Rumours, Innuendo, Fat Ladies, and Taylor Hall

beloch
December 17 2014 12:00PM

Ladislav Smid is painfully slow on his skates.  He wasn't always, but he has been the last couple of seasons. Every stride he takes on the ice looks painful. It seems like, every game, there's at least one hit that he barely manages to get up from.  When he does get up, he often limps to the bench as though he were a hundred years old.  He grimaces.  He bleeds.  We can only watch, sharing his pain. Ladislav Smid should not be a NHL player, but he is, seemingly by force of will alone.  One gets the sense that Smid would gladly trade a kidney (or other vital organ) for a win, and that's even before the playoffs start!  Is such primal will, even when accompanied by a total lack of competence, worth $3.5M a season?  Craig MacTavish answered that the season before last.  His answer was, "No.".  Meanwhile, Taylor Hall is making $6M per season and, rumour has it, he's being shopped around for a king's ransom.  Should the Flames be interested?

Taylor Hall is a frustrating player to watch.  He clearly has the tools to be a dominant player all over the ice, but he frequently chooses not to utilize those tools. Some shifts he will pressure his opponents past the point of breaking in their own end and then ferociously back-check them in his own end.  Other shifts he will skate lazy circles in the neutral zone while his opponents are registering five-alarm chance after chance. Hall seems happy to play just hard enough to demonstrate that he's capable of being elite, but no more than that.  His scoring stats seem to matter more to him than the number of wins his team has. He makes six million dollars every year.  If he scores 80 points in a season, he must be worth at least that much, mustn' he?  

I won't lie. The Oilers have looked great in terms of fancy stats this season. Hall is #$%^ing golden.  So why is the team losing?  A thousand and one rants over on oilersnation have clubbed that question to death, then into pemmican, and finally into the kind of atomized dust that inexplicably gets between your toes in December. Personally, I think MacTavish designed this team to tank by denying them adequate goal-tending. With both of the untested backups he chose to start this season having proven totally inadequate, his continuing refusal to obtain a freakin' NHL calibre starter is utterly inexplicable, except by impure designs on Connor McDavid. Running Eakins out of town on a rail isn't going to fool anyone.  However, even if the Oilers had good goaltending they still wouldn't be winning.  Their "elite" offensive talent has proven to be anything but elite this season. Taylor Hall is offensively slumming along at a 0.72 ppg pace (and shooting 10.3%) while Johnny "4th rounder" Hockey is scoring at a 0.742 ppg pace (and shooting 9.7%). Hall hasn't been unlucky.  He just hasn't been very good. Offensively, at least.  To be fair, Gaudreau's fancy stats are inferior, but one expects that from a rookie.  

So, now come the rumours that Taylor Hall is being shopped.  Here's a quote from Darren Dreger:

"Taylor Hall, at least from a culture standpoint, in the room not on the ice, hasn’t been what they hoped he would be. So when [GM Craig] MacTavish looks into his crystal ball and sees what’s coming his way through trades, he’s gotta be looking at the trade deadline and then beyond that looking at the draft floor.

“Because if you’re moving a piece like Taylor Hall, and I believe Taylor Hall will be in play, then the rate of return is always going to be the best in the summer."


--From TSN

Darren Dreger has been hilariously and awfully wrong many times before.  Personally, I don't buy it.  If MacTavish is unwilling to spend a couple million on a UFA goalie that would immediately stabilize the Oilers' net, why would he sacrifice the Team's crown jewel?  Let's assume Hall really is a prima donna who just couldn't be controlled by Eakins.  The obvious choice is to give Eakins orders to ride Hall like a stubborn mule.  Put him in the dog house.  Sit him.  Bag skate him. Show him just how miserable a coach can make his life even if Hall earns ten times as much and drives a freakin' lambo.  Then, just when Hall's agent is screaming for a trade, fire Eakins and bring in a new coach like a shining knight on a white horse to deliver Hall from purgatory. If Hall doesn't bust his butt for the new guy, then trade him.  This strategy makes too much sense, but it didn't happen, so I'm not buying Dreger's rumours.



