Around the League - Mar 11, 2010

Jason Gregor
March 11 2010 02:08PM

The NHL GM meetings wrapped up yesterday, and to no one’s surprise they came up with a recommendation that will punish headshots — or at least some of them. Thankfully they found a way to word the rule so it won’t punish or deter players from making big, clean hits.

"A lateral, back pressure or blindside hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and or the principal point of contact is not permitted. A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline."

This wording is great because it allows players going straight on towards another player to deliver a blow. I was concerned they would word it in a way that might deter players from delivering a hard check. I’m all for getting rid of cheap head shots, but I do think the puck carrier still has to keep his head up and hopefully the game never loses that element.

There are still some grey areas that need to be worked out. Is a blindside hit a two-minute penalty, a five-minute major or will it be one or the other accompanied with a game misconduct? These wrinkles will be ironed out over the summer, but expect this rule to be in place next season.

It is long overdue and the players clearly needed some guidelines.

A few other rule changes were tabled, and I don’t see why they won’t be approved by the competition committee and board of governors this summer.

  • The GMs want the first tiebreaker at season's end to be changed to regulation and overtime wins, and not overall wins as is currently the case. Basically a team that is dominant in the shootouts, won’t win the tiebreaker.
  • The NHL wants the American Hockey League to go to a four-man officiating system in 40 per cent of AHL games. The AHL currently uses three-man system for all games. This is really the AHL’s decision but considering the NHL has agreed to financially back it, I don’t see why the AHL would balk at it.

There were a few other rule changes presented on Tuesday by various GMs that didn’t make it out of the boardroom.

The Islanders proposed that the top seven teams in each conference make the playoffs, while the eight through fifteen seeds would have a play-in tournament in each conference. This is idiotic. Basically the regular season would come down to a one-game do-or-die format. Why play 82 games? That was a horrible idea by the Islanders.

Once again some Einstein thought a tweak to the all-star game would make it better. Memo to the NHL or anyone who thinks the all-star can be meaningful, IT CAN’T, nor should it.

The all-star game is a meaningless, fun game, but someone actually proposed that the two leading scorers or leading scorers in each conference, at the all-star break, would draft their own teams. I’m not making this up. This was actually put on the table as a viable option.

I don’t understand why people expect the all-star game to be intense, when many regular season games aren’t that intense. The all-star game is a reward for the stars of the league. They get recognition for a good start to their season, they get to mingle with other stars of the league, and most importantly the big sponsors get to meet the stars of the game.

Nothing will ever make the all-star game meaningful, so can we please stop trying.

The other proposals at least had some validity to them.

Changing the overtime formula to four minutes of four-on-four and if no goal was scored then they would play three-on-three for four minutes. The NHL would like to see more games decided in overtime rather than in shootouts. The AJHL currently uses this formula and the three-on-three is highly entertaining. I think the NHL might re-visit this idea in the future.

The final proposal was a challenge flag. The NFL and NLL currently use a coach’s challenge flag, but I’m not sure how it would be effective in the NHL. Right now any questionable goal is reviewed, so what exactly would coaches challenge? Would they challenge missed offside calls, or questionable penalties?

I’m not sure the NHL needs a challenge flag. Do you? Would any of these rules changes make the game better?

The headshot issue needed to be addressed, but one rule that should be changed is touch-icing. I don’t see the benefits of having touch icing. Sure there are a few exciting races for the puck where the forechecker gets there first to avoid the icing call, but is it really that exciting? We’ve seen some horrendous injuries because of these races, and I don’t see the reward outweighing the risk.

I’d be all for getting rid of the instigator rule, but I don’t see that happening unfortunately.

Ice woman of the week

Meagan is a three-year veteran on the Dallas Stars Ice-Girls. She loves horseback riding, snowboarding and herding cattle in helicopters. I wonder if she herds the cows while wearing her goaltending equipment.

