Nov 1, 2012, 2:00 PM EST
Today, Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall signed his first American Hockey League contract.
Tomorrow, he’ll be playing.
That’s the word out of Oklahoma City after Hall was medically cleared from injured reserve, meaning he’s officially a locked-out NHL player — and officially ready to join the AHL.
Hall will debut for the Barons on Friday against the Houston Aeros, likely alongside center Chris VandeVelde and RW Magnus Paajarvi.
VandeVelde, who may have surpassed Anton Lander in the Oilers’ organizational chart at centre because he’s got more offensive juice, and Paajarvi played together in the AHL playoffs last spring along with Teemu Hartikainen. It was the Barons’ most productive unit, but the burly Hartikainen will be with Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle against the Minnesota Wild affiliate.
Hall feels he’s been away from game action for too long to try centre, at least for now. He’s more comfortable on the wing after two NHL seasons there, so that’s where he’ll be. And, with the chemistry of Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and Hartikainen for much of the first three weeks of the AHL season, farm team coach Todd Nelson will stick with that line.
Hartikainen will almost certainly make the Oilers when the NHL lockout ends.
Matheson also notes that insurance on Hall’s seven-year, $42 million extension has been taken care of — according to player agent Paul Krepelka.
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 3
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 14
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 58
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 36
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5