McDavid and Hall…

Connor McDavid is going to move into Taylor Hall’s house when he arrives in Edmonton. For some fans this was a bit of a surprise, but when you take a step back it makes a lot of sense for the young phenom.

McDavid’s living arrangements were discussed a few times over the summer. Someone started a rumour that he was going to live with Ryan Smyth. When I spoke to Smyth this summer, he said he had never thought about it, until he read the rumour on line. It was never seriously discussed. It was another false, off-ice rumour, something that happens too often in the NHL.

Captain Andrew Ference said he and GM Peter Chiarelli discussed McDavid living with him and his family.  “We talked about it and I think Peter is going down the path to make sure Connor is in a really good
situation,” said the 36-year-old. It was smart for the captain to offer, but as I mentioned on my show during the summer, I felt McDavid should have the leeway to choose where he wants to live.

Ultimately, the Oilers left the decision up to McDavid and he asked Hall if he could live with him. Hall and McDavid skated together at the Biosteel camp last month, as well as spending a few days training at Gary Roberts conditioning camp.

At this point, he knows Hall better than any other player on the team, and clearly the two first overall picks have some things in common. Anyone who has had roommates knows it can be a difficult transformation at times, and if McDavid feels the most comfortable living with Hall, then that is all that matters.

I know Sidney Crosby lived with Mario Lemieux in his rookie season, and because of that many believe McDavid should be living with a veteran, but there is no superstar veteran in Edmonton.

If the Penguins had a 23, soon-to-be 24 year old former number one overall pick, maybe Crosby would have lived with him. Just because Crosby lived with a veteran with a family, doesn’t mean McDavid has to. If McDavid wants to talk hockey away from the rink, Hall can offer an understanding ear, but I don’t expect them to talk hockey 24/7.

I wonder if McDavid simply wanted to live with another young guy on the team. He’s spent the last three years living with a billet in Erie. I can understand if he wants to live in a house without “parents” or children.

I think living with Hall will have a more positive effect than many believe. Hall has matured during his five seasons in Edmonton. He’s learned some hard lessons, mainly losing, but when I spoke to him this past May, the following comments stood out.

“I think as you get older you start to kind
of fit into your personality and you start being the person that you’re going
to be for the rest of your life. I think that that is happening with me. I’ve
played five years in the NHL, but I’m only at the age where most people are
just graduating from university. I’m still learning about myself. All of the
losses that we’ve had in the last five were frustrating. Maybe other guys would
have lashed out in the same way that I did a couple of times, maybe they
wouldn’t, but that’s the way that it goes. I’m starting to learn that sometimes
you just have to relax and let things happen as they do. A good example for me
has been the last month for our team. Things are going to work out and I see
that now,” said Hall.

Patience rarely comes easy to anyone, but
when you are young and the face of the franchise in a hockey-crazed market it
can be even harder to obtain. Hall has worked on finding the right balance of
passion and patience.

“I try to play with a lot of passion. I
think it is important to play with emotion, but you want to make sure you’re
not going over the line. I think that’s what I’ve gotten better at. Certainly
in public I’m a lot more shy than people think, especially when people come up
to me that I don’t know. I’m not the type of person that’s going to have a
twenty minute convo. That isn’t an easy thing for me, but as I get older I find
I’m getting better at those types of things.

“I’ve heard people say they think I’m
arrogant or a snob and that used to bother me, because I’m not that person. I’m
reserved around people I don’t know; even when I went to the Worlds the first
time I was shy. I’ve gotten better at letting my guard down, but I’ve also
learned you have to be true to who you are and not worry what strangers say
about you,” said Hall.

Hall is entering his sixth NHL season. He turns 24 next month. He is a veteran, and he and McDavid get along. The only potential negative to their living situation might be if Luke Gazdic doesn’t make the team, but I expect Gazdic will start the season in Edmonton.

Gazdic also lives with Hall and he is the resident chef. Hall raved about Gazdic’s culinary skills last season, and I’m sure he will be the one doing the majority of the cooking this year. The Oilers have a chef at the rink every day to cook the players lunch, and often many of them take extra food home, so I truly don’t see an issue with proper nutrition for McDavid.

McDavid is smart young man. He is driven. He wants to succeed, and if he feels most comfortable living with Hall, I don’t see why any of us should question his decision.

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  • Oilfaninvan

    McDavid will probably end up being the most mature one in the house. That said, it would be nice if he was living in a situation where all he had to focus on was hockey.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Yes. That is very healthy to completely focus on exactly one thing and the rest of the world be damned.