Random thoughts

  • Tonight the Windsor Spitfires host the Plymouth Whalers. Taylor Hall v. Tyler Seguin and Cam Fowler will also be on the ice. The Oilers, Bruins, Blue Jackets and Islanders will have three of four scouts/management types in attendance, and other teams will be there as well. If you are interested you can watch it at http://livestream.ontariohockeyleague.com/
  • Back in late January I wrote the Canucks needed to be at least .500 on their NHL-record 14 game road trip, they finished 8-5-1 after a shootout loss in Phoenix last night, if they wanted to win the NW. They did better than that, and now with ten of their final 15 games at home and a five point lead on Colorado it looks like they should get home ice in the first round. I still think Mike Gillis should have added more than Alberts and Stastny, but the Canucks are Canada’s best hope to win a Cup. It’s safe to say that won’t happen, and Lord Stanley will reside in the US for another season.
  • I loved hearing Vinny Lecavalier rip the league for not suspending Matt Cooke. “He’s been doing this his whole career, hurting guys. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew exactly he was going to hit his (Savard's) head. He’s got no respect for players and they (NHL) are protecting the wrong guy.” Cooke is a gutless puke in my mind. But I think it is more a lack of fear than a lack of respect. If Cooke knew he’d have to fight a guy or risk being jumped he’d think twice before delivering another blatant cheap shot.
  • Looks like the Oiler curse doesn’t leave a player once he departs Edmonton. Denis Grebeshkov took a shot in nards, and needed surgery to supposedly remove one of them and is out a month. Steve Staios is -3 in three games with the Flames. Lubomir Visnovsky has two goals in three games with the Ducks, but they’ve lost all three and now the Ducks are seven points out of a playoff spot. Should the Oilers perform an exorcism of their dressing room at the end of year? I don’t think it can hurt.
  • Nothing like jumping the gun. Hockey Canada was in an uproar about losing Sidney Crosby’s glove and stick. It turns out the glove was in Patrice Bergeron’s bag, and the stick was packed in a truck and sent to Toronto. You’d think that asking other players to check their bags would have been the first thing to do, rather than offer a $10,000 reward and basically accuse someone of stealing the items.
  • So Sidney Crosby didn’t go on the David Letterman or the Today Show. Who cares? Do you really think having Crosby in that forum will boost hockey’s interest amongst Americans? Crosby would be better served to go on SNL and be funny or poke fun at himself. Getting interviewed by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira would be a kin to Elisabeth Hasselbeck going on Off The Record. I doubt sports fans would all of a sudden tune into The View after seeing her. Crosby is not the most personable guy, so put him on SNL and maybe we’d see a lighter side of him. Non-hockey fans would be more enticed by that that seeing him with Letterman or Lauer.

Leaders through the season

Here are the top ten in pts, goals, assists and other stats.

Goals:
44:
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby
41: Steven Stamkos
39: Patrick Marleau
35: Marian Gaborik
34: Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk
31: Alexander Semin, Anze Kopitar, Zach Parise, Jarome Iginla and Jeff Carter

Assists:
62: Henrik Sedin (first week Thornton hasn’t lead since week two)
61: Joe Thornton
55: Martin St. Louis
54: Nicklas Backstrom and Brad Richards
50: Ovechkin and Paul Stastny
49: Patrick Kane and Mike Green
47: Ryan Getzlaf

Points:
94:
Ovechkin
88: H. Sedin
84: Crosby
80: Backstrom
79: St. Louis
78: Stamkos
77: Thornton
75: Patrick Kane
72: Brad Richards
70: Marian Gaborik

Plus/Minus:
+42:
Ovechkin
+37: Jeff Schultz
+32: Backstrom, H. Sedin and Daniel Sedin
+31: Mike Green
+30: Alex Burrows
+28: Christian Ehrhoff
+27: Alex Semin
+23: Jonathon Toews

***Patrick O’Sullivan has a big lead for the green jacket sitting at -32. Shawn Horcoff has dropped to -27, while Rod Brind’Amour is -24 and Steve Staios is -22. Staios is -3 in three games with the Flames***

PP Goals:
17:
Stamkos
16: Heatley
13: Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Gaborik
12: Crosby
11: Ovechkin, Backstrom, Marleau, Ryan Kesler, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk

