Monday, July 14, 2008

Taylor Hall is gonna buy 5 copies for his mother ...

Paraphrasing Jeff Bebe in Almost Famous, they don't put just any 16-year-old junior hockey star in Sports Illustrated's annual Where Will They Be feature.

Taylor Hall, of Kingston by virtue of his parents' address, of Calgary by birth and the Windsor Spitfires during the hockey season, was the only hockey player and only Canadian among the 15 teen phenoms S.I. recognized in its new issue. He's got the world on the blade of his stick, that one, and the likelihood that the 16-year-old is too young to get a reference to a 2000 movie set in the early '70s, let alone the headline that references a song from that period, is in no way the least bit depressing. This is about him, after all.

S.I. hockey writer Allan Muir, if memory serves, has some ties to Windsor. That might have helped get Hall on the mag's radar screen. Back in 2004, for the same feature, they somehow failed to notice another forward coming off a brillliant first season in juniors -- a young man named Sidney Crosby.

"Reminiscent of Pavel Bure. The fastest skater in the league, Taylor also has Bure's pure goal-scoring ability. 'I'm not an overly physical guy,' says Taylor, 'but I like to handle the puck and make a lot of fun plays.'

"Coach's comment 'He's not shy about going to the net in traffic with two or three guys on him,' says Spitfires coach Bob Boughner. 'He's learned how to play without the puck. He was our best defensive forward. By the end [of the season] I could put him on the ice in any situation.'

"Next step Taylor's December birthday means that he won't be eligible for the NHL draft until 2010. 'He'll be a very high first-rounder,' says Boughner, who played 10 seasons in the NHL, 'if not the first guy.' "
Sweet. The Leafs already have the Tank for Tavares, so coining the phrase Tank for Taylor is a little hacky. It will all be worth it when he leads the Leafs to the Stanley Cup in 2018 and there's a parade down Princess St., in flying cars that run on consommé. So it is written, so it shall be done.

(Ed. -- No, it isn't. Big Oil would never allow it, plus all that parsley would clog the carburetor.
This Hall news might already be old to some, but it's only come to light at this hour since sometimes it takes a while to remember that S.I. is still around. Honestly, stumbling across a box of issues from less than five years ago during some recent housecleaning felt like opening a time capsule. Wow, people in 2004 waited five days to read about the weekend's NFL and college football action.

Hat tip goes to Greg Layson for the link.)

1 comment:

Greg said...

Muir is from Windsor. He was (maybe still is?) the editor of Beckett Hockey Monthly, the bible of hockey card price guides.