Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Overwhelmed at First, Hall Now Loving Fast-Paced Life with New Jersey Devils

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Overwhelmed at First, Hall Now Loving Fast-Paced Life with New Jersey Devils

Article excerpt

Hall adjusting to fast-paced life with New Jersey Devils

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Taylor Hall has learned how to avoid rush hour traffic in New York City.

Overwhelmed when he first made the jaunt from New Jersey to Manhattan as a first-year left winger for the Devils, Hall is used to it now. Not only does he know when to get in and out of the city to avoid the almost incomparable snare of New York traffic, he knows how to get around, too.

Life just outside one of the biggest cities in the world took some adjustment for the 25-year-old from Alberta.

"It's a fresh start (and) that part made it fun and exciting and it still is for me," said Hall. "The New Jersey symbol still doesn't feel completely real to me, but I'm having a lot of fun with it."

Now living in New Jersey, Hall had been used to life in Alberta. He grew up in Calgary rooting for Jarome Iginla and the Flames before playing six seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted him first overall in 2010.

"The New York City area is very congested," Hall said during his second appearance at the NHL all-star game. "Everyone's in a rush in New York City and Jersey. Everyone's in a rush to do things."

"In Alberta," he added, "people are more relaxed and you're more likely to have a door held open for you in Alberta than you are probably in New York City."

The pace was too much at first. But now, almost five months into his tenure with the Devils, Hall likes the big city it just fine, especially the ease with which he can order anything on his mobile phone, like food or dry-cleaning.

Hall wasn't happy when Edmonton, after years of poor rebuilding teams, shipped him to New Jersey in an NHL-rattling trade for defenceman Adam Larsson last summer. He was admittedly bitter after the trade, his first as a professional, describing it as an "indictment" on his capability as a hockey player and a sting to his "deep connection" with the city of Edmonton.

He was also exiting a Connor McDavid-led squad that looked to be on the rise while joining a Devils club only just beginning to rebuild under second-year general manager Ray Shero. …

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