a moment like he expected his teammate by the net to play it,
    but then must rush up to reach it and takes the hit.

    And this is the big thing; Hall was flying towards the puck while Brodin
    was still standing behind the net, so his intention was for the puck
    not Brodin. Then Brodin realized his teammate wasn’t going to take the puck and tried to catch up. So here Hall adjusts what he’s doing and with another player in front of him now, delivers a hit instead, which in the grainy video appears to be clean.

  • Nice hit by Hall. Too bad Brodin is hurt, but he put himself in a vulnerable position at the end of the play and paid for it……just like Hall did last year in the show. That was an NHL speed hit and play. Nothing more.

    As for the Aeros, nice to see someone target their top players for once from the Oilers.