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Eakins: ‘Sad day’ as Hall fails to make Olympic team

Jan 7, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

Taylor Hall #4 of the Edmonton Oilers walks to the locker room following warm ups to the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on December 15, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.
(December 14, 2011 - Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

On a day Taylor Hall learned he wouldn’t be representing Canada in Sochi, his head coach expressed disappointment with the decision.

“It’s a sad day,” Eakins said, per the Oilers. “I’m sure Taylor’s choked. I haven’t talked to him yet, because I think there is a grieving process to it.

“[But] it’s a sad day for me.”

Hall, Edmonton’s leading scorer (41 points) and the 10th leading Canadian scorer in the NHL this season, was invited to this summer’s Olympic orientation camp and thought to have an outside shot of making the 25-man roster.

In the end, though, too many factors worked against him. Hall has zero playoff experience and hasn’t achieved much success in Edmonton in the way of victories — the team has yet to post more than a .469 winning percentage in his first three years in the league, though that’s hardly on Hall’s shoulders.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Eakins is confident getting passed over will serve Hall well in the long run.

“Knowing Taylor and how motivated he is to be the best player on the ice each night, I think this will turn into great fuel for him,” Eakins said. “But nonetheless, I’m sure he was greatly disappointed.”

  1. stepanup - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    If you’re Edmonton and are thinking about making major changes involving the young core, this kid’s the one you want to keep.

  2. r4n6er - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Yes he can score, but he is not responsible defensively. +/- (-12) says a lot about a player’s two-way ability. Great you take a lot of chances and score, but Canada has extreme depth and can pick a more rounded player.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      isnt everyone on edmonton a – player though? not disagreeing with you that he’s not responsible in his own end, just saying +/- might not be the best stat in this case specifically. -12 isnt bad compared to yakapov’s -25 or whatever it is though.

      • joey4id - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        :-) They are 4 players in the black; 3 at +1 and 1 at +2. The one player at +2 played 7 games. There others at +1 played 26, 7, and 8 games. LOL!

  3. charlieconway96 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    His time will come.

  4. spezzdispenser - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Why no mention of Eberle? He’s putting up solid points too and was a proven clutch player at the World Juniors. Not saying he should’ve made the team but Hall wasn’t the only bubble player in Edmonton.

  5. jpelle82 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    eakins should know about grieving, he’s becoming a pro at it.

  6. bruins4ever - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    You can’t take these Oilers over anybody that made the team when they seem to either refuse to try and play defense or they just can’t grasp the concept that to be a good team in the NHL you have to play some defence.

  7. uscthom78 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    This is life in Emonton

  8. hallforpresident - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Have any of you watched the oilers play before? Their biggest problem is that they don’t put in a 60 minute effort in every night! Sure they have defensive lapses but it has more to do with effort rather than just not knowing how to play defense…

  9. benrob99 - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    Hall is a good player and seems like a good kid. Agree with the above, his time will come.

  10. bruins4ever - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Hall for Pres… If it has to do with not putting in the effort for 60 minutes as you say, then there is a bigger mess in that team! How can you not put in the effort and try to win! Or maybe Kevin Lowe is behind this strategy.. you know “he knows what it takes to build a winner”. I think what he meant by this statement is if they can draft in the top 5 for 10 years, they may be able to win! After all he has BOLD macT in his control to oversee the operation.

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