One podcast and two of my last three articles have been about Taylor Hall in some way. Everyone knows by now I was never the biggest fan of him or his play, and I’d love to stop writing about the guy, but he just can’t stop inserting himself into the Edmonton media and inviting commentary.
Enter David Staples and his latest hot take: reporting on some news from NJ.com and the Fire & Ice hockey blog about Hall’s latest comments on his inability to get over and move forward from his trade to New Jersey, David says,
“Hall’s resentment… still isn’t going away, nor is the very real and clearly bitter resentment that many of his biggest fans in Edmonton feel about the trade. They’re not even close to being over it and won’t be, I suspect, until the day Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is fired.”
Ok. Well, that sentiment may be present in his fans, but I’d say it’s far and away not, in fact, the sentiment of many, many more Oilers fans who can understand and appreciate nuance in hockey trades and the extracurricular factors that sometimes surround them.
Regardless, Edmonton Oilers fans aren’t who Taylor Hall needs to be concerning himself with now. It’s New Jersey Devils fans. And frankly, if I were a Devils fan, I’d be pretty pissed off at Hall by this point, since all he can seem to talk about his how bummed he is to have been traded.
“But Mike, it isn’t his fault. He keeps getting asked these questions. It’s the media’s fault for beating a dead horse.”
Who cares? The media asks athletes all sorts of questions all the time, and mostly the answers they get back are lame and vague and platitudinous. But Hall has relished every opportunity that has come his way since July to wax poetic about his hurt feelings and the ill will still left in him.
Listen, I understand the emotional turmoil that can result from a sudden move and uprooting of a life. I’m a big proponent of talking through feelings and getting to root causes and doing proper psychological healing. But Hall needs to do that on his own time, in the proper setting. What he needs to be doing when the media comes to his door and fishes for headlines is start spouting the canned PR nonsense we all know and love from hockey players. (“Well, we gotta just start putting the puck in their net and keeping it outta ours, y’know?”) Because every time he bitches and moans about how hard-done-by he was by the Oilers brass, he implicitly complains about his new home and team in New Jersey, and it’s not a good look.
Taylor, I feel for you, buddy. This has been a weird summer. But to David Staples and Taylor Hall, you (Hall) had 6 years to do something with this team and city which handed you the keys, and nothing happened. This was a move we needed to make for the future of our hockey team. And whether you can rationalize it right now or not, you needed this, too.