However, what if Hall really is on the block?  Should the Flames be going after him?  Could the cost possibly be worth it?

If Hall wound up on the Flames' roster tomorrow, he'd be the highest paid player by over a megabuck.  The Flames do have some other overpaid players who seem content to let the real leaders lead and, more importantly, the real leaders seem to be willing to put up with the iniquity of the situation.  In spite of the Flames' leadership and coaching, would Hall be the fly in the ointment?  Honestly, I can't answer that.  However, with the emergence of Gaudreau the Flames are actually pretty strong at Left wing, with plenty of talent in the Farm poised to make a difference in the coming years too.  If the Flames were to "go for it" in the near future, left wing would probably be their lowest priority. As such, a Taylor Hall deal is pretty unlikely.  

That's my opinion.  What do you think? 

699232208162e6f2367de3ac80dd2abc
Beloch is a random physicist who sometimes thinks Alberta hockey will make his head explode. He was born in Edmonton, grew up in Calgary, and is well practiced in the art of self-loathing.
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#1 prendrefeu
December 17 2014, 12:07PM
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Congrats on your first article!

Also: if anyone reads this in the next 20 minutes - Adirondack Flames v Chicago Wolves is being streamed over at drakulastream.eu

Addy is up 1:0 at the moment.

EDIT: Make that 2:0. Emile Poirier just scored a *sick* goal, his 7th of the season at 4:24 in the 3rd

Edit again: 2:1, defensive breakdown, Ortio got beat off a rebound

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#2 prendrefeu
December 17 2014, 12:19PM
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Is/was Hall considered "generational" "talent" prior to his time with Edmonton?

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#3 Domebeers.com
December 17 2014, 12:20PM
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Im a h8r.

This post should have been:

What if Hall really is on the block? Should the Flames be going after him? Could the cost possibly be worth it?

and then maybe an examination of what Hall is and what those types of players have cost to acquire.

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#4 Walter White
December 17 2014, 12:35PM
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Not if we have to give up our top talent or first round pick (I'm sure they want first round picks and top talent back) but if Edmonton is looking to fill all their holes at once with a package......

NHL goalie : Hiller. NHL D man: Wideman. Second line C: Stajan? Young C from the farm: Reinhart..... Some draft pick...

Sure; why not!

WW

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#5 Parallex
December 17 2014, 12:40PM
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"So why is the team losing?"

My guess would be because the player personel past the blue line looks like this...

Defensemen: Mark Fayne, Hot Garbage, Hot Garbage, Hot Garbage, Hot Garbage, Hot Garbage

Goaltending: Hot Garbage, Back-up Hot Garbage

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#6 theartfuldodger
December 17 2014, 12:45PM
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Yup - Hiller, Engelland,Farm kid eat some salary? at a late pick?

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#7 MWflames
December 17 2014, 12:49PM
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Hall won't be traded because they won't get a blow it out of the water offer... Can teams justify paying that much more than what Dallas paid for seguin?

Hall has all the physical tools in the world, but I'm not convinced there's a whole lot going on upstairs. I'd have a lot of hesitation betting my house on that...

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#8 Toofun
December 17 2014, 12:50PM
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Call me crazy but I'd take Hall and his fat contract in a heartbeat. He'd look great in a Flaming C and I've no doubt that his "compete level" would jump through the roof when surrounded by our gang of players.

The problem I have is that I wouldn't be willing to give up anything for him. Oh I'd give them Smid and or Wideman and GlenX and or Sven, but that won't get the trade done.

The Oilers have so many holes to fill. Very depressing compared to how the Flames look to be progressing.

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#9 Parallex
December 17 2014, 12:51PM
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As for Hall specifically. I would gladly take him at the right price... however that price is unlikely to be what the Oilers would ask for. Fun fact: Pre-draft Taylor Hall listed his favorite NHL team as the Calgary Flames.

