Monday

Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall and Cam Neely were supposed to be a dynamic duo. Unfortunately after a promising start, things didn't materialize.

Hall, a 5'11" 180lb left wing from Regina Saskatchewan, started his career with the Vancouver Canucks after a spectacular final season in junior with his hometown Regina Pats. In 69 games he scored 63 goals and 79 assists for 142 points. He furthered distinguished himself in the Memorial Cup playoffs. He scored 21 goals and 41 points in 23 post season games. He and Dale Derkatch, a legendary but tiny WHL junior who never got a chance in the NHL, were a spectacular duo.

Hall started the 1984-85 season on the Canucks top line with center Peter McNab and right winger Neely. The line caught fire early, scoring 6 goals and 16 points in the first 4 games. Hall scored 1 goal and 4 assists in just his first 3 games. This brought great hope to the Canucks faithful, as Hall had was playing on the left side, a traditional position of weakness for the franchise.

However all three members would fall victim to varying degrees of knee injuries. Peter McNab and Cam Neely then tweaked their knees in minor fashion. Hall was not so lucky. In the 7th game of the season, Hall tore the ligaments in his left knee, ending his season.

The incident would have never of happened nowadays. Back in 1984 the NHL was still using the old, unmovable goal posts. When players crashed the nets back then, there was chance of serious injury. Hall tore all the ligaments in his knee when he and fellow rookie Gerald Diduck of the New York Islanders rammed into the post.

Hall, who was a terrific skater, had his promising career drastically altered by this serious injury. He never quite regained the same confidence in his skating ability which was such a part of his recent successes. Hall would spend most of the next two seasons in the minors, appearing in just 23 NHL games with the Canucks, scoring 5 goals and 5 assists. He was unable to find his game.

The Boston Bruins, remembering Hall's past but brief success with Cam Neely, signed Hall to a two year contract in 1987, hoping to re-ignite anything that may still flicker between the two. However it was wishful thinking for the Bruins. Hall appeared in 7 games in the B's uniform, not scoring a point.

After two years with the Bruins farm team, Hall briefly played with the Canadian National Team, the Mannheim Eagles of the German League, and the San Diego Gulls of the IHL before enjoying 4 seasons with the CHL's Tulsa Oilers.

After retiring as a player Taylor "City" Hall turned to coaching in the low minor leagues in the southern United States. He even was a part owner of the WPHL team in Corpus Christie, Texas and committed to becoming the owner of the Alabama franchise in the upstart WHA2 league that never did get off of the ground.

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