by Lisa McRitchie on 03/27/12 at 06:00 PM ET
Taylor Hall has missed the last five games of the season due to a concussion, so imagine the surprise felt in Oil Country when the Oilers released a tweet stating that Hall will miss the remainder of the season due to shoulder surgery:
Hall (labral shoulder surgery) will not return to the #Oilers lineup this season, according to GM Tambellini
“It actually comes from a long time ago, I injured it in junior” Hall explained. “The injury doesn’t really heal itself; it’s not like when you get a sprained ankle or anything like that.
“It just kind of wears away and it got the point this year where I got hit pretty bad in Colorado and I rehabbed it in the three weeks after that and got it strong again, but throughout the year I think you guys saw that it’s been bugging me at certain points in time and it’s come to the point where I need to get surgery.”
According to Hall, this injury is one he sustained in an under 18 tournament 4 years ago in Finland. He wasn’t aware at the time what kind of an injury he had and due to his fierce competitive nature, and even stubbornness, Hall played through the injury. 4 years, that’s both of his years in the NHL and his final 2 years in junior with an ailing wing.
The immediate question is of course why didn’t Hall get the surgery done last season? But in order for that to have happened Hall would have had to admit to the pain and discomfort then. Doctor’s can’t measure pain, and unless Hall admitted that he had issues no one would know to MRI his shoulder.
Hall took a major hit in the Oilers’ game against the Colorado Avalanche from Ryan Wilson November 26th. Following that hit, Hall had an MRI done on his shoulder and it was only then that he learned what kind of injury he had and that he would require surgery at the end of the season.
Because Hall sustained this injury years ago, at least that is what he is telling us, had Hall played in junior last year as well as this year there is no reason to think that he may not have had to undergo surgery this year, or even last year to repair the shoulder. At this point, it is what it is. Hall requires surgery and the healing time is expected to be 5-6 months.
Hearing that Hall has been playing with an injured shoulder is shocking in many ways given his at times reckless play. Hall never hesitates on the ice and will do whatever it takes to try to secure a win. It has been said time and time again that of all of the Oilers’ players, Hall hates to lose the most. If you need further evidence, look at how he wanted to play the game in Columbus as soon as the final stitch was in. The reason he couldn’t play was because the injury was “leaking.”
There is also the matter of Hall’s short season last year as well, short due to an ankle injury during a fight. “It’s not the way I envisioned my career starting, but I hope to stay healthy after this and be a good Oiler for a long time.” There is not a player out there that wishes for injury but for Hall, it has just been awful luck.
Hall closed saying “I’ve been playing with a bad shoulder for a lot of this year and I’d like to see what I can do when I have a new one.” I think everyone would like to see what Hall can do with a new shoulder. Unfortunately, we would all like to see him play a long and healthy career. With his style of play, that will always be a concern.
The first concerns many had when it came to Hall’s go hard game was concussions, and Hall has had a few of those already, but now shoulder and ankle injuries will spur the calls for Hall to change his game. Good luck with that one. Hall is going to play how he wants to play until he sees a reason to change. Now, he is young and healthy and knows that he can heal. Hall isn’t intentionally playing to be hurt, but it’s just an unfortunate risk but one that he is willing to take. Sitting on the sidelines all we can do is worry, speculate and complain a little.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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