Mark Seidel is either unfashionably late on the draw, or he’s got a beef with Taylor Hall and his father.  Seidel, the chief scout with North American Central Scouting, unloaded a thinly veiled attack on Taylor Hall and his wearing of the number 4 with the Edmonton Oilers.

In a blog post at CBC Sports, Seidel takes aim at Hall and his father’s supposed agenda and  insistence on wearing the number 4, which was Oilers president Kevin Lowe’s former sweater.

It is no secret that Taylor and his dad operated completely on their own schedule and agenda last year in Windsor. But before you condemn them or the Spitfires, please remember that this kid won back-to-back Memorial Cup MVP awards, so obviously it served everybody well.  However, Team Hall’s approach to securing the No. 4 sweater has bothered a lot of people both inside and outside the Edmonton Oilers’ organization.

Seidel would go as far to suggest that talks between Hall’s camp and the Oilers organization over the number began long before Lowe had ultimately made the decision to relinquish it:

As it turns out, he’s a member of the Edmonton Oilers. His quest for the number began early and was discussed with the highest authorities within the Oilers franchise . Anyone who knows Kevin Lowe, Edmonton’s president of hockey operations, understands that he is a proud man who is one of the best players in team history.  We all assumed that Hall wouldn’t dare raise the issue of taking Lowe’s famous number. We were wrong and once it became apparent that this was the Team Hall plan, a lot of people in the game were outraged.

The problem with Seidel’s take on Hall sporting the No. 4 on his back is that it contradicts earlier statements from Kevin Lowe himself regarding his old number.  It didn’t take David Staples at the Cult of Hockey to come to the defence of camp Hall:

As for Lowe handing over the #4 sweater, here’s what Lowe said on September 8, 2010, when he gave the sweater by hand (the sinister ‘transfer’ that Seidel refers to) to young Hall: “I know I’m excited to see No. 4 back on the ice. I’m not a real nostalgia buff. It’s not a statement. Vinny Lecavalier (of the Tampa Bay Lightning) looks right in No. 4 and I think Taylor Hall looks right in No. 4.”

Staples also called into question Seidel’s motivation for the story, lack of sources cited, and his remarks about Hall’s early season struggles:

So let me see if I have this right: Seidel likes Hall, but Seidel or someone very much like him is apparently quietly happy because Hall is deemed to be struggling early this season.  First off, Hall isn’t struggling. He’s doing quite well, if not very well. He’s creating of ton of scoring chances and starting to cash in on them.  Second, if Seidel is going to launch this kind of shot, it would be sporting for him to name his source, so Hall can face his accuser head on.

Furthermore, Staples references an earlier report from Joanne Ireland where Taylor Hall was quoted saying to have never requested the number 4.  So where is Seidel’s sudden interest in damning Hall for his choice of number coming from?  That’s a good question, and one that we’re less than likely to have answered.  It’s no secret that some traditionalists scoffed at the idea of Lowe’s old number being put back into action, but if the man himself is passing it on then why is it even an issue?

Regardless of who said what, and who’s wrong and who’s right here, Seidel had a couple of months to weigh in on Hall’s decision to take No. 4.  It’s just kind of odd that he’s waited until now to unleash his attack.

Comments (12)

  1. Whoa.

    4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 +4 = 26
    3 is the number that comes before 4
    26 – 3 = 23!


  2. Hahaha, now it all makes sense.

  3. Though to be fair, no amount of four’s are going to make 26. 4+4+4+4+4+4=24.

  4. Looks like Parkes’ math added a couple extra ticks to the radar gun… pfft, baseball.

  5. I think this would be more controversial if Taylor Hall was drafted by the Bruins. I say this as a long time fan of the game, “No Chance In Hell” he would get the #4 in Boston.

  6. who cares?????????

  7. who cares is right its a fricking number they can’t retire every good players number eventually there would be none left or we could go into 100′s

  8. 1. Kevin Lowe one of the best all time players? Highly disagreeable.
    2. Lowe is an awful GM
    3. Are there no problems more serious in Edmonton than a hyped rookie wanting a number that was worn by a mediocre to decent player who has run the franchise into the ground and only gotten a few promising prospects because theyve had pity picks bestowed on them and even in a Canadian city where there is literally NOTHING ELSE to do they cant even fill the stadium for an NHL game?!?!?!?!?!??!

  9. Oilers suck and so does Hall

  10. Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires, watched him play a lot of junior hockey. He’s a classy kid.

  11. [...] for clarification were not returned.  I wrote yesterday that Seidel’s piece sounded like a “thinly veiled attack” on Hall and his family, which is exactly what it appears to be.  If Seidel is intent on defending [...]

  12. What is wrong with taking the number 44? It is close to 4.

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