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BLOG: Hall on playing centre and his linemates

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

Oilers forward Taylor Hall is trying his hand at centre with Edmonton’s top middle-guy, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, recovering from shoulder surgery. Hall saw his first extensive action at the position on Day One of Oilers Training Camp, today.

“It feels good,” said Hall. “It’s a lot different accepting passes in the middle of the ice and not having the boards to my left. But I am excited about it. It’s a great time to make that switch, I don’t think there’s a better time in the year than training camp to get really used to a position that you’re not totally comfortable playing.”

For day one at least, Hall centered a line between a couple of veterans in Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky. This grouping could give Hall a greater chance to succeed while sandwiched between two experienced guys.

“That’s great. Smitty is a guy that’s played for a long time and he’s also a guy that’s played centre a bit in his career. He said that if I’m not the first guy back, he has no problem playing down low or whatever it may be. Hemsky’s a guy that I’ve loved playing with ever since I got on the Oilers. He has a lot of speed and we see the game a lot alike.

“I’m not sure what the lines are going to be in the exhibition games, but to have those guys just in practice is fun.”

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