Our favorite Oilers tough guy chimed in today with news that Taylor Hall will be named the next captain of the Edmonton Oilers… Woof!
— OilersNow (@OilersNow) September 28, 2015
“By the way, Bob, I heard (Andrew) Ference is taking off his ‘C’,” Laraque said suddenly during the interview. “Who is going to be the captain in Edmonton?”
Stauffer: “Who told you that?”
“I heard that, well, on the vine that the coach in Edmonton was talking that he was going to have a new captain.”
“When did he discuss that, Georges?”
“We’re heard that a while ago in the media. They haven’t changed (captains)? They haven’t done anything? Is Ference still the captain?”
“Not officially,” Stauffer replied. “Just T.B.A. (to be announced) on the captaincy issue at this time, Georges. Let’s leave it at that for today…”
“No, but Bob I can pretty much announce to everybody who it’s going to be,” Laraque said. “I already know. In Montreal we know everything.”
“Who is it going to be?”
“It’s going to be Taylor Hall.”
“Oilers insider Georges Laraque out of Montreal, former Oilers player!” Stauffer piped up . “We shall see.”
“You know it, too. You work with the team. I know you can’t say it, you just can’t say anything, but you know yourself,” Laraques said.
I’m going to preface this post by saying I think that Taylor Hall is an amazing talent and that the Edmonton Oilers are a better team with him than without him and I can’t discount how great of an athlete he is because to make it the NHL let alone be drafted no.1 he has to be an extraordinary human but there is no bloody way that this guy should even be considered as captain of the Edmonton Oilers.
For one, in my opinion, and there are very few players to the expection (Wendel Clark/Peter Forsberg) but I want the captain of my team to be someone who can stay healthy. A player can play like his ass is on fire hitting and bulldozing his way around the ice and still stay healthy but Taylor Hall cannot seem to find a way to stay healthy. Every damn year something crops up.
I want the captain of my team to show he’s willing to do what it takes and make whatever sacrifices that need to be made for the good of the team. When’s the last time you saw Hall jump in a scrum in defense of a teammate? When the guy does fight he gets hurt…
When’s the last time you seen him laid a hit that didn’t look like he had some sort of personal vendetta with that player? Do you remember the 2-on-1 last year he had with his “best friend” Jordan Eberle where Eberle didn’t get him the puck and he went to the bench bitching and moaning.
“Oh he’s just passionate BLH…” Screw that news too. That passion he has is not the same passion I’ve seen in the eyes of hockey players before him. When a player looked into the eyes of the aforementioned Wendel Clark, Peter Forsberg, or Mark Messier they were assured it was going to be a long night. Not so with Sir Taylor.
One example of Hall trying out some moves that might’ve worked on his ex-teammate in Windsor…
I think this hit was in his first year so you can’t fault him much here but it seems to have been a glimpse into the future for Hall.
The guy can’t seem to get it through his thick skull that he needs to be aware of his surroundings and I’m nearly 100% certain the rest of the league knows how to take Hall out of a game.
Now we could argue that all these injuries happened at the beginning of his career and he’s still a young player but the fact of the matter is this is his 6th season in the league and even watching him during the preseason this year, he’s still cutting to the middle with his head down.
We could also argue that maybe his playing style is why he gets injured all the time. If that’s the case CHANGE THE PLAYING STYLE!! This is incumbent upon the coaching and managerial staff to sort out. If Hall is unwilling to adapt to a different style of play that benefits not only him but his team and teammates, then I’m sorry, he’s got to go. The “me first” attitude has no place in a team game.
Look, he’s an elite LW but that’s only WHEN HE PLAYS!!! It is a fact and correct me if I’m wrong but a player is no help at all to his team if he is not playing.
Another thing that creeps into my mind that would make me feel uneasy about Todd McLellan handing Hall the captaincy is that #4 gets benched a lot more frequently than the average superstar NHL left winger. Sure, in the past, a lot of that had to do with Eakins or previous coaches but he was just benched by Todd McLellan on the 25th in a damned preseason game… A PRESEASON GAME!! That’s not a great way to impress the coaching staff or the managerial staff…
From McLellan’s comments in that clip, it’s obvious that he believes in Hall but he knows that Taylor’s got some things he needs to work on. Hall’s mental game is in dire need of an overhaul.
Matt Hendricks is a far better option than Andrew Ference and Taylor Hall. He works his ass off, he fights, he’s in the lineup on a consistent basis and he exhibits the attributes that a Captain should. Even at his age (34) he’s still an effective NHLer which is something that can’t be said for Andrew Ference. He’s also affordable at $1.85M until 2017 and which point the ‘C’ could be handed over to Connor McDavid or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a better candidate if the Oilers are looking long-term. He comes from the Joe Sakic line of leaders. He leads by example. He’s been a healthy player for the most part in his young career and he never seems to do wrong. He plays a 200ft game and he can be counted on in all situations.
No Captain might also be a better choice. Todd McLellan stripped both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, two veteran NHL superstars, and went without a captain in his time in San Jose. So perhaps 3 alternate captains would work but then again why take the ‘C’ from Ference or have him vacate it and not name anybody? Perhaps this is only a possibility if Andrew Ference is dealt.
For all the Hall-ogists out there. Below’s a lovely clip of what he can do when he’s on his game!
I hope you enjoyed the post or at least came out of it with another point of view. I don’t hate the guy, I just see no room for him on the leadership train. There are better players out there to fill that role. Let this guy concentrate on scoring goals and becoming the best Oiler he can be.
Thanks for reading and let me know your feelings in the comments below.