Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall has some complaints about life in the minors


For many young NHL players, they’re fortunate they get to still play hockey while the league locks out the players. While playing in the AHL may not be optimal for many guys, it’s something, right?

For Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, playing for the Oklahoma City Barons is an experience he totally wasn’t ready for as he tells Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun.

“There’s not a lot of fans in Oklahoma,” sighed Hall, who played to 2,064 in his first game back.

“And in San Antonio we were pretty much playing on cement, the ice was so bad. Now, we get to come to Canada and be in front of a crowd that really does care about hockey.

“There’s a lot you miss about the NHL, but being in front of the fans and scoring a big goal is definitely a good feeling.”

Don’t go thinking Hall is totally against playing in the minors. He says he’s thankful to be skating with his teammates, but it’s an adjustment, especially the long bus rides.

Still, you wonder if Hall will hear it from the fans who are showing up to watch them play.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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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.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


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…