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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Taylor Hall’s Surgery — And Lowe and Tambellini’s Draft Mistake

Taylor Hall has agreed with Oiler medical staff to have surgery on his left shoulder for a labrum tear. The recovery is expected to be five or six months and that means that he should be ready to start the 2012-2013 season. However, anything can happen in a surgery and his shoulder could end-up worse than it is now. I know because I have had several surgeries myself and some have been unsuccessful. I have knee and shoulder problems and the surgeon who did my knees happens to work on professional hockey and football players.

Hall missed seven games earlier this season due to the shoulder after being hit in a game against the Avalanche on Nov. 26, 2011.

In talking to the media about his upcoming surgery he has stated that he has had the injury for four years. That being the case, Lowe and Tambellini knew that Hall had a chronic shoulder problem and still drafted him first overall in the 2010 Entry Draft! We know that for sure because they had scouting reports and also because they spent plenty of time with him before the draft and asked him a ton of questions. They even visited his home. Was it wise to draft a player who has a chronic shoulder injury? No! Shoulder problems can last a lifetime and it is possible that Hall will never be without pain. This type of surgery apparently has a high success rate but sometimes they don’t work and doctors do make mistakes. Even without the shoulder issue, Lowe and Tambellini knew that Hall had a problem with his balance and being reckless, and that should have been enough to stay away from him and to go for Seguin. Hall was falling down all over the place for the first half of last year and then he fell in the fight with Dorsett and hurt his ankle and missed the rest of the year. Then, this year he fell in warm-ups after stepping on a puck and subsequently suffered the major laceration to his forehead; and, most recently he fell as Cory Sarich hit him and Hall suffered a concussion. If that wasn’t enough, Hall went to Mexico during the All-Star break and forgot his shoes and decided to go golfing in sandals and injured a toe. When will it end with Hall? On the other hand, Seguin has proven to be a better player both offensively and defensively. Anyway, the fact is that Lowe and Tambellini took a gamble on Hall because they knew that he was reckless, had poor balance, and was suffering from a chronic shoulder condition. Lowe and Tambellini have made numerous other draft mistakes, poor trades, and also ridiculous contract offers—for example, Hemsky recently being given the 10 million dollar gift for two years, and last year they tried to low-balled Ryan Jones.   

What I like about Hall is his love for the game and desire to win, but I do not care for his pride, careless play on the ice, and stick-throwing in practice (which is the result of being embarrassed). Sorry, but I have to tell it like it is rather than making excuses.

I truly hope that Hall’s surgery goes well and that he is able to be the player that he wants to be—that would be great! Maybe he will lay down some of the pride and cockiness when he gets older?

As I stated in my last article about Hall,

“Hopefully his mom can convince him to rest when he needs to rest, to stop living off of fast food, and to buy shoes when he needs shoes!”

TJ Stanley