Darren Dreger was on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 on Tuesday morning:
On how there seems to be a pretty severe divide on the opinion on Taylor Hall with media and fans on one side, and ownership, management, and coaches on the other – given the best trade return for Hall was Adam Larsson when Hall was shopped around the league, and with Hall having lost out on a Team Canada roster spot to Brad Marchand for the World Cup – and on who has the bias clouding the issue more:
“Hmm. Good question. I look at Taylor Hall as a support player. That doesn’t mean that he’s less than what he might end up being, which is a world-class player. I’m willing to put him into that category. I don’t see him quite as an elite player, but – and I’m not trying to make the comparison here from Phil Kessel to Taylor Hall, but there is a bit of a comparison to be made.
“And that’s why, frankly, I’m a little more critical of general managers around the league, outside of Edmonton, who didn’t jump on the opportunity to acquire this guy.
“Anaheim is more or less a budget team, and taking on a $6 million contract would have been a problem for them. I think Bob Murray had to find a way to make that work. You slide Taylor Hall into the top-six of the Anaheim Ducks as a support player – holy smokes, you’ve got a real solid top-six, don’t you? And you bump a player down into the top-nine and that means that your top-nine forwards are going to be terrific. That’s one example. You can go down the list of all of the teams that should have been more motivated by Taylor Hall’s availability.
“And know this – Chiarelli was careful in playing the game of, ‘I’m not shopping. I’m not shopping. I’m not shopping,’ But if you didn’t know that Taylor Hall was potentially in play, then you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last six weeks, couple of months, maybe even six months. They didn’t broadcast it. They didn’t make a big deal out of it because the fit had to be right out of respect to this player, but I can assure you that 29 other general managers knew that they could acquire Taylor Hall.
“So I’m more critical of those who didn’t jump at the opportunity, even to bring him in as a terrific support guy.”
Source: TSN 1260/ Transcript: Nichols