Hall Passed

This is going to be a short article. But there are some things I’ve been wanting to say to Edmonton’s faithful who are still on the “boo hoo how could we trade Taylor Hall” bandwagon, and this is an appropriate enough time as any.

May 27th, 2016

Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey roster is fully announced. The initial roster announcement weeks before was notoriously Taylor-less, as he had just made his presence felt in a great IIHF World Championship tourney, and everyone and their dog was expecting to see that big #4 show up on the finalized full player list sooner rather than later. Well, May 27th came and went, and Team Canada was still without, what some people thought and still think, is one of the NHL’s top-3 left wingers.

Now, at that time, we could’ve argued that he was missing simply because the coaching staff made a conscious and strategic decision to load up the forward lines with centres, and yes, at that point in time, there is validity to that.

<> in Game Three of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at American Airlines Center on April 21, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

July 16, 2016

Rumours abound that Jamie Benn, having undergone surgery to repair a core muscle injury this offseason in July, may not be able to participate as planned as Team Canada’s top left winger. Who better to replace him than one of the NHL’s other high-scoring left wingers than… Taylor Hall?! The very same Taylor Hall so heartlessly and thoughtlessly spurned from the initial Canadian roster.

IMG_0041

August 23, 2016

Logan Couture is named to Team Canada as replacement for Jamie Benn. Christ almighty, the sky is falling in Taylor Hall Apologist land. How stupid could Mike Babcock and Doug Armstrong be to just forget that Taylor Hall is ripe for the picking for that #1 LW spot? Are these guys even paying attention? Do they even hockey, bro? Forget for a moment that Logan Couture, just a couple months prior, scored 10 goals and 30 thoroughly convincing points in a Western Conference Championship run with the Sharks, Edmonton’s twittersphere cannot fathom how New Jersey Devils legend Taylor Hall wasn’t on speed dial as soon as Benn became a question mark.

September 2, 2016

Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter is ruled out of contention for Team Canada following the announcement that he had suffered a lower-body injury during offseason training. (Boy oh boy, with all these inexplicable injuries plaguing the World Cup teams, I’m starting to think everyone forgot the All Star Game weekend isn’t until February…) Regardless, surely now is the time the Canadian management team realizes where they left Taylor’s number and fires him off a text at the very least inviting him to camp at the start of next week… Oops, Corey Perry is announced the same day as Carter’s last-minute replacement. What has Corey Perry ever done for a Canadian international squad, anyway? Idiots!

Present Day

Shock and disbelief is still palpable in the tweets and Facebook comments of Oilers and Devils fans. But it shouldn’t be. The lame excuses of “Well, Armstrong just has some kind of vendetta against Hall”, or “Babcock only wants centres” are overplayed and irrelevant at this point. There were four opportunities for Taylor Hall to be named to the team, and five times he was passed over for other players. Edmonton has in the past, and to this day continues to overvalue him and overlook the obvious flaws in his play. (We’re not getting into this shit again about the truth or falsehood of the claims about his off-ice behaviour.)

We aren’t better coaches than Mike Babcock. We aren’t better at crafting teams than Doug Armstrong. There is a general opinion amongst the professionals in this league about how Taylor Hall plays hockey, and it isn’t as good as Edmonton’s media and social media commentators want to recall it was.

Sorry.

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Michael Sifeldeen Written by:
  • oprah sucks

    For oiler fans that are to young to have lived through the Gretzky trade, well, hall is gone and you’ll get over it. I need the season to start already because the focus has been about the hall trade throughout the media and fan base. It’s a shame because edm probly made the biggest acquisition in team history next to pronger. Lucic is one of, if not thee best pwr frwd in the game today. Aside from d, Lucic adds an element that has lacked from this team for a long time. Yet it’s somehow still about Taylor. When this team heads in the right direction this yr the t hall trade will be put to rest.

  • fusecreative02

    This illustrates a point I have been preaching for a long time. Taylor Hall is simply not a strong player. I am not a hater by any stretch, I frustratingly cheered for him when he played for the Oilers and always wanted him to do well. But, having watched nearly every game he played in Edmonton I never saw him as a stand out player. He gets points, yes but he’s not a great contributor to the play outside of that. He’s also played with some very skilled forwards that, I would argue, he’s held back due to his play. More often than not I’ve watched Eberle or Nuge control the game only to have the puck end up on Hall’s stick resulting in a dead play or a turn over. This was highlighted by how he dragged down Draisaitl towards the end of last year and how Eberle flourished with McDavid (although, yes, any player could flourish playing with McDavid). I believe that the smart hockey minds behind Team Canada as well as Chiarelli see this in him and that’s not only why he’s not ahead of these players being added but also why he became expendable in Edmonton as well.

  • Marc Porter

    Great article and yes the Oilers are going to be better off without
    the cough up king and his lack of back check. Those who know hockey and build winning teams know that Hall is a team cancer in and out of the dressing room. Getting Larsson for Hall was a win in my books.