Steve Tambellini on Taylor Hall's extension
Read the transcript of edmontonoilers.com's exclusive interview with the GM
- WATCH: Taylor Hall addresses the media
- PODCAST: Taylor Hall addresses the media
- PODCAST: GM Tambellini with Ryan Dittrick
- PODCAST: GM Tambellini Media Conference Call
DITTRICK: Steve, take us through the events that led to Taylor Hall's seven-year extension.
TAMBELLINI: There were some preliminary discussions around the draft when we met with Taylor's representatives Rick Curran and Paul Krepelka, and they introduced the idea at an early time and we didn't think that we'd necessarily move on it at that time. But as summer went on, we started thinking about it if we could get one of our cornerstone players (signed) at the right number, it seemed like the right thing to do.
Taylor's representatives were very professional and they wanted to get a deal done; it's an important day for the franchise. He's one of our cornerstone players and says the right things, as you'd expect from an Oiler.
DITTRICK: As you probably know, Taylor and a few of his teammates were at Perry Pearn's Camp skating today -- and when Taylor came off the ice and everybody informed him that his extension was announced, he just had this huge smile on his face. That probably sums up his feelings about being an Oiler. Did you sense that he was that excited about it when talking to him about this deal?
TAMBELLINI: I think I know Taylor pretty well. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and he's a passionate guy that brings it every day on the ice. I'm not surprised that he would share that emotion with all his friends.
DITTRICK: As you discussed many times over the course of the summer, locking up the team's young core was really a priority for the club this off-season. Do you feel as though it's going exactly as you'd planned at this point?
TAMBELLINI: It's an important step, there's no question. Whether we did it now or we did it in the spring, it's nice to know that you've got a commitment from the player and a commitment from our team and ownership in the fact that we've got good people and we want to make sure that we can keep this group together for some time.
DITTRICK: It's obviously unfortunate that over the course of Taylor's first two seasons in the NHL that they've been cut short due to injuries, but he's coming back feeling pretty good -- he talked today about how his shoulder is feeling stronger than it ever has, so where do you see the potential in this player next year and in the remaining years of his contract?
TAMBELLINI: He plays a game that's intense. There's no fear in his game; I love that about him, I think he's learning how to use it in the NHL. He's going to be a great player in the league for many years and he just represents our organization so well.
DITTRICK: When we spoke to Taylor this morning, he was hinting that something with Jordan Eberle might come down at some point. I don't know what you can say, if anything, about that, but what's next for you and your management group as you hope to secure more of your young core?
TAMBELLINI: There have been preliminary discussions, but there's really nothing to report at this time.
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick