No Taylor Hall for Team Canada… I’m Not Surprised

Hall Day Long Baby! Bow to the King, Chewbacca!
Hall Day Long Baby! Bow to the King, Chewbacca!
Most likely I’ve going to draw ire from all of the Hall-ogists out there, especially after I laid into him previously for showing us his impression of a ladder during last night’s game versus the Sabres. This is just how I feel. I think Hall is a great talent but he’s not my cup of tea and I don’t think when Team Canada is in a tournament of great importance that Hall is their preference either.

But before we get into why I think Hall will be left off the roster, let’s check out the initial 16 players picked.

G Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
G Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
D Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
D Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
F Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
F Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
F Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
F John Tavares, New York Islanders
F Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Something to note is the amount of natural centres on this preliminary list. I count at least 8. You could debate whether Carter and Stamkos are centres but I’ve said this before. Mike Babcock is going to win, not impress the fans with the flash and dash, and his roster will reflect that.

I refer you to this quote from Team Canada GM Doug Armstrong:

“Mike (Babcock) likes predictability. He likes players he can play in all situations,”

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Grab a tee! Click the pic to get yours now!

Hall does not fit the description of a player Mike Babcock would take to win a tournament in the manner that he won the gold medal at the most recent Olympics in Socchi and everyone will refer to Hall’s play during the World Championships last year whilst playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Jordan Eberle. To that I say, poppycock!

The World Championships is a tournament that doesn’t pit the best vs. the best. It’s quality, sure, but it’s not the Olympics, it’s not the World Cup, it’s not a tournament that Hockey Canada takes as serious. This World Cup in Toronto is huge for them. It’s been twelve years since they last held the event and they’ve got no intention of losing on home ice.

Hall is not a player that plays in all situations. He’s an elite offensive talent but if that’s all he’s bringing to the table, he’s not going to make it. Every one of those players named today play PK minutes. Do you know how many minutes Taylor Hall has played on the penalty kill? THREE!! THREE MINUTES!! Does that sound like a player that can play in all situations? I didn’t think so.

Let’s look at the other forwards named today and see how many PK minutes they’ve accrued.

F Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars (103:09 min)
F Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (137:33 min)
F Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings (97:58 min)
F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (28:51 min)
F Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks (63:29 min)
F Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars (1:14 min)**
F Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (37:31 min)
F John Tavares, New York Islanders (3:13 min)**
F Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (95:41 min)

We can see here that John Tavares and Tyler Seguin are also players that don’t get much TOI on the PK. But if I have to spell out to you why you take Seguin and Tavares over Hall, you might need to take off the rose-coloured glasses. Seriously. Seguin and Tavares are 7th and 8th in the NHL for face-off% respectivly and Seguin is challenging for the scoring title while sitting 3rd in the league in goals scored (32). Hall just hit 20…

Well you might say to me that it’s early days and the full roster hasn’t been decided on but I think you really fear Hall being left off because you might feel it’s some sort of travesty towards him as a player and the Oilers as a team. Old news. If he was dominating the NHL like he’s being expected to, he’d definitely be more of a consideration but his production has fallen off of a cliff… Well maybe not that bad but it’s nowhere near what it was at the beginning of the season.

Click the pic and get your Better Call Hall shirt!!
Click the pic and get your Better Call Hall shirt!!
You might tell me to name another left winger that is better than Hall. And to that I’ll say that Mike Babcock doesn’t care about positions as much as he does about players who fit his system and are willing to “buy in”. You’d think that a player who’s had 7 NHL coaches in his career would be used to buying in and being a team player by now and as much as he appears more mature and is saying the right things in the post game interviews, he’s still playing the same game.

Consider the options that Hockey Canada has instead of Taylor Hall and make an argument against them. Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Toffoli, Mark Stone, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, or maybe even Mike Hoffman.

Let me present to you three I think are MUCH better than choices than Hall at this point.

  • Joe Thornton –  You might say he’s too old at 36 years of age but he’s 9th in the league in scoring, an even better playmaker, a bigger player, and a centre. Also, was perviously the captain of the San Jose Sharks and is a Team Canada vet.Dashboard 1 (1)
  • Claude Giroux – Similar point production to Hall but adds a very competitive and shit disturbing element to the roster. Work ethic can never be questioned and he’s a captain.Dashboard 1 (2)
  • Brad Marchand – 5th in league scoring and the league’s penultimate scoring pest. Is having a helluva season and if a player is on a high you take him while he’s riding it.Dashboard 1 (3)

Those are three players right there that are statistically (fancy) in line or better than Hall. Check out the CA60 (shot suppression) and CD60 (useful possession) on all three. It’s a telling story.

I’ve heard notable names (Lowetide, McCurdy, Craig Simpson) in the media questioning Hall’s inclusion on the team. They have said he should be in the conversation but by no means a lock. Bob Stauffer said he’d be stunned if he was on the initial roster but he believes Hall will eventually be on the roster.

And let’s not forget that Tom Renney, Hall’s former coach, is president and CEO of Hockey Canada and surely his opinion of Hall could weigh in on whether the Kingston Cannonball will be part of Team Canada this summer or whether he’ll be watching from his home cheering on teammates Andrej Sekera, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid or possibly Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

I’m just saying be prepared if he’s not on the team at all. If he makes it though, great! Good for him, good for the Oilers and I’d get to eat some crow. Everybody wins.

Let me know how you feel about Taylor Hall being included or excluded on Team Canada for this summer’s World Cup of Hockey in the comments below!

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I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Vern Fisher

    I have read alot of your actives. But this makes no sense. Hall has been top 5 lw since 2011 and then you say Thornton is better, I wonder who has

    • Beer League Hero

      Thanks for reading and your comment Vern!

