Photo Credit: © Adam Hunger | 2017 Feb 27

Taylor Hall is having fun for the first time since playing junior

Hey look, Taylor Hall is talking about his time with the Oilers. Let’s dig in!

For the first time in his NHL career, the 2010 first overall pick — the face of Oil Change 2.0 and H.O.P.E, the supremely talented winger who shouldered the enormous burden of turning the Oilers around — has a playoff appearance within reach. It isn’t with Edmonton, though. It’s with the New Jersey Devils.

This is true. Hall played on a wealth of horrible teams with the Oilers. In his rookie season in 2010-11, the team won 25 games. It was the fewest wins ever in a season in Oilers history. 2011-12 and 2012-13 were both improvements, but the team was still well out of playoff contention. The team took a step back during the Dallas Eakins days in 2013-14 and 2014-15. But that season netted the Oilers a golden ticket — Connor McDavid.

With McDavid in the fold, Hall was no longer the face of the future. He was the grizzled old veteran who was going to show the way to the next one. McDavid, sooner rather than later, was going to steal Hall’s identity as the guy on the Oilers. This was inevitable given how spectacular a talent McDavid was coming into the league.

Hall took McDavid under his wing and showed him the way, but after one year, the relationship was over. Hall was dealt to New Jersey for Adam Larsson. McDavid was named captain. Hall’s legacy in Edmonton was over. He was the franchise player that never was. He put up a bunch of very good seasons but never made the team anything better than a bottom dweller. Obviously, that isn’t his fault because the teams around him were dreadful, but the legacy of Taylor Hall in Edmonton is nowhere near what anyone expected back in June 2010 when hundreds showed up to Rexall Place to watch him get drafted on the jumbotron.

There’s no doubt that he was upset. Last year, he mentioned how he was jealous to see the Oilers in the playoffs. But now? Things are going very well for Hall in New Jersey. He’s currently riding an 18-game point streak and has 62 points in 54 games. His 1.15 point-per-game has him in line to shatter his career-high of 80 points set back in 2013-14. If he keeps this up, he’s going to get Hart Trophy votes. If the Devils make the playoffs, he might win the award.

I know everyone hates talking about Taylor Hall. The trade is over and there’s no way to go back and reverse it. Get over it and stop being negative! I know, I know. But there’s something interesting here that’s difficult to ignore. Players seem to move on and do well elsewhere. Hall is killing it in New Jersey and is finally fulfilling his back-to-back Memorial Cup MVP potential. Jordan Eberle is having a great time with the Islanders. Even Justin Schultz quickly figured out how to be an NHL defenceman in Pittsburgh. It’s a little worrying to wonder who’s next. Is Oscar Klefbom going to be jettisoned because of his poor season only to evolve into a top defenceman elsewhere? What about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

I don’t think this is just dwelling nonsense. After the way things have gone this season, where just about everyone other than Connor McDavid has had a rough time, seeing former Oilers really excel on new teams certainly raises some questions.

  • Randaman

    So F’n what! Can we please get off the Hall articles! I have a Hall jersey but come on, get over it already. Is this the media conspiracy to get PC fired or just a bad joke? Write about something about the OILERS on OILERSNATION!! Thank you

    • 24% body fat

      this is oilers. it shows that maybe hall wasnt the culture problem but an old boys club that knows nothing about running a hockey team propbably was and still is.

      • Spaceman Spiff

        Actually, no. It shows that maybe Hall was part of a culture problem, after all, and moves were made to ensure that his attitude wouldn’t become a malign influence on McDavid.

        The importance of yesterday’s revelation cannot be understated. Hall has basically admitted he was a coach-killer for his six years here.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    my point of view is that if the Oilers had just re-signed RD Jeff Petry, they might not have had to trade for RD Adam Larsson and Hall still might be here! who knows with Chia but you have to wonder….

  • Heschultzhescores

    It’s always Stanley Cups that define a career. I don’t see Taylor with one of those and until he has one he’s just a good player. Great leaders win cups. Is he a great leader? So far he talks too much negativity to be a great leader, imo.

