On a day Taylor Hall learned he wouldn’t be representing Canada in Sochi, his head coach expressed disappointment with the decision.
“It’s a sad day,” Eakins said, per the Oilers. “I’m sure Taylor’s choked. I haven’t talked to him yet, because I think there is a grieving process to it.
“[But] it’s a sad day for me.”
Hall, Edmonton’s leading scorer (41 points) and the 10th leading Canadian scorer in the NHL this season, was invited to this summer’s Olympic orientation camp and thought to have an outside shot of making the 25-man roster.
In the end, though, too many factors worked against him. Hall has zero playoff experience and hasn’t achieved much success in Edmonton in the way of victories — the team has yet to post more than a .469 winning percentage in his first three years in the league, though that’s hardly on Hall’s shoulders.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Eakins is confident getting passed over will serve Hall well in the long run.
“Knowing Taylor and how motivated he is to be the best player on the ice each night, I think this will turn into great fuel for him,” Eakins said. “But nonetheless, I’m sure he was greatly disappointed.”