The Oilers Trade Taylor Hall to New Jersey

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wait… let me compose myself. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *faints* The Oilers have reportedly traded Taylor Hall to New Jersey straight across for Adam Larsson.

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Taylor Hall has been traded to the New Jersey Devils straight across for Adam Larsson. From where I blog, I’m going to go out and say that this has to be one of the worst Oilers trades in the history of the franchise. As a straight up deal this is absolutely terrible. Taylor Hall is one of the best left wingers in the NHL and Adam Larsson is currently a second pairing defenseman, and, frankly, there’s no way to spin this in the Oilers favour. Chiarelli grossly overpaid for a right handed defenseman. Full stop.

Aside from writing hate filled letters to Chiarelli’s office I’m trying to hold out hope that he’s not done yet — it’s the only thing that will keep me from thinking that Chiarelli has lost the plot. Even so, Adam Larsson isn’t a top 20 defenseman in the league and Chiarelli felt the need to move one of the best left wingers in the league for him. The pressure on Larsson coming in to this season will be astronomical, and I find it hard to believe that he will be able to live up to the billing of being the guy they traded Taylor Hall to get.



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Upon first glance at his numbers, one might not be overly impressed. But there is much more to Larsson’s game than numbers. He is a workhorse, capable of logging major minutes in all situations. He has played with uncommon poise for a player of his age in a league against men in the Swedish Elite League the past two years. Simply put, there aren’t very many holes in Larsson’s game. He is the complete package, capable of taking over a game with his size, skating and elite two-way skills. He’s likely not going to ever contribute elite offensive numbers from the backend, but he is more than capable of rushing the puck end-to-end, making great stretch passes with his superb vision and unleashing a hard and accurate point shot.

From Last Word on Sports

Adam Larsson’s situation is very much a lesson on how to develop players. The young gun stepped into the NHL at the age of 18 after two solid seasons playing in Sweden’s top league. Confidence is always crucial, but to a youthful player, it’s everything.  Newcomers to the NHL are going to make mistakes, and they are especially glaring if they are playing defense or goaltending. Punishing players for every single error is counterproductive, especially in the modern NHL where teaching and communication are key.

For New Jersey, their defensive core is shaping up nicely thanks to Larsson, Merrill, Gelinas and Severson. If all goes well in their development, the Devils have the makings of a very good blueline. Adam Larsson may not be the flashiest guy, or put up the numbers that some expected him to, but his game has become so much more than that. Being trusted to play big minutes every night against the top players in the game is no small feat, and teams crave individuals like that. The 22-year old defenseman has the tools, and now the confidence, to be a top defender — now it’s time for him to prove it.


Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2011-12 New Jersey Devils NHL 65 2 16 18 20 -7 5 1 1 4
2012-13 Albany Devils AHL 33 4 15 19 24 -1
2012-13 New Jersey Devils NHL 37 6 6 12 4
2013-14 New Jersey Devils NHL 26 1 2 3 12 -1
2013-14 Albany Devils AHL 33 3 16 19 16 2 4 2
2014-15 New Jersey Devils NHL 64 3 21 24 34 2
2014-15 Albany Devils AHL 1 2 2 1
2015-16 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 3 15 18 77 15
NHL Totals 274 9 60 69 155 5 1 1 4
NHL and NHLPA Reach Tentative Agreement on Return-to-Play Plan, CBA Extension

    • Masma

      that’s why you are all upset , just because you get to play GM on your Xbox doesn’t make you a GM in real life. the market has spoken oilers players are not as valuable around the league as you thought

      you guys think Chia didn’t try to get a top pairing D ? this was as close as he probably could. if there’s 20 top 1 defencemen a big IF why would teams wanna get rid of them for over paid wingers? wingers are easier to get than top defenceman

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I’ll eat my words if Larsson can deliver, but he’s going to have to turn into a #1 defenseman by about game 10 for me to consider it ‘delivered.’

  • BubbaZanetti

    Say what you want I don’t care, I’m one happy camper !

    On a side note, that’s the wrong song, it should be;

    Na Na Na Na

    Na Na Na Na

    Hey Hey Hey


  • pkam

    This trade tells us one thing, we will not get a better defenseman than Larsson via trade in the near future unless we are willing to part with McDavid.

    Since there is no true top pairing defenseman in UFA, so unless you think Klefbom or Larsson is a true top pairing defenseman now, we don’t have a true top pairing defenseman to start the coming season.

    • I do indeed think Klefbom and Larsson are a true top pairing. Elite? no. Top pairing? Yes.

      Klefbom is 6″3 and 215, 22 years old, signed to 2022 with a cap hit of 4.167mill, Swedish, had 12 points in 30 games dragging around J Schultz.

