Centre — one Hall order
ROBRT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|Taylor Hall juggles the puck with his stick during a recent practice. While he spent a couple games playing centre, the rookie was moved back to the wing for Thursday's game against the Dallas Stars, but will get more shots at playing up the middle vows head coach Tom Renney. (David Bloom, Edmonton Sun)
EDMONTON - Taylor Hall is the Terminator and centre ice is the police station in the movie.
In other words: he'll be back.
The experimental position change isn't over, just on hold for a while.
"I don't think he's played his last game as a centre," said head coach Tom Renney, who moved the rookie back to wing Thursday with the return of Shawn Horcoff. "He'll get more looks. We'll give ourselves an opportunity to make an informed decision on him."
Getting an answer sooner than later is important, though, since Hall's ability to play centre will impact greatly what Edmonton does at this year's draft. If he can step in and be the big young, skilled centre, the Oilers can focus its attention elsewhere Ñ like a franchise defenceman.
The rookie is certainly good for trying.
"I really enjoyed it and later on in my career I'd really like to play centre," he said. "The little taste that I had of centre, I really liked it, I felt I could do a really good job playing it. It was a little bit of an adventure at times but I had fun doing it. My game, if you look at how I play, it's probably suited to wing, but I think I can turn into a centreman."
So do they.
"I don't think this early in his career we need to suggest that Taylor is only a winger," said Renney.
They both admit, though, that there's a lot to learn.
"We went over some video a couple of times, mostly in the D zone because that's probably the biggest thing you have to understand as a centre," said Hall, who spent a year in junior in the middle. Defensively it's pretty hard, you really have to have your head on a swivel."