Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seguin Injured? Red Flags for Hall?

Hockey fans, especially Edmonton supporters, are keeping a watchful eye on the OHL playoff series featuring the top 2 ranked players for the 2010 NHL Draft. The Spitfires have now swept the Whalers in 4 straight games (edited to update stats). The head-to-head comparison has Taylor Hall with 6 points and a +6 rating while Tyler Seguin was held pointless and is -6.

For us, the stats and series standings have done nothing to change our opinion on who should go 1st overall. We've spoken with a lot of people over the course of the season and have built our opinions over time and Dean and I feel this small sample size needs to be taken in to context, especially in light of things we've heard as of late.

The Plymouth Whalers were held to just 6 goals in the series and Seguin was not in on any of them. Was he neutralized by the Spitfires or is there another reason the co-OHL scoring champ failed to dent the score sheet?

Last night we spoke with Sam Cosentino of Rogers Sportsnet who floated the idea that Seguin might be playing hurt.
"You have to wonder if he's not banged up a little bit. Those numbers really are staggering. Over the course of 8 playoff games I think he's got 10 points and that's still more than a point-per-game pace."
Cosentino went on to imply that Seguin's year which began at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August might finally be catching up to him. Listen to the interview to hear how Cosentino compares Hall and Seguin, especially in regards to the the extra year of development that the Windsor forward has under his belt.

Last week Dean posted a feature after polling a number of NHL scouts and one comment that was made seemed to really resonate with our readers and listeners.
"Hall has been prepped for the number one spot like Tavares was but there are some red flags....he might have problems following team roles."
The notion is that Hall's ability to fit into a team atmosphere, to just be one of the guys, might be tough for him. As the scout said, he's been hyped as the top 2010 player for so long that some are getting the sense that there may be a sense of entitlement creeping into his personality. Does he expect or get special privileges? Is he required to do the same things on and off the ice as the rest of his teammates in Windsor?

We're hearing that might be an issue.

We've mentioned to our listeners and readers that scouts have expressed a concern to us in regards to Hall's tendency to get caught with his head down. A perfect example came in Game 3 of the current series when Hall was absolutely cranked by a Plymouth defender while he admired a toe-drag move around another Whaler d-man. Here are the highlights of that game courtesy Rogers Sportsnet.

Last night while speaking with Sam, we touched on that ongoing problem and then we asked him if he's hearing talk of any red flags based around Hall's character like the scout from last week's blog has. The well connected Sportsnet CHL insider surprised us with a new bombshell.
"I'll be perfectly honest with you and this is about as honest as I can get. I think there are concerns with... remember Gilbert Brule in his draft year? There were concerns about his father maybe meddling too much and I think the same thing can be said about Steve Hall."
Cosentino went into great detail about why he thinks this is an issue to keep an eye on, or at least that NHL teams will be considering as the draft closes in.

So we've been told that Hall's 'head down' habit is reminiscent of Eric Lindros and now there is at least some indication that his father MAY be more hands on than some teams would like? Does that sound Lindros like as well?

We recommend that you listen to the full interview with Sam Cosentino because he's a wealth of information; you'll be hearing from him much more on The Pipeline Show as we move forward. Sam also breaks down the London/Kitchener series and why he thinks the Knights should not be counted out, why Barrie might be the team to beat, who will come out of the QMJHL playoffs and what really happened with Kirill Kabanov in Moncton.


jon k said...

To be honest I don't know how compelling I find any of these "red flags" about Taylor Hall.

Short of the petulance that Schremp, Schroeder, or Kessel supposedly demonstrated in their draft years I don't think Hall having a prima donna attitude is important. Nor do I think a meddling, over-protective Dad is important. This kid's been touted as a possible #1 draft pick for a few years now. Parents are bound to meddle. It's what they do. Unless he's out there threatening to beat people up at games I think this is just looking for problems where there aren't any.

The hits are a concern, but how much of a concern is arguable. Players who make moves to bring the puck to the middle of the ice get nailed sometimes. Some more than others. I've seen Hemsky get hit like that a dozen times in his career, and yet the majority of his injuries seem to come from collisions into the boards. It'll be interesting to see if injuries from these types of collisions follow Hall throughout his career.

On the topic of Seguin's playoff performance, did Cosentino suggest that he was aware of any injury to Seguin? Or was he merely speculating? From listening to the interview it sounds more like he's merely puzzled as well over Seguin's lack of productivity.

Anyway, always glad to see stuff for the upcoming draft from your guys' show and blog. Keep up the good work.

Guy Flaming said...

I think the injury part is speculation, but Sam is plugged in so one could argue he's speculating from knowledge.

But that's just a guess.

The red flags with Hall might seem small but as they keep piling up, how many does it take to make people think "you know what? I'll just go with the guy that seems to be far less high-maintenance?".

I get the sense that might be where some people are at now.

Bryanbryoil said...

Guy, any idea where the scouts get the impression that Seguin is projected to get bigger? IS his dad or brothers huge? I know nothing at all about his family. Hell I'd still like to know what CFL position Hall's dad played and how big he was.

Guy Flaming said...

I don't Bryan, but someone else might and they're welcome to comment here.

jon k said...

A poster at HF has said he spoke with Seguin after the game today and he stated he's not playing hurt.

Too bad the series wasn't a bit longer. Looks like Barrie and Windsor could be an epic OHL final though.