Personally, my off-limit list would be: Monahan, Bennett, Guadreau, Giordano, Brodie, Backlund, Gillies... I find it difficult to believe that we could match-up for a trade with none of those pieces in play.

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#10 the-wolf
December 17 2014, 12:56PM
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The end

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#11 T&A4Flames
December 17 2014, 12:57PM
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Walter White wrote:

Not if we have to give up our top talent or first round pick (I'm sure they want first round picks and top talent back) but if Edmonton is looking to fill all their holes at once with a package......

NHL goalie : Hiller. NHL D man: Wideman. Second line C: Stajan? Young C from the farm: Reinhart..... Some draft pick...

Sure; why not!

WW

If that package get's Hall. Yea, do it.

However, Hall is not the type of or positional player we really need. So if the cost is greater, and I'm sure it is, I would pass.

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#12 RedMan
December 17 2014, 01:00PM
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no, thank you.

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#13 Parallex
December 17 2014, 01:07PM
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MWflames wrote:

Hall won't be traded because they won't get a blow it out of the water offer... Can teams justify paying that much more than what Dallas paid for seguin?

Hall has all the physical tools in the world, but I'm not convinced there's a whole lot going on upstairs. I'd have a lot of hesitation betting my house on that...

So a proxy for what Sequin brought back: Seguin, Peverley, Button to the Stars for Eriksson, Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser.

So: Hall, Boyd Gordon, AHL depth player for Hudler, Wotherspoon, Poirier, and Arnold (that strikes me as a comparable package)... I don't think the Oilers make that trade.

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#14 T&A4Flames
December 17 2014, 01:40PM
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Parallex wrote:

As for Hall specifically. I would gladly take him at the right price... however that price is unlikely to be what the Oilers would ask for. Fun fact: Pre-draft Taylor Hall listed his favorite NHL team as the Calgary Flames.

Personally, my off-limit list would be: Monahan, Bennett, Guadreau, Giordano, Brodie, Backlund, Gillies... I find it difficult to believe that we could match-up for a trade with none of those pieces in play.

Guaranteed they would want Brodie, possibly Gio but I think they would want the younger player. Hiller would probably be accepted. But they would likely ask for Monahan or Bennet or our 1st and possibly more like Baertschi.

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#15 backburner
December 17 2014, 01:55PM
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It would be ridiculous to trade Hall for the simple reason that they would not get the return they want for him, I don't see a way Edmonton could win that trade.

However, they have to do something..

I think they have no choice but to put there first round pick on the table at the draft. As amazing as it would be for them to draft McDavid, Eichel or Strome.. At this point they need to get better now, and it will be a couple of years before Draisaitl and McDavid will be very effective.

If Edmonton does land a top three pick this year, they could package it for a number one goal tender , a second line Centre, and a blue chip defenseman.

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#16 backburner
December 17 2014, 02:01PM
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I think if Calgary gives up anything to Edmonton it should be for there first overall pick.

Brody, Hiller and Backlund for McDavid.

This trade makes sense for both teams.

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#17 Clyde
December 17 2014, 02:06PM
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Backlund, Gillies, klimchuk, and one of wideman, culkin or Wotherspoon for hall and petry

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#18 cccsberg
December 17 2014, 02:10PM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

Im a h8r.

This post should have been:

What if Hall really is on the block? Should the Flames be going after him? Could the cost possibly be worth it?

and then maybe an examination of what Hall is and what those types of players have cost to acquire.

Got to deal with the big picture first. If Hall isn't the type of player the team wants, and doesn't need, it doesn't matter what the costs... not interested.

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#21 Reidja
December 17 2014, 02:32PM
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If MacT is shopping Hall, I'm going to guess that the list of teams he is talking to is 28 teams long.

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#22 Gerard
December 17 2014, 02:43PM
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Walter White wrote:

Not if we have to give up our top talent or first round pick (I'm sure they want first round picks and top talent back) but if Edmonton is looking to fill all their holes at once with a package......

