Photography by Curtis Trent; Styling by Jared Tabler; Hair by Mandi James of Mousy Browns; Makeup by Nickol Walkemeyer
At the end of the second intermission, the Oilers‘ merch shop inside Rexall Place is a swirling eddy of super-fans. As they snagswag from the shelves they shout, “Dude, did you see that crazy pass from Eberle to Smyth? What an assist!”
Back in the arena, the Oil return to the ice and continue on to a 9-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks thanks, in part, to a hat trick from Taylor Hall.
Since Jordan Eberle and Hall are among two of the youngest and best-known Oilers, many fans see them as the double-sided key to unlocking the glory days of the early ’90s, when Edmonton was the most feared and revered franchise in the NHL.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure,” Eberle says, “but it’s exciting.” Hall agrees, adding that he loves playing “in a city where the fans love hockey and are knowledgeable about it.”
Only time will tell if Eberle and Hall – along with rookie phenom Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011’s No. 1 draft pick – lead the Oilers back to the Promised Land. But as their fans wait, one fact remains: In a hockey town where everyone knows their names, Eberle and Hall represent the Oilers 24/7.
And that means dressing the part.
“Style is definitely important,” Eberle says. “You’re a role model in the community, so you should dress respectfully.”
How did you meet each other?
TAYLOR HALL: I was 10 years old when I met Jordan. We were playing against each other in a hockey camp and I remember him as a little kid with a gap in his teeth. The next time I saw him he was on my team when we went to Russia to play in an under-18 tournament.
JORDAN EBERLE: We also played for Team Canada at the World Juniors three years ago. Then he was drafted to the Oilers with me. We started our rookie season together, and we’ve lived together for three years now.
If the other guy were a Simpsons’ character, who would he be?
JE: He’d be Bart.
TH: He’d be Bart too. Jordan’s a bit of a troublemaker sometimes. He likes to egg other players on and tick them off. He suits Bart pretty well.
Are the Oilers heading back to the “Boys on the Bus” glory days of the ’80s?
JE: I don’t know if you can judge us based on that team, but we’re heading in the right direction. This year we’re controlling a lot of the game and, of course, we play every game expecting to win.
TH: We just keep trying to improve and mature as players. We realize there is quite a bit of pressure, and we have to succeed every night. We’re in the spotlight, but we’re OK with that.
Speaking of the spotlight, what’s it like to be a pro hockey player inEdmonton?
JE: It’s awesome! As a Canadian, I’ve always dreamed about playing pro hockey in a Canadian city, and Edmonton is one of the best cities in the country. You walk around the streets and get recognized all the time. It’s a dream to play here, because you play in front of a sold-out [arena] every night.
How much does being an Oiler control your life?
JE: When you’re an Oiler, you’re an Oiler. I spend most of my time at the rink or sleeping, and sometimes going out for a meal. We’re so busy with hockey [and related functions] , it’s a full-time job.
TH: You always have to be on guard and watch what you do and say. You have to try to be as mature as possible when you’re in a public setting.
Because you represent the Oilers 24/7, how important is style?
TH: It’s key. You never want to look like a rag. You look presentable at dinners and functions, of course, but there are also days when you just want to wear sweat pants, like when you’re hanging out at the rink or whatever.
Where do you like to shop?
JE: I don’t have a favourite store. If I see something I like, I’ll buy it regardless of what store it’s in. My favourite pair of jeans is 7 For All Mankind; I love them. As a hockey player, I have bigger legs and those jeans fit perfectly.
TH: When I’m in the city, I like to shop at Henry Singer and Holt Renfrew. That’s where we go for our suits. They also opened a new 7 For All Mankind store in West Edmonton Mall last year. I just bought a pair of jeans there the other day. When we’re on the road we’ll check out nice clothing stores like Burberry, which you can’t find in Edmonton.
What do you wear on game days?
JE: We always wear suits on the road and on game days. Hugo Boss is definitely the way togo for suits.
TH: I have a Prada suit that’s my favourite. It’s a darker grey with a tighter fit. I don’t like to bring it on the road too often because that’s where it can get damaged the easiest.
What kind of shoes do you wear?
TH: When I’m training, I wear Asics. They have great support. Last year I had an ankle injury, so I know the importance of being comfortable when I’m training. I also have a pair of John Varvatos shoes that I wear with my suits.
What do you like to wear when you’re out on the town?
JE: Depending on the weather I’ll usually throw on a V-neck sweater. I also have a lot of flannel. That’s my Saskatchewan fashion sense showing through. I buy flannel from all over the place.
TH: I wear a decent collared shirt or something with long sleeves in the winter. I always need a good pair of jeans like Trues [True Religion] or 7 For All Mankind. I just bought a new pair of Nudie jeans that are tighter in the calf, and I like wearing those with a nice pair of shoes. Being comfortable is the most important thing.
What kind of hair product do you use?
TH: Usually, if I do my hair, I like the wet look. I usually use got2b wax.
What do you shave with?
JE: A Braun shaver that I got for Christmas a couple years ago. I always shave before my games. It’s a ritual I have. I always shave after I wake up from my pre-game nap before heading to my car to crank up the tunes while I drive to the rink. I don’t usually use aftershave, because I’m on my way to the rink to sweat up a storm.
TH: I rock the facial hair sometimes. It’s not because of style though; it’s because I’m lazy and I don’t like shaving too much.
Hockey player: Joe Sakic
Stick: Bauer Vapor
Skates: Bauer Total One
Video Game: Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Mastersand NHL 12
TV Show: Californication
Musician: Kenny Chesney
Other Sport: Golf
Hockey player: Jarome Iginla
Stick: Easton S19
Skates: Bauer Vapor
Video Game: Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Mastersand NHL 12