Hits:
257:
Ryan Callahan
256: Cal Clutterbuck
240: Dustin Brown
217: Stephane Robidas
207: Steve Ott and Brooks Orpik
197: Chris Neil
195: Matt Greene, Brendan Morrow and Mike Fisher

Shots:
312:
Ovechkin (22 shots this week)
278: Jeff Carter
274: Parise
240: Crosby
233: Phil Kessel
232: Marleau
231: Malkin
229: Henrik Zetterberg, Alex Semin and and Lecavalier

Quote of the week

I had Windsor head coach Bob Boughner and Plymouth bench boss Mike Vellucci on my show this week. Both had some interesting comments on Hall and Seguin.

Boughner on Hall’s best strength and what he is working on:

“I’ve had him since he was 15 and his best attribute is his skating. He is extremely hard to knock off the puck, and has NHL explosive speed right now. He has a wide wheel base which makes him hard to knock of the puck. And his hunger for the puck is immense. He’ll go into the dangerous areas, he’ll crash the net as hard as I’ve seen anybody and if it is a 50/50 battle for the puck he’ll come up with it.”

Boughner on how Hall is handling the pressure of being highly touted?

“He is a really confident kid who doesn’t get shaken easily and he loves being that go-to-guy and the guy to make a difference. In that regard he is handling it no problem. In the other way he has done some great things. He asked me if he can do his own community visits instead of doing team visits because it would mean more. He’s bought tickets out of his own pocket and he spends time going on hospital visits that we don’t even know about. He tries to give back in his own way and he doesn’t need or want the media there. He just likes giving back.”

Boughner on the concerns that Hall skates with his head down too much and he might get hurt in the NHL.

“I think that is overblown, but I can see why people would say that. He’s got a target on his back every night and teams are looking to finish him and they’re looking to put as much abuse on him as they can. Taylor’s one of those guys who doesn’t shy away from it. He does get hard some nights and I think its cause he isn’t afraid to go to the dangerous areas. Sometimes he does look down at the puck, but he’s gotten a lot better at it and just when you think you have him he gets low to the ice and duck around checks. I’ve seen him get hit hard, but he’s always got up and went right back at it and he isn’t easily intimidated.”

What do you like about Seguin’s game?

“He’s a great player. I had him at the U-18 this summer for team Canada. He’s more of a puck distributor, while Taylor is more dominant at fishing loosing pucks and going to the net harder and winning battles. Seguin is more a playmaking centre. He sees the ice extremely well, and isn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere and he is a great skater. Hall is more of a take it himself type of player while Seguin is more of a distributor.”

Mike Vellucci gave me his thoughts on both as well.

What has been the biggest improvement in Seguin’s game this season?

“The biggest improvement is his finish. This year he has worked on being a more well-rounded player, not just an assist guy, but being able to score too and we’ve seen that with is 47 goals and 58 assists. He’s a well-rounded hockey player. He knows how to play in his own end, but just like any young guy you need to harp on him sometimes a bit more to make sure he does. He’s been involved in 43% of our goals this year, which is a very high number.”

How is Seguin dealing with all the fanfare and attention?

“He’s a level-headed kid. He actually deals with the media very well. He’s well-spoken and articulate and I know he wants to be the number one overall pick. That is his goal as is winning a championship this year. He wants to go the first pick and he hasn’t shied away from it. It’s something he is putting in an effort to make happen. He’s worked hard this summer to get there. He put on some weight, improved his foot speed and worked extremely hard and wanted to start the season strong. And he did. Taylor Hall has been tabbed number one the last three years, while not many people knew who Tyler was and he was out to prove he was every bit as good and as talented and wanted to be number one.”

What does he need to keep working on and improve to be successful in the NHL?

“Like most kids, strength is the biggest thing. I don’t have to harp on him that much, because he is in the weight room, not just with our team, but on his own and before practice. We work on little things. Where to be positionally, how to save your strength instead of skating all over and keep circling and do a little more stops and starts. He makes coaches look good, so really we work on strength, conditioning, consistency and also his defensive play.”

