Edmonton Oilers forward–and future captain once Shawn Horcoff‘s tenure with the team is done–Taylor Hall was named the AHL‘s Player of the Week last week after scoring nine points in three games for the Oklahoma City Barons. The Barons won those three games and moved within striking distance of the AHL South Division-leading Charlotte Checkers, whom they defeated in two of those games.
Fans of the Barons and the Oilers have to be happy about this news because it demonstrates that Hall has fully recovered from his offseason shoulder surgery and is back to fine form, having scored 15 points in his first 10 games with the Barons. But if you are some of the lower-ranking forwards on the Barons–you know, guys like Anton Lander, Curtis Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick, who actually need playing time in the AHL if they ever hope to make it to the big show where Hall, Jordan Eberle, et al are already guaranteed roster spots–you have to be a bit non-plussed by this.
Sure, it’s fun having the Baby Oilers tearing things up and giving your teams W’s night in and night out, but when you’re relegated to third- or fourth-line AHL minutes right out of the box, it slows your potential for progress. These guys have to be hoping the NHL lockout ends soon so they can have more opportunities to prove themselves.
But for now, Hall and the Barons squad can rejoice in the fact that they are winning games and awards. Now if they can just do something about winning over more of those fans in the Oklahoma City area…