      Mike Babcock cares less about a player’s natural position and more about where said player fits in the system. Where does Taylor Hall fit in? Babcock also puts a lot of emphasis on his players’ abilities to the two-way game. Taylor Hall’s two-way game is no where near that of the players I mentioned in the blog post. Now if Hall were competing with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Alexander Ovechkin or Patrick Kane in the scoring race, then absolutely he’d be in the mix no problem. But he isn’t and unfortunately all he brings to the table at this point is streaky offence.

      The reason I keep mentioning Joe Thornton is that for his age, he’s performing exceptionally and to not include him in the discussion as an inclusion to this team would be asinine. All-round, he’s a better player than Hall, a better leader than Hall, and he’s got more experience than Hall.

      This team doesn’t need goal scorers, it needs players willing to buy in to a 200ft game. It has been 6 years now and we’re just skimming the surface with regards to Hall’s two way game.

      I will say this though, if Hall would channel his inner Messier, he’d be a force in this league, no question.

    • Beer League Hero

      Yikes, I didn’t see the rest of your comment. For some reason it stopped after the Thornton is better part.

      Joe Thornton is one of the best playmakers in the history of the NHL. Routinely over the course of his career has he been at the top or near it in the assist category. So don’t give me that bull shit that he’s not a team player. Tell me, how has Hall dominating been dominating this year. HE HASN’T! Not since the first third of the season. That’s a great way to lead a team, by disappearing.

      Hall has not once put the team on his back and carried it to anything of significance. You know what kind of players put teams on their backs. Mario Lemieux, Jerome Iginla, Wendel Clark, Mark Messier, Jonathan Toews, Peter Forsberg, Wayne Gretzky. Hall is no where near that level. He’s a very good player but I’ve yet to see him take over a game and change it’s course.

      As for your comment regarding the players needing support not bullshit for once, these are grown men not children. If they need the approval of others and a tending shoulder to cry on so that they can play the game at the level they’re expected to, they’d better find another sport.

      • brilaw

        You obviously don’t even have any idea what you’re talking about Thornton is way way past his prime that is a fact and for the record what has he ever really accomplished in his career how many Stanley cups does he have ? How many playoff series has he taken his team on his back ? Seriously considering Hall has NEVER had a really good veteran to help show him the way like all the other young oilers so instead of being an ignorant prick towards one of the best (top 3) left wings in the game today with having some of the most inept GM’s the league has ever had he has still put in his heart and soul ! This year in particular he has been a backchecking machine. He has put In 100% effort every year but Atleast has a coach that is actually giving him the right advice to improve his overall game Thorton 10+ years back may be comparable but now not a chance ! The league is stronger faster and much more competitive than when people were actually able to have 100 point seasons . with his speed (Hall of course) he can create a lot more options to this team and in the end I want the best product on the ice for Canada not a retirement party for a used to be dominant player ! Honestly how could you consider this even remotely an oilers site if you haven’t even noticed the changes in Hall’s game this year ? Sure since the rumors of draisaitl playing hurt has brought his production down but has still led the way almost every game ! We come to these sites to hear about our players and improvement in there play not to be shit on ! Who knows what they would have done without Hall kicking but with a healthy Draisaitl this year could have been a lot worse if he didn’t throw the team on his back to start the year especially with all the injuries there would have been nothing to look forward to watching !!! Anyway ya your right a 36 year old would be the way to go ! Dumbass

        • Beer League Hero

          Thanks for reading and this well thought out comment Brilaw! I’m happy to address your concerns with my suggestion below.

          – Thornton (36 yrs old…) NINTH in league scoring. Since Hall has come into the league Thornton has put up over 300 assists. Hall? 191. Past his prime? This is all past Thornton’s 30th birthday. And if you’re a fancy stat guy, that chart in the post, that’s over the last three seasons. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Bet you’d take a 44 year old Jagr if he was Canadian.
          – Speed is easily neutralized on the small ice surface by elite hockey teams. So that eliminates that for Hall. And what good is his speed if he takes it all the way to the other team’s zone and gives it away like he tends to do with the Oilers.
          – Yeah Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth and Horcoff were terrible veterans for the Oilers… Do you think before you type?
          – Why does Hall need Draisaitl, who’s essentially a rookie, to bring out his scoring? This is Taylor Hall after all. He’s elite!
          – Don’t even try to convince me that Hall has taken this team on his back this year… This is McDavid’s team and Hall is just a passenger now. Don’t believe me? Check the PPG of each and get back to me.

          Lastly, if you want to read articles that polish Hall’s knob, perhaps head elsewhere because you won’t get it here, from me at least. But if you’d like to get another point of view without shitting your pants because it angers you so, please feel free to return. We’d love to have you.

          Thanks! Have a great day!

  • Greegor

    I could not get through your entire article without gagging. Why do you have to bring down your own team players? Why not support and see your players in their best light? I think you need to go write for Toronto.

    • Beer League Hero

      Hey Greegor, thanks for the comment and more importantly, I hope you didn’t choke on some of that hope and promise that has been spoon fed to the Oilers fan base for some six years now.

      Here’s the thing, I’m not shitting on Hall for being a bad hockey player. I’m merely saying that he’s not the right fit for a Team Canada ran by Mike Babcock and as I said in the conclusion of the article, I hope that he makes it and shows me wrong. I have no problem with that.

      Hope you have a good day. You might want to see someone about that gagging thing. I hear there are some good physicians working in Calgary.

  • Southernoilfan

    Will not open a beer league Heroes blog again

    • Beer League Hero

      Well your patronage will be sorely missed. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Tippy

    Not a winner until he can prove anything in being able to prove he’s a winner and leader, points don’t get you on this team. Hard work and winning mentality does