Could Taylor Hall Return To Edmonton?
I revel in writing for the Oilers. It's one of my favourite past-times and something I am incredibly passionate about. The fan-base is voracious for content and overall the intelligence level of those who cheer for the Oilers are among some of the highest in the league.
That being said, the fans here get really stupid when it comes to Taylor Hall.
(Checks over my list before I click submit on a blog, "insult the fan-base who you write for....check)
Taylor Hall is a damn good hockey player; scratch that... Taylor Hall is an elite hockey player, and he was long before he ever won a Hart Trophy. He is a possession machine who constantly out-chances the opposition when he is on the ice. There are very few forwards in the league that can single handedly effect the game so drastically when they step on the ice, and Taylor Hall is one of them. The Devils were not likely going to be a playoff team no matter how the cards fell, but losing Hall for over 50% of the season officially signed their death warrant.
New Jersey struggling so much in recent years has led to this little tweet that brought the NHL world into a frenzy.
First off let's be clear, I highly question the validity of this rumour. No other insiders in the hockey world are talking about this or even providing their own insight on the potential of it being true. Both GM Ray Shero and Taylor Hall's own agent Darren Ferris have flat out denied there being any truth, going so far as to state that the agent and GM have been in constant communication discussing long term deals with the Devils.
So why am I even bringing this up? Well as I mentioned at the start of this blog, Oilers fans are dumb dumb people (insult fans again..... double check).
Taylor Hall will forever be the one who got away, both for the Edmonton Oilers and the fanbase. An absolutely idiotic move sent one of the best wingers in the game in exchange for a pretty good shutdown defenseman who looked even better playing in the Devils system. The trade was an absolute blowout win for New Jersey. Whether or not fans in Edmonton believe the trade was needed or whether it was an idiotic move, simply mentioning the name Taylor Hall in Edmonton puts fans into a fervor. That is the effect Hall still has over this city.
The idea that the trade needed to happen because of how desperate Edmonton was for a top pairing defenseman has the same logic of setting your house on fire in exchange for a ride home from work. Sure it would be a pain to have to walk all the way home from work but once you get that ride you are still coming to home to a house that is now on fire.
The next dumb statement was the idea that Taylor Hall was some sort of locker room cancer despite having great on and off ice relationships with Nurse, Draisaitl, Eberle, McDavid, Klefbom, and Ryan Nugent Hopkins, who now, with the exception of Jordan Eberle are the Oilers main core.
Taylor Hall like all NHL players is a competitive person and is also a guy who has worn his emotions on his sleeve. The constant losing in Edmonton caused him on occasions to show his frustration but never to the degree that some seem to believe. The idea of Hall being an issue really feels like either the unwarranted beliefs of someone who wanted to justify the trade, or seeds of dissent from the organization trying to justify their decision.
"But Taylor Hall was really rude to my buddy and I in a bar this one time."
Well my drunken frat boy acquaintance I am truly sorry to hear that.
WILL HALL RESIGN IN JERSEY?
As of right now, nobody knows. Hall has stated on many occasions that he enjoys the city and he clearly has respect for coach John Hynes. Having said that, at the end of the coming season Taylor Hall will be 28 years old and as of right now has only played in one playoff series. The Devils have some great things brewing but if they are not able to break out as a playoff contender soon, it would be understandable for Hall to take to free agency and find a team he can win a Cup with.
WILL HALL COME BACK TO EDMONTON?
I put the odds at less than 5%. Edmonton had their chance to watch Taylor Hall for the next 15+ seasons and poor management and one of the worst trades in NHL history put an end to that. Not to say that it is impossible, should Hall decide to find a new team, but after everything that has happened, that may be a door he decides is best to keep shut.
Thanks for reading.