The lone Edmonton Oiler in Raleigh, North Carolina for the NHL All-Star game had fair amount on spotlight shined on him. Taylor got the nod as captain of one of the two All-Star Rookie sides that includes Evgeny Dadanov, Cam Fowler, Kevin Shattenkirk, Derek Stepan & Oliver Ekman-Larsson. As the reigning first overall pick in last year’s draft Taylor also got the go-ahead to call the puck in the air & choose either Nicklas Lidstrom’s or Eric Staal’s team that his side would play for.
Taylor may have been the captain – but in the end of the day Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s influence towards Team Lidstrom was the deciding factor. You can’t go wrong with either or but having an opportunity to be in the same locker room as one of the great blue-liners of all time is a chance of a lifetime. Team Lidstrom is was.
One of my favourite events from recent NHL All-Star games was the All-Rookie game. The periods were short; there weren’t a lot of players on the ice which made for a wide open game with a goal every minute. It’s a shame there won’t be any of that this year as the All-Star game format changes every year because they just can’t get it right. It would have been Taylor vs. Tyler one more time – who wouldn’t want to see that?
From Oilers prospective this event could have meant so much more to the organization because these rookie festivities could have been very well dominated by the Oilers. For one, Magnus Paajarvi isn’t in Raleigh – he should have been Jordan Eberle’s replacement.
If Linus Omark & Jeff Petry both started on the Oilers pro roster at the start of the season, would they have been considered for this weekend? Of course Jordan Eberle still in the top 10 in rookie scoring despite missing a considerable amount of time – would have been in Raleigh.
Whether you watch these weekends’ festivities or not, it’s win-win for both players & fans – before they strap themselves in for the long haul as the NHL trade deadline gets closer every day. Tensions will begin to build in NHL locker rooms and NHL cities because after this weekend it’s on.