Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers

Photo by Alesiaxx (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Edmonton Oilers have announced that they have signed 20 year old star forward Taylor Hall to a 7-year, $6m per season contract extension.  This is a great, great day for the Oilers.  Finally, the day has come, after two decades of superstar players leaving the city for a multitude of reasons, when a superstar player opts to stay here instead.

Hall has just completed his second season in the league, scoring 27 goals and 26 assists for 53 points in 61 games.  Both of his first two seasons have been injury-shortened; however, two of those injuries (the ankle injury and the skate to the face) were of a random, freakish nature, and one of those (shoulder) was a recurring one from junior that he has now had fixed.  The other was a concussion, which is concerning, but it was a mild one and Hall is suffering no lingering effects to anyone’s knowledge.  I personally am not overly concerned about Hall’s dangerous style of play shortening his career, but it is something to keep in mind.

However, that’s what makes this deal great for both sides.  Hall gets a significant sum of money for a good amount of years, basically guaranteed no matter what happens to his career.  The Oilers get a superstar player under contract for a good number of years, at a reasonable rate for what Hall brings, and if they ever need to trade him (please god no!) it’s an easily movable contract, again for what Hall brings.

There are many who question how good Hall really is, that he has not lived up to his 1st Overall billing.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  He is a dynamic talent: he skates as fast as anyone, he’s agile, he goes into the tough areas, he can pass, he has a heavy shot, he’s a leader, and from a statistical point of view as soon as he steps on to the ice the Oilers begin to dominate puck possession and shot differentials.  Basically he makes the Oilers an infinitely better team, more-so than any other player on the roster, including Eberle, despite his great season.  It’s only a matter of time before Hall truly breaks out as an elite scorer.

To quote the oft used cliché, Hall is the face of the Edmonton Oilers, and now he’s in it for the long haul.  This is a good day to be an Oil fan.


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