I asked him to compare Hall and Seguin.

“They are different no doubt about it. Taylor Hall is an exceptional player and his speed is dynamic. When the puck is on his stick everyone is trying to catch up or they are standing there watching him. He is dominant. Tyler has good speed as well, but he sees the ice so well and he controls the game. When the puck is on his stick he can slow it up and speed it up. Hall is a year older and will probably be more explosive his first couple years in the NHL, but I think Tyler Seguin will be a very dominant forward for several years as well.”

Sounds like both players are determined to be stars in the NHL, and it will be interesting to see which one has his name called first June 25th in Los Angeles.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Pajamah
March 11 2010, 05:47PM
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I just figured it out

JG's "ethical issue" is outing a certain number 77

I should have known when Tommy said his favorite player was Wendell Clark I especially should have known when he said his boyfriends need to have the same moustache

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#52 Dyckster
March 11 2010, 05:52PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Man I was just making fun of him for being soft when he plays hockey. I wasn't trying to suggest anything about his sexuality.

Plus chicks think he's dreamy.

trout,

My response wasn't totally directed at your post, like I said, the perception has been around several sites for some time.

Anyway...nuff said.

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#53 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 11 2010, 06:50PM
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Moop wrote:

Careful...the last time someone called them trolls, the Brotherhood found out where he lived and Ogdened his house.

:o

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#54 Rob...
March 11 2010, 08:09PM
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I don't really care for the challenge flag idea. If they really need a recall idea, how about the league reviewing dirty plays, like they do potential goals, and calling down to the refs with game misconducts if warranted. I'm tired of seeing teams go down a man, due to a dirty play, while the team that dealt-it get's a pass until the next day brings a review.

If the board of governors is really jones'ing for a flag throwing, let a thrown flag initiate this review.

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#55 Crash
March 11 2010, 08:17PM
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OilCrazy wrote:

Appreciate the response. Totally agree with the free agency point, however we seem to have trouble going that route to fill any holes: faceoff specialist, penalty killer, let alone a goal scorer (dare I say Hossa or Heatley).

Great point on Seguin's goal scoring overall, however if you look at the 2 teams in comparison, Seguin is on a weaker team and in on over 40% of the goals scored. Hall is on a stronger team and still putting up large numbers.

At the end of the day I don't think you could go wrong with either Hall or Seguin. I just fear we will finish 29th overall and a team in 3rd thru 5th worst will win the lottery and we'll lose out on both. That's the kind of luck we're having this season...

Any one else think that getting our own Ice Girls crew might help offset the reduction in quality hockey next year, in order to keep season ticket sales up?

I'm with you...Taylor Hall all the way. I don't understand the massive love for Seguin on here compared to Hall with Seguin having had just ONE good junior season.

And now if the article that Gregor has put out today doesn't totally convince people that Hall is the guy then I don't know what it takes. As far as goals go for just this season Seguin has more but it isn't a drastic difference 47 to 40 and Hall has played 4 less games. Factor in the 6 goals that Hall scored at the world juniors and it's a dead heat in goals.

And factor in that Hall has had 3 consecutive stellar junior seasons cements it IMO.

Side note: Hall pulled ahead of Seguin in the scoring race tonight as Windsor downed Plymouth 6 - 4....3 pts for Hall while Seguin was shut out.

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#56 Oilitsinyoutogive
March 11 2010, 08:30PM
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I have an idea to fix the all star game. Rather then try and make it more competitive why not make it the yearly outdoor game? Just make it fun game of pond hockey and you will at least get more people watching.

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#57 Pajamah
March 11 2010, 10:09PM
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Oilitsinyoutogive wrote:

I have an idea to fix the all star game. Rather then try and make it more competitive why not make it the yearly outdoor game? Just make it fun game of pond hockey and you will at least get more people watching.

I like it

also, the losers supply beer

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#58 speeds
March 11 2010, 10:15PM
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Crash wrote:

I'm with you...Taylor Hall all the way. I don't understand the massive love for Seguin on here compared to Hall with Seguin having had just ONE good junior season.

