Taylor Hall is officially locked out.
But for the Edmonton Oilers’ prized youngster, that’s a good thing.
Hall — the only Oiler that’s been collecting a paycheck this season — has received the medical go-ahead on his injured shoulder and been cleared for contact. That means he’s set to join AHL Oklahoma City and start collecting his AHL salary ($67,500, a far cry from the $900,000 he was making at the NHL level.)
No worries though, says Hall. He’s excited to be in OKC.
“I know all the guys like it here. The dressing room is good. The arena is good. They say it’s a good environment to play,” he told the Edmonton Sun. “I’m preparing like I’m going to start my season playing here and I’m good with that.”
One interesting thing to note is that Hall and Jordan Eberle have leased an apartment in Oklahoma City for just two months. That’s a far cry from instructions the Blue Jackets and Devils gave to their AHL-bound youngsters, suggesting they secure housing for the year in Albany and Springfield, respectively.
“Jordan and I have leased a condo here for two months which is a 10-minute walk to the rink,” he explained. ““Until they give us plane tickets for Edmonton, we’re here to work hard and play for Oklahoma City.”
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…