Oilers' Hall: Only McDavid 'has played well enough to solidify a spot' on team
The end appears to be nigh for the Edmonton Oilers' core group of young players.
Taylor Hall is well aware that change is likely afoot as the team nears yet another last-place finish, and admits almost no one is safe from being dangled on the trade market, either before the NHL's trade deadline or at season's end.
"I could be gone, it could be Jordan (Eberle), it could be (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins)," Hall told Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal. "I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the fact of the matter is that nobody, aside from Connor (McDavid), has played well enough to solidify a spot on this team, and everyone realizes that."
This admission comes days after general manager Peter Chiarelli put his club firmly in the sellers camp, stating plainly that changes will be made to the underachieving roster.
"Everyone has kind of heard that they might or they will (shake up the core)," Hall said. "Certainly nothing is in stone until it happens, but the fact is we’re not where we want to be. If we were closer to a playoff spot, or in one, I don’t think (Chiarelli would) be saying those things. It’s all because we haven’t played the way we can.
"Everyone is accountable, everyone knows there’s a target on their back. I don’t think anyone is safe."
Winners of four of the past six NHL draft lotteries, the Oilers are once again in position to have the odds in their favor, and the possibility of adding another high-end forward prospect would only increase the likelihood of Edmonton shaking things up through a trade.
Hall leads the team in scoring, and McDavid is the only player on the team averaging more than a point per game, meaning they're as close to untouchable as it gets on the Oilers, even if Hall isn't placing himself in that category.