And now if the article that Gregor has put out today doesn't totally convince people that Hall is the guy then I don't know what it takes. As far as goals go for just this season Seguin has more but it isn't a drastic difference 47 to 40 and Hall has played 4 less games. Factor in the 6 goals that Hall scored at the world juniors and it's a dead heat in goals.

And factor in that Hall has had 3 consecutive stellar junior seasons cements it IMO.

Side note: Hall pulled ahead of Seguin in the scoring race tonight as Windsor downed Plymouth 6 - 4....3 pts for Hall while Seguin was shut out.

One concern people might have with Hall is that he hasn't improved much if any, statistically, over the past 3 seasons, leading to questions about where Hall will go from here.

Maybe Hall is a slightly better player than Seguin at the OHL level, right now. But how will they both continue to improve at the NHL level from now until age 24? If there's some reason to believe that Seguin will continue to improve at the next level while Hall is more likely to struggle, maybe Seguin is the guy to pick even if he's not quite as good a player right now?

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#59 Crash
March 11 2010, 10:32PM
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speeds wrote:

One concern people might have with Hall is that he hasn't improved much if any, statistically, over the past 3 seasons, leading to questions about where Hall will go from here.

Maybe Hall is a slightly better player than Seguin at the OHL level, right now. But how will they both continue to improve at the NHL level from now until age 24? If there's some reason to believe that Seguin will continue to improve at the next level while Hall is more likely to struggle, maybe Seguin is the guy to pick even if he's not quite as good a player right now?

You're kidding...right? Did you read Gregor's article? The word used to describe Hall was "dominate". Hall's numbers have been consistently high since year one of major junior and have increased every year...Here they are

2007-08 Windsor Spitfires OHL 63GP 45G 39A 84PTS Playoffs 5GP 2G 3A 5PTS

2008-09 Windsor Spitfires OHL 63GP 38G 52A 90PTS Playoffs 20GP 16G 20A 36PTS Memorial Cup MVP

2009-10 Windsor Spitfires OHL 56GP 40G 66A 103PTS World Junior Tourney 6GP 6G 6A 12PTS voted one of the 3 top players on team Canada by the coach along with Jordan Eberle and Alex Pietrangelo.

I'm not sure how much more impressive a junior player can be than this...

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#60 speeds
March 11 2010, 10:52PM
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@Crash

No, I'm not kidding about a possible reason some scouts may prefer Seguin to Hall.

It's probably fair to say I shouldn't have included the "if any" portion of my reply; Hall's goal totals are pretty flat over three years but his assist totals have certainly improved over the same time frame. Beyond that, you're not really addressing the argument I posted.

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#61 OilWagoner
March 12 2010, 12:40AM
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Coaches should have one opportunity a game to question the on-ice call; whether it is an offside, a penalty, or a goal; as it seems to me at least once every game something gets missed. Detroit has lost a couple of games on missed goals and non-goals this season. (Not like I care...) The only caveat is that if the call is NOT corrected by further referee/video review, the offending team should incur a 2 min. delay of game bench minor. That should do it... Or we could get better referees. Whichever.

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#62 Sam
March 12 2010, 02:07AM
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I love the idea of a single tournament knockout for the final spot. You play the 82 games for the first seed, for home ice, for an easy first round matchup. To say this makes the 82 game regular season irrelevant is silly. If anything, it makes the 82 regular seaosn MORE important because getting first overall means you get to rest a week AND play a team that has just gone through 3 games of hell just to play the first round against you! Everybody gains from this. The owners love it, guaranteed playoff game means huge revenue. Fans will love it, its playoffs man! Vegas and gamblers would love it. itd be March Madness NHL Style! TV would love it...selling Do or Die is easy.

Also, I think the best way to make the NHL all star game more interesting is to make it like gym class. Make Ovechkin and Crosby team captains, and make them pick players. Itd be fascinating who theyd pick...who goes first? Does Ovechkin go with his teammate Semin? or does he go with Malkin? Does Semin feel slighted? Who becomes the proverbial four eyed fat kid with asthma that goes last pick?

