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Hall’s injury puts spotlight on helmet policy

A picture sent out by Edmonton Oilers on the team’s Twitter page late Thursday morning shows star winger Taylor Hall with a huge scar across his face – the aftermath of a freak accident that happened on Tuesday.

The 20 year-old ended up having to sit out the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets after he slipped on the ice and collided with a teammate
before cutting his head on the skate of another Oilers player.

30 stitches were required to close the gash that stretched from this eyebrow to his scalp. Hall was not wearing a helmet at the time – something his mom Kim Strba says he will change.

“We’ve had that discussion. Yes, he will be wearing his helmet,” she said from the family home in Kingston, Ont.

Strba said when she talked to her son on Wednesday morning, not only were his spirits good, all things considered, but he didn’t have any concussion-like symptoms from the blow. The biggest impact seemed to be a cosmetic one.

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“I asked him if he was still good looking and he said, ‘Mom, I look like Frankenstein.’ Maybe it will send a message to everyone about how important it is to wear a helmet,” continued Strba. “Maybe it will be a wake-up call.”

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said his players were going to be advised to wear helmets but, like visors, it is not a league requirement.

Defenceman Theo Peckham admits he hasn’t always worn a helmet during warmups, although he said that will change.

“When you’re a kid and you go to games, you see the guys skating around without their helmets, then you get a chance to do it … and you do because it’s a neat thing to do,” Peckham said.

“Having seen that with Taylor, it makes you reconsider, and we are putting in place that everybody has to wear helmets. It wasn’t easy to see that.”

Oilers head coach Tom Renney said players don’t always snap up chinstraps in practice either, let alone wear helmets in warm-up, which he would like to see change.

“This was a hell of a lesson for a lot of people to learn from,” Renney continued. “Hopefully everyone does.”

As for when fans may expect to see Hall back on the ice – Renney said that’s still not known.

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“He’s doing much better, swelling has gone down, he’s got a good night sleep. All that being said I would say it’s doubtful for (Thursday) which I don’t think would surprise anyone. If you talk to Taylor he’d say he’s hopeful but we’ll see.”

 

It’s since been confirmed that Hall will not be playing in Thursday’s game against St. Louis Blue’s.

 

Hall was on a roll with goals in six of his past nine games. His injury was just another bit of bad news for the Oilers, who were already missing their top two scorers, winger Jordan Eberle (right knee) and centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, their second-leading scorer and the NHL’s top rookie (left shoulder) along with centre Eric Belanger (back) and defencemen Ryan Whitney (right ankle), Tom Gilbert (right knee), Cam Barker (left ankle surgery), Taylor Fedun (broken right leg) and Alex Plante (head). 
 

Here’s a video of the accident:

 


 

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