Oilers: Taylor Hall Isn’t Going Anywhere

As if having to fire the head coach he had absolutely no interest in parting ways with wasn’t already bad enough, Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish had the pleasure of another twist being thrown into the mix on Monday afternoon courtesy of comments made by TSN Insider Darren Dreger during an on-air radio appearance.

After relieving Dallas Eakins of his coaching duties earlier in the day, the second year GM was faced with having to deal with speculation surrounding the potential availability of his best player via trade. Of course, the player we are speaking of is none other than Taylor Hall. The same Taylor Hall who finished the last two National Hockey League seasons in the top ten in league scoring with a grand total of 130 points.

A total eclipsed by just five other players during that same time period; Sidney Crosby (160), Ryan Getzlaf (136), Alex Ovechkin (135), Claude Giroux (134) and Phil Kessel (132). In fact, only Crosby and Getzlaf were more prolific than Hall and his 1.08 points per game average and yet here we sit in the middle of December and suddenly the Oilers are apparently considering moving the only guy on their roster that has not shown signs of regression over the last couple of years.

While there is no question that major changes need to be made in the City of Champions, moving the former 2010 first overall pick seems a little farfetched. Now should another general manager proceed to knock MacT’s socks off with a deal he simply could not refuse, say for an elite No. 1 centre or No. 1 defenceman in the prime of their careers, he would be insane to not seriously consider it.

Having said all of that, deals involving elite young talent on the verge of breaking out or entering those aforementioned “prime years” generally see teams receive nothing more than a bag of “stuff” in return. Just go ask the Boston Bruins on how they felt trading away Joe Thornton and Tyler Seguin worked out for their organization.

Despite Dreger suggestion that “Hall has a very specific vision of how he sees he needs to play, and how the team needs to play, and he isn’t open, really, to the idea of change”, something tells me that could be a bit of a stretch. Obviously, the amount of losing these players have had to endure over the last number of years cannot be easy to stomach but none of them come across as guys who are unwilling to do things to try and improve the club.

Unfortunately, this team is not very good and for that reason, every mistake these players make gets blown out of proportion. While the masses love to focus on the Oilers’ struggles in their own end of the rink, and rightfully so, the fact this group has had their offence come to a complete halt under their recently departed coach is something many have seemed to ignore outside of this neck of the woods but it certainly has not gone unnoticed inside that dressing room.

No matter what style of game this group tried to play, they continue to find ways lose hockey games and it has essentially taken the enjoyment of simply playing the game away from these players. Even with that being case, Hall seemed to take no issue with shouldering a good chunk of the blame for Eakins’ dismissal.

As of this moment, the Oilers are nowhere near the stage of even being able to entertain the notion of making such a move, as the guy wearing the No. 4 on his back is by far and away the best player on this roster. With that said, as everyone in Edmonton already knows, anyone can be traded and should they end up adding the likes of a Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel at the 2015 Entry Draft, maybe at that point the Edmonton Oilers would consider moving Taylor Hall in some sort of package but even then the return would have to be fairly substantial for them to pull the trigger on such a deal.