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#63 Rusty Duggan
March 12 2010, 02:51AM
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Hey Gregor, I phoned Mick Kearn on the war room a few months ago with this EXACT idea...

"Changing the overtime formula to four minutes of four-on-four and if no goal was scored then they would play three-on-three for four minutes."

Mik Kearn and his co host laughed at me. My idea was exactly what's above. Blows me away.

Home Ice (XM radio) guys are ok, if your a Ned Flanders sort of a person.

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#64 Rusty Duggan
March 12 2010, 02:57AM
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The shootout should go back to being a penalty shot only. Make the moment mean something again. 3 on 3 will appease the Americans and also make Canadian happy as well, and I think it would end games quicker and take the shackles off the players. Showcase team skill with tic tac toe, 3vs3 Globetotter hockey in place wearing out "the breakaway"

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#65 Cory Dakin
March 12 2010, 02:58AM
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Anyone else notice that if the oilers lose their next game they will be the first team officially mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

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#66 Pajamah
March 12 2010, 06:44AM
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Rusty Duggan wrote:

The shootout should go back to being a penalty shot only. Make the moment mean something again. 3 on 3 will appease the Americans and also make Canadian happy as well, and I think it would end games quicker and take the shackles off the players. Showcase team skill with tic tac toe, 3vs3 Globetotter hockey in place wearing out "the breakaway"

Last night, both the Habs and Oilers had seperate penalties in OT and had to play 3 on 3. And maybe the teams are bad examples of "skill", but it was a joke

ugly, ugly hockey at that point

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#67 Mike Modano's Dog
March 12 2010, 08:31AM
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Oilitsinyoutogive wrote:

I have an idea to fix the all star game. Rather then try and make it more competitive why not make it the yearly outdoor game? Just make it fun game of pond hockey and you will at least get more people watching.

That sounds like a great idea, actually! I'd enjoy the All-Star game more that way, personally, and I agree there is no way you can make the players take it all that seriously. That would make it a nice reward for the players and make it pretty entertaining for the fans, as well, I believe.

Someone asked about the possibility of turning Taylor Hall into a center here.

Taylor Hall was asked about that in an interview not long ago. He said that he played there most of his life. He went on to state that he preferred playing center, as that is his natural position, and that he wanted to return there in the N.H.L.

I heard in an interview that Hall was moved to wing as that was the position his team needed him in, just based on team strengths. Hall was happy to oblige them.

I think you probably start Hall at wing at the beginning of his career. When he is ready you move him to center to see if he can play there. I think he would be a great center, too, but if not you only have an all-star winger for the next 12-15 years! As someone else here at this site mentioned; it worked for Mark Messier!

*Note to Oilers' mgnt. - take the superstar, don't take the "position" you want!!!

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#68 Crash
March 12 2010, 08:43AM
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speeds wrote:

No, I'm not kidding about a possible reason some scouts may prefer Seguin to Hall.

It's probably fair to say I shouldn't have included the "if any" portion of my reply; Hall's goal totals are pretty flat over three years but his assist totals have certainly improved over the same time frame. Beyond that, you're not really addressing the argument I posted.

I thought I addressed the arguement you posted when I asked if you read Gregors post...here's a snipit from it from the lips of the coach of the Plymouth Whalers (Tyler Seguin's coach)

“They are different no doubt about it. Taylor Hall is an exceptional player and his speed is dynamic. When the puck is on his stick everyone is trying to catch up or they are standing there watching him. He is dominant. Tyler has good speed as well, but he sees the ice so well and he controls the game. When the puck is on his stick he can slow it up and speed it up. Hall is a year older and will probably be more explosive his first couple years in the NHL, but I think Tyler Seguin will be a very dominant forward for several years as well.”

The other part about the goals...did you look at the numbers...Hall appears to really show up when the games are bigger. Did you notice the 16 goals he scored in only 20 playoff games? Or the 6 goals in 6 games at the world junior tournament and this season he is almost at the 50 goal mark if you include the 6 he scored at the world jr tourney.