      Larssson is 6″3 and 210, 23 years old, signed to 2022 with an identical cap hit of 4.167mill, Swedish, had 18 points in 82 games playing top pair min in NEW JERSEY against top competition.

      New Jersey goal differential last year was -20. Larsson was +15.

      • ubermiguel

        Exactly. I don’t get this “Larsson’s not a top pairing defenceman” thing. He was literally a top pairing defenceman on a team that’s better than the Oilers.

        Is he an elite #1 guy? No. Is he top pairing guy? Absolutely. People seem to thing there are only 20 top pairing guys out there. They should go take a look at the top 60 guys for TOI, those are the league’s top pairing defencemen.

        • His offence isn’t great, but he’s only 23 and has been playing in New Jersey, which is the league worst in GF. He gets to pass to… no one. In Edmonton he gets to pass to McDavid, Lucic, Eberle, Draisaitl, Nuge, Pouliot, Yak, Maroon, Puljujarvi, ect ect ect.

          Also, if they pair him with Klefbom, he doesn’t really have to be the offensive guy. Klefbom, up till now, has had to be the responsible one being paired with Schultz. Imagine what Klef will be able to do with another big young Swede who can actually defend?

          I know I’m coming at this with high hopes, and in no way do I think Chi won the Hall trade, but I also don’t think Larsson is complete crap. He is a top pairing guy. Klef and Larsson together are a top pair. Big, mobile, smart, young, cheap. I mean, if they work out and develop further, this could end up looking like a brilliant trade.

        • pkam

          You can’t just use TOI as the key to determine the top 60 defenseman.

          If TOI is the key, then JSchultz is also a top pairing defenseman in the league when he was an Oilers.

          And I search for the top 60 TOI/game defenseman, I find this Leafs defenseman name Matt Hunwick. Perhaps you know this top pairing defenseman, but I admit I don’t have a clue who he is.

          • ubermiguel

            TOI is not a perfect method but it shows you who (given their rosters) the 30 NHL coaches trust the most and want on the ice as much as possible. In other words, their top pairing defencemen. Naturally as rosters change some guys in that list change.

            But of course you’ve chosen the two worst teams in the league for your counter-examples. I’m sure Mike Babcock and Todd McLellan would love your input on who they should have played instead of Schultz and Hunwick. Oh wait, they’re two of the best coaches in the league, so maybe they know what they’re doing.

      • pkam

        You believe these two players are top 60 defense in the league starting next season? I’ll be happy if they are top 60 by the end of next season. Top 4? No doubt. But top 2, I doubt it.

        • Just had an interesting look at Larsson’s stat lines, and compared to some others like Doughty, Hamonic, ect. I’m finding Larsson played with much better players, but also played against much tougher competition.

          It depends on what your metric of ranking D men are. Simply put, the Oilers give up more goals than they score. I think Klefbom and Larsson as a pair will deny more goals and scoring chances than the Oilers will generate when that pair is on the ice.

          I cannot think of the last D pair the Oil had where I could say that. It’s a bit of optimism for sure, but I will be curious to see what a healthy Klefbom can do with a partner that isn’t J Schult. Especially given Sekera and Fayne did well in a tough minutes role.

          That team minus -20 but player +15 over the whole season has to jump out at you. Only other player that high was Camalleri but only over 42 games.

          I know +/- is a line stat but when an individual player stat is in direct contrast to rest of team, you have to think something is up.

          By comparison highest +/- on Oilers (with team -48GA) was Davidson with +7. But he played against significantly weaker competition.

          • pkam

            I agree this is probably the best defense pair we have since the rebuild in 2010.

            But I am not ready to qualify them as true top pairing defense. If we use the Flames for comparison, do you think they will be ahead of Gio and TJ? I think at best they are about the same as Hamilton.

            You don’t think there are 60 defensemen in the league ahead of them at this moment?

          • That’s a good comparison. Not that Larsson stacks up, but if you compare certain integral stats, some interesting results appear.

            Calgary, was the worst in the league last year for goals against. The worst. No other team was worse.

            New Jersey was 8th. If you figure Gio and Brodie are the top pair on a team that had the worst goals against, you would have to say either the rest of the team was unimaginably bad, or that Brodi and Gio weren’t very good at preventing goals while helping score them.

            By comparison Larsson was on the top pair for the 8th best team for goals against. So you would have to think he did help. Combine that with the fact New Jersey’s goal differential was -20, but somehow Larsson had a team leading +15, while still playing every single game, and the only conclusion I’m drawing is that Larsson, defended against opposing goals very well, while still helping his team score them. You may draw different conclusions and please let me know what those are.

