Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Kid Taylor is Hall on wheels...

It's almost as if Taylor Hall is to John Tavares as Miley Cyrus is to Hilary Duff.

The Calgary Kingston hockey phenom has been tapped as the the next teenage wunderkind whom the Canadian media will build up, then obsess over whether they're obsessing over him too much and too soon, then try to build a case that he's not such a big deal and that they were forced into overhyping him.

(Seriously, anything you read about Tavares not being the NHL's No. 1 overall draft choice should slide off like water off a duck's back.)

This is mostly a smartass way of saying Kid Taylor got some love from TSN's Sportscentre last night during a feature on the Canadian under-18 hockey team that's headed over to Piestany, Slovakia, for next week's Ivan Hlinka tourney. (Frontenacs defenceman Taylor Doherty is also going -- score two for young men with unisex names.)

This means some overconcerned type on a message board has already expressed concern that "at this rate he's going to become the Peyton Manning of the OHL in terms of being a little overexposed." That's the Canadian way, like crabs, pulling down on the ones who try to swim to the top? For shame.

For lack of anything less cliche, it's going to be a gas to watch Hall tear up the OHL for the next two seasons.

(Now, to totally torture the hockey/pop music analogy, does this mean Sidney Crosby is Avril Lavigne? Short answer: No, Avril has outgrown her whiny phase. It's good to know at least one person from Napanee has, huh?)

While we're here, four nits to pick:

  1. For the love of peat, can reporters on the Hockey Canada beat stop using that phrase "Canadian soil" once and for all? Everyone does it, sure, but that's no logic at all. "Canadian soil" is an annoying bit of faux-gravitas that has the added irritant of being wrong, since hockey is played on ice.
  2. Can TSN once and for all retire the Making Boys Into Men trope that it rolls out every time it covers a Hockey Canada team? Believe it or not, there are ways to grow into a man that don't involve laying the body on a Finland defenceman.
  3. Is anyone else put off when teenaged hockey players talk about their peers using hockeyspeak? The quote Ryan Ellis from the Windsor Spitfires gave TSN's Jermain Franklin about Hall...
    "(The) 2010 draft just can't come fast enough for the kid. He's unbelievable -- speed, size, skill, talent, he's got it all, the whole package. He's a really reat player, a really a great kid."
    ... just as easily could have come from a 45-year-old coach.

    You have to credit Ellis, though -- he's doing a service for the reporters on the junior hockey beat by being a quote-machine security blanket. Far too many have had to deal with teens who are too shy to give more than one- or two-word answers and ended up so bummed out that they went home and wondered if they should just give up and go work at Best Buy.
  4. Why doesn't TSN's website allow readers to embed video clips on a website, the way that almost every major American media website does now?
Hall among hockey's young guns to watch for (


ForestGlade said...


sager said...

Actually, someone who leaves anonymous comments on a little-read website at 3:50 in the morning using an online handle, that seems like crank behaviour.

Get a life.