And Hall has been consistently good...not up and down...isn't this what an NHL team would want? Not only someone who is dominant and has blinding speed and works the corners and drives the net but someone who consistently performs year in and year out.

I'm not saying Seguin isn't a good player and if Hall is already gone I'd be happy taking him but I just don't see how it is people prefer him over Hall.

Oh well.

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#69 Observer
March 12 2010, 08:50AM
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I find it ironic you three bafoons the other day (Gregor, Brownlee and Spector) would laugh about having a hard time finding 20 good officials in the NHL let alone 20 more for the AHL.

Refereeing is much like broadcasting and writing. Everyone thinks they can do it, but don't realize until they do it, what it takes. It's like a ref in Northern Alberta who does Jr. B saying they'd have a hard time finding 20 quality sports media people in the country.

Before you go bashing the refs, maybe you should look at yourselves in the mirror and, instead of catering to the masses, whom many have not picked up a whistle nor experienced any level of hockey officiating beyond their kid's pond hockey games, take someone up on the offer to go do a few minor hockey games and see how you fare. I'm sure we'll be more respectful when we evaluate your fat lazy asses, than you would on my writing and reporting.

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#70 Tracie
March 12 2010, 09:01AM
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Mike Modano's Dog wrote:

That sounds like a great idea, actually! I'd enjoy the All-Star game more that way, personally, and I agree there is no way you can make the players take it all that seriously. That would make it a nice reward for the players and make it pretty entertaining for the fans, as well, I believe.

Someone asked about the possibility of turning Taylor Hall into a center here.

Taylor Hall was asked about that in an interview not long ago. He said that he played there most of his life. He went on to state that he preferred playing center, as that is his natural position, and that he wanted to return there in the N.H.L.

I heard in an interview that Hall was moved to wing as that was the position his team needed him in, just based on team strengths. Hall was happy to oblige them.

I think you probably start Hall at wing at the beginning of his career. When he is ready you move him to center to see if he can play there. I think he would be a great center, too, but if not you only have an all-star winger for the next 12-15 years! As someone else here at this site mentioned; it worked for Mark Messier!

*Note to Oilers' mgnt. - take the superstar, don't take the "position" you want!!!

Regarding Hall as a center. I was actually listening to Gregor's interview with Hall's coach and he said that he is a natural center but they puthim on the wing to better utilize his speed! He also said what you are saying: to play him on the wing the first year or so to get him used to the level of the NHL and then move him to center once he is comfortable with the level of play. The coach also said that he is pretty dominant in faceoffs which was music to my ears.

I'm a little bit surprised that this hasn't been mentioned alot b/c one of the big arguments for the Seguin supporters is the fact that he is a natural center, well, so is Hall...so if Hall is the more dominant player, he's willing to go hard into the corners and he's a physical guy who loves to score points and go to the net, AND he can play center, which is the position we need, then why wouldn't we take Hall? He seems to be the superstar and he'd be filling the position we need eventually.

Seems like a no-brainer, at least in my world!

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#71 Harlie
March 12 2010, 09:15AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

urbandictionary is a glorious way to kill some time. you can find out all sorts of neat things....

some though, you can never take back once you read it

don't know if it's still there but the MacTavish reference in the urban dictionary was hilarious

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#72 Tracie
March 12 2010, 09:47AM
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@Harlie

Yeah, I think having a young Messier can never be a bad thing eh?

I guess for me is the fact the Seguin got cut from the World Junior team. I know there was pretty stiff competition but if he really was ready to come into the league and make a difference, then he would not only have made the team, he would've been a contributor! I know it's only a short tourney and maybe the coaches made the worng decision or he had a bad tryout or whatever, but the fact that Hall bought his "A" game and was one of the top forwards, and Seguin didn't make the team, is a big factor in my mind...I mean the tourney is pressure packed and clutch! It's only a couple of weeks but I think, for me anyways, that really solidified Hall in my mind! Really, it would be great to have both of them on our team! I really like both kids and if we have to pick 2nd, I would be more then happy with Seguin. But I really like Hall and what he could do for our team! and Him and Eberle looked great together!

