Secret's Out: After Being Sidelined For Two Months, Taylor Hall Underwent Successful Knee Surgery Earlier This Week
First and foremost, I would be remiss not to say that I'm very happy to hear that Taylor Hall is still alive, never mind recovering from a successful knee surgery. Considering the suspiciously vague way in which the organization has spoken about the status of the league's reigning MVP (or, more accurately, been shameless in their refusal to) the last few months, I was half expecting to next see him starring as the dearly departed host in a Weekend At Bernie's-inspired intermission skit. In that sense, I was absolutely ecstatic upon finding out that that all he needed was to go under the knife after two full months out of the lineup. Talk about managing expectations!
In all seriousness, if I had to diagnose how the Devils have handled the previously inexplicable absence of their best player, I think I'd suggest an organizational lobotomy. Admittedly, I'm short a medical degree, so I'll leave the well-being of the franchise's most important joint in the hands of the professional practitioners. If they thought the smartest course of action was to rehab around surgery until doing so presumably became unrealistic earlier this week then far be it for me to tell them otherwise. However, mum continuing to be the word regarding the whereabouts of a transformational player while a flushed season circled round-and-round the toilet is a step back for an organization that was thought to be decidedly less secretive since being relinquished from the vice grip of the eternally tight lips of Lou Lamoriello.
I'm not even that annoyed by the fact that only now is Taylor Hall actually healing from what ailed him since late December, as - well before this point - I assumed he was going to be done for the remainder of a season that's long been lost regardless. I am annoyed that a franchise that, albeit understandably, has done very little to improve the team over the last year thought the smart play was to treat their frustrated fans like they're stupid.
I just don't understand what was to be gained from leaving everyone lying in wait and wonder about the availability of a superstar who could, if a nightmare were to be realized, have played his last game as a Devil with nothing else to distract them but a whole hell of a lot of piss poor hockey. Disclosure can be a hell of a drug when trust is what you're looking to attain. Ipso facto, leaving those that are already starved for any sort of success also in desperate need of a fix is both a surefire and entirely unnecessary way to make them manic. I still believe in the light at the end of the tunnel, but much less so when the conductors are leaving the paying passengers in the dark for no apparent reason.