      He is still an 18 year old kid, folks – not a robot. Let’s keep things in perspective.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      Only hockey would be terrible. He is an 18 year old kid. We don’t want him overworking. If all he lives is hockey he won’t have the passion nor fun to play

  • a lg dubl dubl

    So what your saying is he already has a spot on the team? He’s given a spot already? Doesn’t have to earn it? Put him in a hotel till he proves he belongs. Edmonton has wrecked to many prospects by giving them everything. What about nurse? Who’s he staying with? FFS

  • Train#97

    Gregor, I admire your positivity but,”I don’t see why any of us should question his decision” is a bit naive. I’m sure Hall has matured in 5 years, but his reputation around town precedes himself. Call them rumours if you want but this is a small town in a lot of ways and word gets around. I like what I heard in your interview back in May, but how a player talks to the media and how they conduct themselves around town is completely different. I love that Hall and McDavid are already good buddies, but I wonder if McDavid knows what he’s getting himself into. Thank god Luke Gazdic will be there.

    To be clear, I’m not concerned about him living with a young player. Just this particular young player. In all likelihood McDavid will be fine because he seems like a really good person, but as a fan, Hall is the last guy I want him living with.

    • Lummeropenet

      why is it any of your business who Connor lives with? The choices of the young McDavid got himself to this point where he is the next NHL poster boy. I’m pretty sure he’s made some good decisions. How do you think he would feel if upper management started telling him how to live his life?
      Stay in Kelowna and focus on the sedin twins…

      • Lummeropenet

        It isn’t any of my business who he lives with, but this is a comment section of an article about McDavid’s living situation… I’m glad the Oilers let him choose, I’m just worried about the wisdom of that choice.

        btw, I’m an Oilers fan. Sweet burn though.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Did Hall have sex with your mom or something?

      I’m kidding, but I do want to know… how do you know Hall so intimately that you think he would ruin a hockey player? Did he mess up Eberle?

  • Lummeropenet

    Hall and eberle split up?!? Is this foreshadowing a trade or a possible falling out between the two. Stop the spread of cancer in the condo and hope it dosent reach the locker room

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    Last I checked, Eberle and Hall were living together. And now I find out that not only has Eberle split, but Luke Gazdic has moved in?? What the hell? This is all happening too quickly. I’m not sure if McDavid should move in with Hall…

    Look, I’m sure that Hall and Gazdic are great parents, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve been together for a long time and I’m just not sure if they’re ready to raise a young hockey Jesus. What if Gazdic gets put on waivers (again) and has to relocate? Is Hall mature enough to sustain a long-distance relationship? Is he mature enough to raise Connor on his own? And what happened with Eberle? They were so good together…

    I just don’t think this is a good idea guys. Can we start a petition to block it? Admittedly, my parents are divorced and I’m quite sensitive to this sort of stuff, but I don’t think I’m overreacting here. Guys? Guys???

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Gazdic. Gazdic? GAZDIC! What the hell does marginal NHLer Gazdic have to do with Connor McDavid’s success based on who he’s rooming with? That is the topic, right? You ruined a very good article in three final paragraphs. Btw… I love Gazdic, the person, just don’t believe his skills help the team WIN.

    P.

  • Taylor Hall only bangs 11/10s so that’s why Mcdavid wants to live there. I would ask to live with Hall too! He’s Taylor Hall. I don’t understand why he has haters? I love Taylor Hall, my only man crush(Mcdavid is hockey Jesus, he isn’t handsome in my opinion). I wish I had his hockey skill and skating ability. Plus I don’t know any girls who wouldn’t screw him.

  • Train#97

    Everyday is a snow day in Taylor’s kitchen. If Gazdic is the chef… Then why is Hall always at the cactus club? I see, to court all the girls! It’ll be a full court press on them now that he has a phenom wingman a breast.

    These are the type of rumours going around. And it’s a bit ridiculous. We don’t own these young men. And if every last one of us had the dedication and talent at their age, it is a %100 guarantee we would have some good times with the ladies and party with the boys. The only reason why we are so critical of these young men reflects the record on the ice the passed decade. Once we are winning none of the off ice issues truly matter. Unless of course it’s the degree of P. Kane & R. O’Riley.
    It’s a good situation and an even better decision by Connor. And the results will show on the ice. This is the beggining of a special bond between 2 phenoms. Let’s enjoy the start of another decade of Greatness.

    • I live a few blocks from the Cactus Club and I can tell you why the boys go there.

      They get treated like royalty and the managers and staff keep a close eye on them at all times. It’s one of the few places in town they can go that’s safe and the regulars pretty much leave them alone. The wait staff is incredibly good looking and there’s always a table in the back of the room for them so they aren’t center stage.

      The only downside I can see is the steady stream of puck bunnies who think it’s their god given right to go up to an NHL’er and start a conversation. As much as you might think having a never ending number of ridiculously good looking women wanting to talk to you is a good thing, I imagine it can get on your nerves after a while.

      Most of the angst I read about Hall is coming from meat heads who think it’s cool to pick a fight with an NHL’er or girls who were rejected (pretty harshly sometimes I hope).

      I almost backed into Yakupov the other night in the washroom and even there he was hit up by 2 or 3 “fitness bros” looking to make him their friend, just to get an Instagram pic.

      You think it must be cool to be young, rich and famous? There’s alot of downsides too. You have to be incredibly balanced to deal with it. If McDavid is going to live with someone just like him and be able to share experiences with and learn from, he’s one of the lucky few young pro athletes.