NHL goalie : Hiller. NHL D man: Wideman. Second line C: Stajan? Young C from the farm: Reinhart..... Some draft pick...

Sure; why not!

WW

If I am MacT my response to you would be along these lines.......

Mr WW...you are kidding me right? You want to give me your garbage for my top player?? Now if your serious let's start with Giordano and let's throw in Johnny Hockey for good measure.....

Your response Mr. WW please??

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#23 mattyc
December 17 2014, 02:48PM
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If Edmonton hasn't learned from Boston trading a young elite talent because of 'character' issues, they deserve whatever they get.

Having said that, there's no way he's coming to calgary.

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#24 the-wolf
December 17 2014, 02:52PM
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Hartley has re-signed.

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#25 T&A4Flames
December 17 2014, 02:55PM
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Bottom line, despite the fact we have already made a couple of trades together over the last few years, Hall is NOT a player EDM would even consider moving to us. The potential optics could be disastrous for that organization.....more so.

We would have to add Brodie, Mony, our 1st and likely Ramo just for them to listen and I still think they say no.

It wont happen.

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#26 Burnward
December 17 2014, 03:02PM
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Won't happen...but I wish it could. Sven, Colborne, Weatherspoon and Reinhart and a first.

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#27 backburner
December 17 2014, 03:06PM
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beloch wrote:

If the Oilers were to deal picks, they should deal everything away but their 1st rounder. Their scouts can't seem to pick decent players outside of the first round, but lottery picks are impossible to foul up. The Oilers second rounder is worth nothing to the Oilers but plenty of teams have the scouts to make something of it.

Well in my mind, there first overall could land them Brody, Hamilton, maybe even Weber. A second round pick might not even get them Franson.

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#28 rubbertrout
December 17 2014, 03:12PM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

Im a h8r.

This post should have been:

What if Hall really is on the block? Should the Flames be going after him? Could the cost possibly be worth it?

and then maybe an examination of what Hall is and what those types of players have cost to acquire.

I think you meant "I'm a Sk8er boi" DB

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#29 Privateeye
December 17 2014, 03:33PM
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Hall got over 80 points last year. He's not going to Calgary. Dream on.

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#30 Rockmorton65
December 17 2014, 04:22PM
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Gerard wrote:

If I am MacT my response to you would be along these lines.......

Mr WW...you are kidding me right? You want to give me your garbage for my top player?? Now if your serious let's start with Giordano and let's throw in Johnny Hockey for good measure.....

Your response Mr. WW please??

I'm not speaking for WW, but for all sober people everywhere. Hall doesn't get you Gio. What Gio brings to this team dwarfs whatever Hall may bring.

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#31 RedMan
December 17 2014, 04:24PM
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Can we somehow give the Oilers Phanuef?

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#32 Walter White
December 17 2014, 05:17PM
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Gerard wrote:

If I am MacT my response to you would be along these lines.......

Mr WW...you are kidding me right? You want to give me your garbage for my top player?? Now if your serious let's start with Giordano and let's throw in Johnny Hockey for good measure.....

Your response Mr. WW please??

BB response: "it worked for me while I was with the Leafs where I unloaded a bunch of garbage for Dion.... I thought it would be worth another shot. "

BB

WW

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#33 amaninvan
December 17 2014, 06:04PM
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No thank you. Hall is the best player on the Oilers, yes. But also the personification of everything that is wrong with that team. An elite talent with a lazy mentality and work ethic. Having his type is a direct reason the Oil have a cancerous locker room. He can't be counted on to lead his team, despite oodles of skill and the ability to dictate the flow and outcome of most games. He simply plays hard when it suits him, and more times than not he is content to float and collect his big paycheck. I don't want our young guys being exposed to that type of 'leadership'. I'd rather have a player with half the talent but twice the desire. Hall wearing the Flaming C? I hope never.

