As the hockey world awaits for the new CBA to be signed, where contract lengths are a focal point, teams have been locking up players to long term deals, in a effort to avoid the rumored five year limit that may be ahead. Players like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Quick, Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds have all recently been locked up long-term with their respective teams. Today, ironically while the CBA meetings are underway, the Edmonton Oilers handed out a seven year contract to their star winger Taylor Hall. The contract will pay Hall $6 million dollars a season.
Injuries have plagued Hall in his young career, likely robbing him of a Calder Trophy in his rookie season. He scored 22 goals and 42 points as a freshman, and improved upon those totals last season, notching 27 goals and 53 points in 61 games. He would have likely hit the 30 goal plateau if not for a shoulder injury that sidelined him at the end of the season. Hall still has one year left on his entry-level deal, and the $6 million dollars is a massive pay raise. But Hall has the makings of a future captain in Edmonton, and the Oilers were wise to secure him under contract through his free agent years.
“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, so it’s really exciting to get this new contract done.” – Taylor Hall on his contract extension. “Obviously I want to be here, so I’m thrilled. I’m comfortable to be here for that long.” Hall on Jordan Eberle: “His (extension) should be pretty soon. He wants to be here too and him and I are following the same path.” – (Edmonton Oilers)
Taylor Hall was the Oilers first overall draft pick in 2010, and he is part of the strong core of young players in Edmonton. Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz are all under the age of 23, and have the opportunity to gel and grow together.
Next on the list is 22 year old Jordan Eberle, a first round draft pick in 2008. Eberle, a junior hockey hero for Canada, is often overlooked thanks to the plethora of first overall picks that he shares a dressing room with, but make no mistake. Jordan Eberle is a tremendous talent, perhaps with more natural skill than Hall himself. Experts believe the ceiling may be higher for Hall, but Eberle has had slightly better numbers, and he led the entire team in scoring last year.
The Oilers are rumored to be in contract talks with Eberle as well, but nothing is imminent as of yet. There was speculation that the Oilers were going to give the pair the same amount of money and term, similar to what the Chicago Blackhawks did with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane a few years ago. If Hall’s comments are any indication, perhaps the news of Eberle signing will break any day now. The CBA talks certainly aren’t holding anybody back.
Marcy, a former hockey player, is a hockey correspondent on CTV News and TSN radio. She began her career as a Sports Journalist in 2009 and has been part of The Hockey Writers since 2010, where she is currently a senior writer and editor.