Jordan Hall’s offseason was interrupted by a phone call from the New England Black Wolves. The news from the other end of the phone was that he had been traded to the Georgia Swarm on Sept. 16. This past weekend, Hall had his chance to show his skill set against his former team. The 6-foot, 190-pound lefty forward finished the game with a game-high seven points (3G, 4A) as the Swarm won its third-straight contest, 14-9.
“It’s always nice to play against the team you used to play for and get the win. Especially when you get traded away,” Hall recapped. “You get a phone call saying ‘Hey we are trading you.’ It is really nice to get the win against them but first and foremost it is about getting wins for the Swarm.”
In past interviews, Hall had compared playing the Black Wolves to seeing an ex-girlfriend in public: You want to “look good." He did just that on the 20th and currently sits second on the Swarm’s points chart with 19 (5G, 19A) just three games into the season.
Hall has quickly gelled with his new teammates and his veteran presence has been a welcome addition to the Swarm’s locker room. His role as a leader also has a lighthearted side as he has spearheaded the team’s “Kangaroo Court”, which occurs each weekend before games. Essentially, a giant pool of cash has been built as players meet in a closed door fashion, dishing out fines to one another for items such as being late, dress code violations or even ill advised selfies on social media.
“I take an active role in kangaroo court,” Hall said. “This is a system to help guide rookies and everyone on the team. It is in place to keep everyone accountable but doing it in a fun way.”
When Hall joined the Swarm, he was re-connected with head coach Ed Comeau, who he played under during his time with the New York/Orlando Titans from 2009-10. During the 2009 season, the Titans advanced to the Champion’s Cup where they finished as the runner-ups to the Calgary Roughnecks.
“Coach Comeau is a calming force,” Hall said. “That is the reason we get along. We have a similar style with how he coaches and how I want to be coached.”
Hall, 32, went onto speak about how he has seen a change in maturity since he was a rookie in the league and how he wants to help his younger Swarm teammates understand that they “need to focus on what is happening right now” because “when [he] was younger he would get worked up over small things.” With the Swarm currently sitting atop the league at 3-0 with the league's youngest roster, having a veteran perspective like Hall's will only help the team as the season progresses.
Hall has competed on several teams during his nine-year career in the NLL. His short experience with the Swarm however has already impressed him in many ways. He was quick to compliment the outstanding work that the Swarm's Front Office has done in building a state-of-the-art locker room for the team.
“Having the training room right next to the locker room is something amazing as well,” Hall said. “It was a special moment to see it for the first time. I am pretty happy to finally have my picture above my locker as well.”
Three games into the season, the Swarm has defeated arguably the three best teams from the 2016 NLL season in the Rush, Bandits and Black Wolves. Hall was a key player in the Black Wolves’ success against the Swarm last season, which included an overtime playoff victory to end Georgia’s season. In total, the two teams met five times last year, with New England winning four of those contests. Hall is looking to do his part to ensure that the Swarm gets the better end of the rivalry this season.
“Anytime you play a team that much, you build rivalries,” Hall said. “I know there is some carry over from last season's playoff loss for the Swarm. The Swarm has a chip on their shoulder about the prior record.”
He also gave some insight on his former team stating that “I know the way the defense is built in New England. It will be chippy and there will be a battle. They even have some guys on offense that like to mix it up. I do not see that changing, that is for sure.”
Hall has witnessed the evolution of the NLL in his career. He joined the league in 2008 with New York and has been a fan favorite on his other teams along the way. As a tough competitor, Hall has some pointers on how to have a successful career in the NLL.
“There is a fine line between guys you grow up playing with who don’t go to the next level and those who do,” he said. “I think the fine line is to learn from the others around you. There are plenty of small things that you will pick up from playing with other talented players. It is a mix between adaptation and caring for yourself.”
Hall wants to do “whatever it takes to get the win. If it is zero goals and a ton of ground balls. I am more than happy doing that.” His goal is to have everyone involved in the game. He believes that this team is “young but talented” and sees a championship caliber team on the horizon.
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