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#34 Alt
December 17 2014, 06:27PM
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Walter White wrote:

BB response: "it worked for me while I was with the Leafs where I unloaded a bunch of garbage for Dion.... I thought it would be worth another shot. "

BB

WW

I dunno WW. Stajan turned out to be the best player in that deal.

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#35 Johnny Goooooooaldreau
December 17 2014, 06:44PM
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beloch wrote:

If the Oilers were to deal picks, they should deal everything away but their 1st rounder. Their scouts can't seem to pick decent players outside of the first round, but lottery picks are impossible to foul up. The Oilers second rounder is worth nothing to the Oilers but plenty of teams have the scouts to make something of it.

I'm pretty sure they took the wrong player first overall twice in 3 years.

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#36 Johnny Goooooooaldreau
December 17 2014, 06:46PM
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Gerard wrote:

If I am MacT my response to you would be along these lines.......

Mr WW...you are kidding me right? You want to give me your garbage for my top player?? Now if your serious let's start with Giordano and let's throw in Johnny Hockey for good measure.....

Your response Mr. WW please??

His and ANYONE else's response should be "GFY" Kevin.

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#37 ChinookArchYYC
December 17 2014, 08:12PM
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beloch wrote:

If the Oilers were to deal picks, they should deal everything away but their 1st rounder. Their scouts can't seem to pick decent players outside of the first round, but lottery picks are impossible to foul up. The Oilers second rounder is worth nothing to the Oilers but plenty of teams have the scouts to make something of it.

I've been saying this for 3 years. Now the Oiler fans in my office are buying it too.

Seriously, they could trade fir actual NHL talent doing this.

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#38 chillout
December 17 2014, 11:05PM
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Flames should absolutely trade for Hall! Here's the deal...We get Hall and the Oilers first round pick this year. Hall stays with the flames for 1-2 months learns how to play hard all the time and play as part of a team. Gets some leadership skills from Gio, then goes back to the oilers a more complete player. Oiler fans thank us forever.

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#39 Reidja
December 17 2014, 11:06PM
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I was just drifting off to sleep and thought of something... Yakupov for Baertschi. Is that crazy?... Probably...

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#41 Reidja
December 18 2014, 08:28AM
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@beloch

All fair points. What a storyline it would provide though. Elite potential swapped for change of scenery. Arch rival teams give up on the first round picks. Chip on thier shoulders to prove the teams made a mistake... Etc etc etc.

Reading through ON and talking to Oiler fans, I get the sense they are this close to labeling Yak a bust. I feel they are ready to sell low on this guy who was obviously just another in the long line of players they have rushed.

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#42 icedawg_42
December 18 2014, 10:11AM
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Flames shouldnt be making any positional moves if that position is LW, IMO. If i'm BT, looking to make positional moves, I start with some good RW prospects, and then NHL calibre 5-6 D...in that order.

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#43 PrairieStew
December 18 2014, 10:25AM
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If they are shopping Hall - here is my offer : Sven and Stajan (Oiler positional need), their choice of Wotherspoon or Sieloff, one of Reinhart, Knight or Arnold, one of Austin Carroll or Hunter Smith. I'd add Smid or Engelland at no extra cost, but would offer to retain salary on either of them in exchange for a second round pick !

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#44 Danoilerfanincalgary
December 18 2014, 02:10PM
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Dreger is a complete moron Taylor Hall is not going anywhere especially for everybodies garbage thanks anyways. The Oilers need a defence and a goalie not make stupid one sided trades to the competition. The Flames have my respect and are playing well but they are no closer to Stanley than the Oilers. I hope their skid ends, I would hate to see Flames fans bashing their team like Oiler fans do to theirs. Good day!

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#45 My2centz
December 19 2014, 10:02AM
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Keep dreaming Flames fans,Taylor Hall has better chances of being in the KHL next year,than he does of being traded by the Oilers to the Flames.you guys must be drinking the same Kool-aid as the Oilers management.that is all

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