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#73 speeds
March 12 2010, 09:57AM
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@Crash

Crash:

If you're asking me if I agree that Hall has the better resume and past history at age 18, yes, I agree with you 100% that he does.

One of the arguments I have read as justification for ranking Seguin ahead of Hall is that Hall, while perhaps still improving, isn't improving at the same rate as Seguin. Scouts might be concerned that Hall has come closer to reaching his peak than Seguin has come to reaching his.

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#77 Crash
March 12 2010, 01:17PM
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Harlie wrote:

I listened to the same interview but I was really impressed with Seguin's Coach and he really believed that the 1 year that Hall has over Seguin makes a dramatic difference on their numbers. I have been a Hall guy since I heard his name pumped everywhere but now I am torn between the two. The comparison that really got me to like Hall was that someone said that he looked like Messier when Messir was that age. That was enough for me!

Yes I read the part where Seguin's coach talked about Hall being one year older...but he couldn't be more wrong about that statement.

Maybe he figured because Hall was born in 91 and Seguin in 92 that it meant they were a year apart but Hall was born in Nov of 91 and Seguin in Jan of 92 putting them less than 3 months apart in age...

They are both eligible for this years draft...if their was truly one year between them they wouldn't both be in the same draft year.

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#78 Crash
March 12 2010, 01:25PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

@Crash and @Tracie

Sure Hall was a centreman until he came to the OHL. He hasn't played the middle in three years, and so saying he is a natural centre might be a stretch.

He isn't used to the defensive responsibilities that go with being a centre, and it's not like doing it in the NHL is easy.

I know Messier went from wing to the middle, but that was 25 years ago. How many guys have done it recently. Messier is a Hall of Famer, and one of the best 15 players to ever play.

Too often me use the best example as a comparison, and that just sets the young guy up for failure.

I'd bet Hall plays wing in the NHL. There is way more responsibility for a centreman, and if he hasn't learned that in junior it makes it even harder to make that transition in the pros.

Thanks Gregor for that info about the center ice position but I haven't said anything about Hall being a natural center and it has virtually zero to do with why I want the Oilers to get Hall...

It's all in what Boughner and Vellucci had to say:

Boughner: He is extremely hard to knock off the puck, and has NHL explosive speed right now. He has a wide wheel base which makes him hard to knock of the puck. And his hunger for the puck is immense. He’ll go into the dangerous areas, he’ll crash the net as hard as I’ve seen anybody and if it is a 50/50 battle for the puck he’ll come up with it.”

Vellucci: They are different no doubt about it. Taylor Hall is an exceptional player and his speed is dynamic. When the puck is on his stick everyone is trying to catch up or they are standing there watching him. He is dominant. Hall will probably be more explosive his first couple years in the NHL, but I think Tyler Seguin will be a very dominant forward for several years as well.”

Me: It really doesn't matter to me where he plays wing or center..the points raised above and the number of accomplishments he has achieved in junior along with his consistency has me sold on him.

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#79 Senator Theo
March 12 2010, 02:25PM
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Oilman wrote:

I've got an NHL goalies calendar on my office wall (gee thanks Mom!), and the March picture of Marty Turco. Looks like meagan is wearing Turco's actual game gear - and quite well I might add!

I wouldn't mind putting one 5-hole on her. eh? am I right? Is this thing on?...

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#80 Observer
March 12 2010, 04:45PM
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Yeah, sorry, I got worked up.

I do agree on the 3-on-3 thing. It was Spector who pissed me off about the ref thing - and then he said it didn't matter about the OT format. Are you kidding me? It's kind of a big deal.

Ironically, the AJHL does 3 on 3 but they are moving to a shootout next year. Terrible.

Kudos to you for following up on my tirade.

I disagree with the young officials thing. I personally think there's just too many old guys hanging on too long and not giving young guys at the development ranks more of an opportunity.

You'd be surprised how many great young officials are working ECHL, AHL and CHL for no pay. Some of the best even end up hanging it up far too early due to finances.

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