The Oilers find themselves in last place in the Western Conference and with Hockey Canada's roster announcement set for tomorrow, there is some speculation that the team's performance hasn't helped Taylor Hall's case to make Canada's Olympic Team.
"We certainly haven't helped him, that's for sure," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "This morning was probably the first morning that I was watching a show where they had all the names and they were talking about who would be and who couldn't be and when I see some of the names, yeah that guy is a good player but he's playing with these players and their team is doing this well. That's the one thing that pains me a little bit is if somehow Taylor finds himself off of it, I'm not sure we've helped him very much where he's helped our team a great deal.
"When you look at the Canadian team and what they have to select from, holy crap, there's some great players there."
Hall weighed in this morning about the team's performance possibly being a factor in his making the team or not. However, he says that he is more focused on the Oilers than Hockey Canada.
"It's probably not a positive that we are in the standings where we are, but I think my focus really, for the most part, has been on what we're doing here not Team Canada," said Hall. "Like I've said before, I'd love to represent my country. It's such an honour, especially at the Olympic level. But, my focus is here. I think I've played well and I think I've improved steadily as the season's gone on and I think we'll see how much I've improved tomorrow."
Hall has certainly made his case to be considered for the Olympic team. In 38 games this season, Hall has 16 goals and 25 assists. His 41 points are tied for 15th in the NHL in that category. He is third in scoring amongst all left wingers behind Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz and Chicago's Patrick Sharp.
"Well, I definitely think he's earned to be in the mix," said Eakins. "From the teams that we've played, on the left side, each and every night he's, if not the best guy on the left side, he's right there with the other skaters. How he can't be a strong consideration, I don't understand that. We're hopeful with fingers crossed, those kinds of things, that… we've talked a lot about his play this year. He's obviously a threat every time he steps on the ice. I think he is over a point-per-game, I think, by a couple. Not too many guys can say that. His defensive game has gotten better. So, all that bodes well for him…"
Hall says he has been given no indication by those in charge of making the decisions on where he stands for roster consideration.
"Nothing negative or positive," said Hall. "I've been kind of in the dark this whole time, so we'll see tomorrow."
Hockey Canada will unveil their 2014 Olympic team tomorrow morning at the Toronto Maple Leaf's practice facility.