            By the way, Calgary and New Jersey were very close in Goal differential last year at -20 and -28 respectively. Brodie was + 4 compared to Larsson’s + 15. I will say Brodie faced tougher competition. But also played with TJ Brodie.

            In specific answer to your question, yes, I think start of the season, Klefbom and Larsson will be on of the best D pairs in the NHL, especially if you measure by Goals against and differential.

          • Fair point. But if you think there isn’t a coorelation between poor defensive play and poor goal tending, then our argument is at a stalemate.

            Was Dubnyk a bad goalie, or did he play behind bad defence? Does Montreal have bad defence, or just a really good goalie?

            I don’t think you can always say its a one way street, but in the case of Calgary that also had bad underlying shot and possession metrics, as many points as TJ, Gio, Hamilton, and Wideman put up, I don’t think as a team they play a system designed to prevent a lot of goals.

            See Eakins ‘swarm system’ for other examples of bad defence making bad goalies.

            Also, Hiller and Orito were bad, but Ramo was .909 compared to Schnider’s .924. I don’t think those percentages would swing those stats quite so far. Likely its a combination of both good D and good goal tending.

          • pkam

            You don’t have to dig too deep, just look at their individual stats in the past 3-4 years. Look at the norm instead of the exception.

            Just like Eberle, excluding his rookie year, he has one exceptional good year at almost a ppg, he has one bad year (this year), the other 3 years he is pretty consistent 65 pt player. I don’t think he is a 80 pts player becasue he did that in one year. And he is not a 50 pts player because of his performance this year. He is a 65 pts player because he did that in 3 of his 5 years.

            Don’t just compare their stats this year when the Flames had terrible goaltending. Compare the previous 2 years, the two teams had closer SV% (although the Devils had slightly better), TJ and Gio were better than Larsson.

          • pkam

            You know what is funny, if Larsson was an Oilers before, we probably already call him a bust.

            He struggled the first 3 seasons. Was demoted to the minors in the 3rd season.

            His 4th year was average. At the end of that season, the Sweden National Team selected Klefbom instead of him to form a group of 6 LHD and 2RHD to represent Sweden in the WC.

            So basically he has one good season out of 5. That is enough to believe he is a top pairing defenseman as good as Gio and TJ?

          • Well, I said I believe Klefbom and Larsson will be among the NHL’s best defensive pair if ratings based on metrics outside of individual player points.

            Even still that doesn’t necessarily mean better or worse than Gio and TJ. Who I do not underrate. I think they are both stellar D men, especially TJ.

            I agree Oilers would have called him a bust, likely helped bust him. A couple people touched on him having a break out year this year related to how he was coached and handled in comparison to previous years.

            Again, I think Chi lost the trade, but looking at the numbers, I really do not think Oilers got absolutely fleeced when all factors considered (contract, age, market, size, ect.)

            You have to be at least impressed with Stapled finding he played hardest minutes against toughest comp in entire NHL. I mean, that’s not an unimportant stat.

          • K.Pal

            60…. hmmm… outside possibility but would guess probably not. Definitely not if you factor age and cap hits in. And in this new age nhl, cap hits a huge factor.

            And why do people insist on comparing our defence to Calgary. The Flames have a very good defence. That’s a fact. Now lets compare their forwards to our forwards even after losing Hall…Want to trade ???? Thought not……..

  • brian_d

    I keep trying to spin this in a positive way, but just can’t. Chiarelli has killed the eternal optimist in me…

    EDIT: If Chiarelli can sign Lucic AND Demers AND a serviceable backup, our roster doesn’t look so bad, assuming we can hold onto the rest of our big pieces.

  • NDOilersfan

    I feel like my afternoon was summed up perfectly by the immortal words of Freeza:

    “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m usually far more composed. I’m just a little bit absolutely livid”

  • fasteddy

    This is exactly the problem with all of us piling on past management; they were trying to be patient and not sell out, yet they were roasted for it. My 9 year old could trade Taylor Hall for a second pair dman, (don’t get me wrong, I think/hope we’ll be surprised at what Larsson brings, but still…). My only hope is that Hall was in fact difficult to deal with and led the others astray, because otherwise this is silly.

  • since79

    Started typing a comment then remembered how many times I could just cut and paste the same one of untrustworthy management bumblings… Been a fan along time it’s just getting tiring. Until I hear the team is finishing in the top ten playoff standings I’ll start looking elsewhere for entertainment!

  • The Trade Really Jolted Me , but let’s warm up to Mr Larsson :

    Skellefteå AIK[edit]

    The 2009–10 Elitserien season turned out to be a spectacular breakthrough season for Larsson. He scored two goals in an Elitserien game against Timrå IK on October 15, 2009.[3] By the end of the season, Larsson had tied the single-season record for amount of points in Elitserien among defencemen under the age of 18, 17 points, a record that was set by Tomas Jonsson in 1977–78, who compiled eight goals and nine assists in 35 games.

