Hall-mark Moment: The Kid Signs

The entry level contract writes itself, so no special credit is due the Edmonton Oilers for signing Taylor Hall today. It is a great moment for the organization. A team that saw its best players–absolute first ballot, inner circle ‘at the core of the sport’ hall-of-famers–leave the city 10 years (Gretzky, Kurri) and 12 years (Messier) after they arrived should be able to have a few moments in the sun on a day when “the Kid” signs a three year entry level deal. Here’s hoping he spends 15 or more in Edmonton as an Oiler.

Lots of good information out there these days. Ryan Rishaug tweeted this afternoon (I think he just started in the last week or so but has passed along a tremendous amount of information this summer) that it “Doesn’t look like the oil have any offers out there right now other than locke. Content to sit tight. Brule is probly a 3 L C option 4 now.”

Locke is a smaller AHL player who would help out Oklahoma City should he sign with the Oilers. The information on Brule is especially interesting, because it allows another of the gifted kids into the top 6:

  1. Horcoff-Hall-Hemsky
  2. Gagner-Penner-Pääjärvi
  3. Brule-Cogliano/Omark-Eberle
  4. Fraser-MacIntyre/Jacques/Jones-Stortini

There are several good NHL skill players (Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner, Gagner, Brule) and a terrific gang of 4 not-yet-NHL skill players (Hall,Pääjärvi, Eberle, Omark). I like Fraser, Jones and Stortini as depth players who won’t hurt you in support roles. MacIntyre is the enforcer, Jacques the Crazy Train.

The “Triple-H” line has two fine NHL players and the best amateur on the planet. The PPG line boasts the team’s best forward along with a sublime playmaker and a speed demon with hands. The 3line has skill, smarts and some jam and the 4line has some nice things too. This isn’t a playoff depth chart. Too many kids, no one to mark the other guy’s best forwards and too many spots devoted to protection and agitation (without having skill).

I think Tambellini’s “content to sit tight” has a “for now” attached; hopefully it comes from the knowledge that some of the useful 2-way veterans up front will lower their price as the summer rolls on and roster spots don’t make themselves available. In a summer where Steve Tambellini has made some solid bets, this looks like another one.

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