After Monday's 8-0 win for Canada over Belarus at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, there was one thing on Taylor Hall's mind - how to help fellow Edmonton Oilers and Hockey Canada teammate Connor McDavid get enough Twitter votes to advance to the final round of the EA Sports NHL 2017 Cover Vote. With only a few hours left to vote, Hall decided to enlist their Hockey Canada teammates and their legions of Twitter followers for an assist.
"We were talking about it after the game," said Brendan Gallagher. "Hallsy said we needed to get on Twitter and post things that would get a lot of retweets. Mine was pretty easy. People in Montreal don't seem to like Marchy too much so I figured we'd get him a bunch of votes that way."
"I think a lot of people liked jumping on that train. There's a lot of history there," Brad Marchand said with a smile.
Despite encouraging the Montreal and Boston fan bases to engage in some offseason
arguing amongst each other, it wasn't enough to get McDavid to the next round of this year's vote.
"It's too bad he lost. We were ready to go hard for him. We had a few pretty good ideas we thought we could use if he got to the next round," Gallagher said. "But, we had some fun and shared some laughs and it was a good thing to try and help the team come together a bit off the ice."
"Davey is just such a great kid and he's such a phenomenal player and he's only 19 years old. Watching him play, he's incredible and we just wanted to see him get the recognition he deserves," said Marchand.
Gallagher agreed: "It would have been nice to see Dave on the cover. He'll get a chance to get on that thing eventually. He's too good a player not to."
"He's got so much skill and so much speed. He creates so much time for his linemates and I think you can see that. He draws so much attention on the ice and it makes him fun to play with because it opens up so many opportunities for you," said Hall, who's been the beneficiary of that open ice any time Canadian head coach Bill Peters puts the lines in a blender and pairs Hall and McDavid together.
"He's the perfect rookie," Hall continued. "He comes in and he works hard and that's what you want to see from a guy like that. I think he's only going to get better as the tournament goes on."
With six assists in five games, McDavid hopes to help his team earn back-to-back gold medals at this event and complete his own version of the Triple Gold Club as he already has one from the U-18 World Championship in 2013 and the World Junior Championship in 2015.
Canada will look to stay perfect against France on Monday at 7:15 a.m. MDT on TSN.