    Larsson fought Timrå IK forward Daniel Corso in a game on November 2, 2010, receiving a cut eyebrow during the altercation. Larsson commented that he kept his gloves on because removing them during a fight in Elitserien leads to an automatic one game suspension.[4] Although Larsson didn’t remove his gloves, both he and Corso were suspended for two games and received fines as a result of the fight.[5][6]

    Larsson’s play in the 2010–11 season earned him a nomination for the Elitserien Rookie of the Year award,[7] but Mattias Ekholm would eventually win the award.

    New Jersey Devils[edit]

    Larsson was selected in the first round, fourth overall,[1] by the New Jersey Devils during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Seen as a move towards rebuilding the Devils defence corp, Larsson was rated by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau as the top European prospect available in the 2011 Draft.[8] Larsson, who has been compared to the Detroit Red Wings’ defenceman Nicklas Lidström, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with no bonuses at the NHL maximum of US$925,000 per year with the Devils on July 15, 2011. He made the team in training camp and became the first 18-year-old defenceman to dress for the Devils in the regular season since Scott Niedermayer in the 1991–92 season, only the sixth under-20 defenceman to play for the Devils, and the first 18-year-old defenceman in the NHL since 2008, when Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian and Luke Schenn all made their NHL debuts.

    Larsson’s first NHL goal was scored on November 11, 2011, on a slapshot from the right slot against Tomáš Vokoun of the Washington Capitals.[9] He was selected to the NHL All-Star Rookie SuperSkills Competition on January 12, 2012, along with teammate Adam Henrique; however, he chose to pull out due to a minor injury. He was replaced by Montreal Canadiens rookie defenceman Raphael Diaz.[10] On May 1, 2012, Larsson scored his first Stanley Cup playoff goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Philadelphia in his first career playoff game, becoming the first Devils rookie defenceman to score a goal in his first playoff game.[11]

    Following the 2014–15 NHL season Larsson became a restricted free agent under the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The New Jersey Devils made him a qualifying offer to retain his NHL rights and, on July 5, 2015, Larsson filed for Salary Arbitration.[12]

    On July 25, 2015, New Jersey Devils re-signed Larsson to a six-year extension, worth US$25,000,000.[13]

    Edmonton Oilers[edit]

    On June 29, 2016, Larsson was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Taylor Hall.[14]

  • madjam

    With Gazdik and Hall gone that leaves Conner with no one to board with and cook his meals . Conner stays back home and demands a trade . Chia says no problem you can stay with me like Crosby and Lemieux did , and he’ll even cook his meals for Conner .

  • Moneyball1976

    Even if Larsson can be a #1D in the league the possibility of that occurrence has just dropped by a lot. The pressure to perform like a #1 will always be there and if he hasn’t been able to show that he is the next Pk Subban or Drew Doughty in his 5ish years in the NHL so far, so chance are very high that he will not turn into one here in Edmonton. Regardless you don’t trade current value for future value unless that future value is very very certain. Here there is no certainty with Larson. Larson is a good hockey player but not near a great player nor will he ever be. Chances are just as good that he flames out than he excels. Taylor Hall will be inducted into the Hockey hall of Fame, Larsson may be put down into the minors this year. To me this looks like kind of a beefed up Nikitin deal for the Oilers.

    The only conclusion one can draw is that the Oilers wanted to get rid of Hall for other reasons. Poor defense, no back checking, poor attitude in the dressing room…. I have no idea. The only other thing I can come up with is that the other GM’s do not like dealing with Chiarelli? We kind of saw that last year when we got scooped for a Dman to Calgary by his old team the bruins.

    I don’t know…. very frustrating and there is no way that this will ever go down as a good trade. Larson is just not a grade A defencemen is not even close to what hall could have been traded for. Even the bad deals I saw online this past week were way better than this one.

    Thanks for the venue to rant!

  • Burns14

    I hate to be a negative nancy here, but Lucic is not signed. There is a real chance that he does not. Why would you make this trade before Lucic is signed on the chance that he is wow’d elsewhere and signs there. Unreal. Not a smart move on Chia’s part.

  • TS

    I agree, Larsson looks awful when you use points, stats from 2014-2015, and opinions from 2 or 3 years ago as your basis for evaluation. But why don’t you try something from this Spring, like
    Combined with the facts that in NJ Larsson only got 20% offensive zone starts, no pp time, and had a generally weak set of forwards to play with in a heavily defense-first system.