It’s been two years since Taylor Hall was an Edmonton Oiler but he still gets our blood boiling.

We’re a divided bunch, we Oilers fans, some of us rooting for Hall and the New Jersey Devils, others hoping both Hall and his new team to fail, and many others wishing this entire loud and sometimes ugly debate would go away.

I’m not in that large group that roots for Hall, though I can see why some Oilers fans would do so. First, many of them loved Hall as an Oilers player, they hated the Hall trade when it happened, and they hate the deal even more now that Hall has had his best season as an NHLer. Second, so long as GM Peter Chiarelli is still in charge in Edmonton they feel the need to raise Hall’s heroics constantl, just to remind everyone that Chiarelli hasn’t paid the price for what they see as the worst trade in modern NHL history.

Finally, some Oilers fans root for Hall because they have big hearts. They love all Oilers past, present and future and they want to see all their former favourites excel. That’s commendable, I suppose, though my own heart is not so large and expansive.

I am not cheering for Taylor Hall. Why would I? I am an Edmonton Oilers fan, not a New Jersey Devils fan.

This isn’t personal against Hall. I have taken this same stance with all star players who have left Edmonton, everyone from Mark Messier and Curtis Joseph to Chris Pronger and Ryan Smyth.

Wayne Gretzky was my favourite player by far but I rooted against him every single day he was an L.A. King.

Of course, the Gretzky trade had its own villain in Peter Pocklington. The former Oilers owner moved the greatest player in the game mainly for cash. At the time, I had no trouble still rooting for the Oilers, while still wishing Pocklington would get as far away from the team as possible. In that way I get that modern day fans can still love the Oilers with a fierce passion, yet dislike Chiarelli for the trade and want to see him fired.

I can even get why they still like Hall, as he didn’t want to leave town and he was a brilliant attacker for the Oilers.

In some ways, it’s more difficult to grasp why I’d root against a Gretzky or a Hall …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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Cheer for Taylor Hall in the playoffs? Not this Oiler fan, not in this lifetime

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