May 23, 2012, 8:48 PM EST
The Edmonton Oilers are nearing the “seriously, start winning already” stage of their development. If they want to get there, they’ll need a great season from Taylor Hall – who’s approaching the first contract year of his career.
Recovering from shoulder surgery will be one of Hall’s biggest hurdles but he told Dan Tencer that things are going well so far. Hall said his rehab is “a little ahead of schedule,” allowing him to at least attempt to play in some pre-season games for 2012-13.
The 20-year-old forward improved on both his goals (27 from 22) and assists (26 from 20) despite playing in four fewer games in his second season. Either way, it’s a bit unsettling that his first two seasons in the NHL ended early because of injury issues.
Hall’s sturdiness is far from the only concern for a very flawed Edmonton team primed to make the first selection in a third consecutive entry draft, but it wouldn’t hurt to have him around for more than 65 games next season.
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 1
- Breaking: Flyers trade Kimmo Timonen to Blackhawks 16
- Video: Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Smith 22
- Time to start winning — Bruins’ next four games are against non-playoff teams 17
- Burgled: Sens’ Hammond shuts out Kings 14
- Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too) 41
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 66
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 29
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 17
- What’s up with the reports of problems in the Blackhawks’ room? 40
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)
- Lindros files $3M defamation lawsuit against ex-referee Stewart (Updated: Now $250K) (65)