  • cityofchampions

    Hall was always a bit immature, but a hell of a hockey player. A good organization with veteran leadership, good coaching, and effective management would have turned Hall into an Oiler hall-of-famer. Oilers had none of that and Hall was allowed to stay immature until it became a problem and he had to be traded for the good of both Hall and the Oilers. While Hall may deserve some criticism, I reserve most of it for the organization. Our drafting, development of prospects and trading history is generally regarded to be amongst the worst (if not the worst) in the league. We have let low-cost effective options (Oesterle and Pitlick) go for nothing while overpaying Drai, Lucic and Russell. We are going to be in cap-hell starting next year with no effective wingers, mediocre defence and questionable goaltending. I love the Oilers, but its hard to be optimistic until we start running a professional organization. Katz has money, but he’s not using it effectively. Get people in who can scout, who can draft, who can develop players, get coaches who can implement systems that take advantage of our player’s abilities, get GM and management who understand the salary cap and the types of players needed to win, get in veteran leadership who can pave the way for prospects, and don’t give a F*&$ if they have ever played for the Oilers or know someone who has played for the Oilers. Bring in professionals, pay them well, and let them do their jobs without any oversight from ownership, friends of ownership, or alumni Oilers. Be a professional organization instead of the mickey mouse organization you have been since 2006. Rant over. I had to get that off of my chest.

  • Jimmer

    No doubt he is having a great statistical year…zero leadership qualities…will only win a cup if he gets traded at a deadline to a contender. Let’s see what he does in the playoffs with the Devils.

  • Kr55

    I can see him not wanting to talk to Eakins or McLellan. Both of those coaches are the types that think they know all the answers to the universe and all their players need to do is listen to them and execute, and shame on the players if the team fails.

    Guys like Nelson and Krueger though, I think they could have been more collaborative with Hall and the rest of the team, but neither guy even got a training camp. Krueger got 1 shortened season with almost no practice time, and Nelson inherited a mentally shattered team, and all he could do is try to make the guys enjoy hockey again (which he was successful in doing, and then got the boot).

    In the end, shame on our terrible management group for never having their finger on the pulse in the room and always chasing the biggest name overrated head coach and throwing away guys that were actually the right fit.

    • ET

      Can’t understand why you would get a trash it to your take, it makes perfect sense to me and I agree 100%. I wish either Nelson or Ralph were still the coach but I am still glad that Hall is gone. He truly was an immature cancer o our team and needed to go.

  • ed from edmonton

    Hall absolutely needed to be traded, for his own good as much as anything else, if he didn’t “have a dialogue” with his coaches for the entire time here. Obviously an immature guy to whom everything had come easily. Getting the kick in the pants of being traded was needed. Maybe this tells us a lot of why players with some talent seemed to die in Edmonton during the Hall years.

  • ET

    You know the vast majority of us on this site are just truly very frustrated Oiler fans but now we are reverting to bashing on each other over a player who has not been here for over 2 years now I think. I am as guilty as anyone and now feel crappy for trashing fellow Oiler fans just because they have a different opinion of a player than I do. I apologize to all who I trashed today. My real anger is to the owner, management, coaches and scouts of this once proud franchise for the way they have made such a train wreck of it and made it the laughing stock of the entire league. Us fans are fine, it’s our team that is the embarrassment so let’s just paly nice together.

  • Whole lotta people who have never met Taylor Hall on here calling him immature…just sayin. Being immature is a character trait, which can only accurately be designated by someone who has a personal relationship with the individual in question. “He was a cancer!” You’re a cancer you negative nancy.

    • ed from edmonton

      A guy who now admits that during the 1st 6 years of his career couldn’t be bothered to listen to a coach. Yeah I would call that immature, as a minimum. When one of your team leaders has that attitude, the team is doomed. I’m not saying all of the team’s problems were Taylor Hall, but its pretty clear it was one of them.

  • RedDeerOiler

    If memory serves, the Oilers were still in a playoff hunt/position during the shortened 2012/2013 season at the end of March/beginning of April. Was that not fun for Hall?!

  • Opi

    Maroon … McD … German Dude
    Hall … Hyphen … Tkachuk
    Cammy … Barzol … Ebs14
    Sleepyshev … Letestu … Caggs


    Talbot/Insert Name

  • Opi

    Taylor Hall … 2018 …

    “I think I’ve played on some bad hockey teams, if you want me to put it bluntly.”

    Anybody think he was talking about his bantam teams … ?