Taylor Hall has the makings of an NHL captain. But it’s not going to happen yet. On Sunday Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins announced Andrew Ference as the 14th captain in franchise history succeeding Shawn Horcoff. Hall was considered to be among those in the running for the role. “I think it’s great. He has a lot of experience in winning and that’s important for our group. We don’t really have a lot of that especially with the young guys here” Hall said. “He’s come in he’s really taken charge off-ice and on-ice he’s a really good guy and I think it’s the right move for us.” Ference 34 was signed by the Oilers as a free agent this off-season after seven years with the Boston Bruins. The local product brings a Stanley Cup ring 120 career playoff games and three finals appearances to Edmonton. “He’s been great” Hall said. “Just being in the finals and winning a Cup that speaks for itself … he knows what it takes and that’s what we need in this room. “I’m really happy with the choice. I think everyone is.” Since his arrival in Edmonton Hall 21 has been touted as a probable successor to the Oilers captaincy. “I thought about it I heard some rumours and that kind of thing. It’s Dallas’s choice” Hall said. “Andrew came in here and displayed a lot of things that we need in this room. He’s a good guy and I think I might have been a little too young for the role. I’m very comfortable of where I am now in my career how I play and how I am in the room. I’m fine without the ‘C’ on my shoulder.” The rookie coach made the announcement internally at a team function at owner Daryl Katz’ mansion Saturday night then tweeted the news Sunday morning. “There were lots of guys that we were considering Taylor wasn’t the only one” said Eakins. “But every time as soon as we got into the conversation whether it was with the coach or players going through it it always went right back to the same guy and it was Andrew. “He’s the right guy for this team to carry the weight of that letter.” Being asked to take on even bigger responsibilities offensively this year and playing a new position while the Oilers top two centres in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner get healthy Hall already has a lot on his plate. Naming him team captain and asking him to organize activities away from the ice may have been too big of a burden for him at the moment. “I’m not really sure because I don’t have the ‘C’ on my chest. if I did it would probably be a different story” Hall said. “For now I’m completely fine with not having that. A guy like Andrew that’s married it’s good for the team it’s good for the community it’s good for the spouses and that kind of thing.
Taylor Hall backs up Andrew Ference as new Edmonton Oilers captain
Edmonton Sun | Sep 30