Hall trade: It is based on Hope


Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli admitted the Edmonton Oilers traded away the best player in today’s Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson deal.

“That’s a fair comment, if you look at just what they’ve accomplished so far in the league,” said Chiarelli. “Larsson doesn’t have the same pedigree yet, but I believe in him a lot. He moves the puck quickly. He’s very smart,” continued Chiarelli.

He must like him a lot to trade the league’s third best left winger, behind Jamie Benn and Alex Ovechkin, and there is no denying Chiarelli took a big risk.

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Some call this a Bold move, but I’d rather not use that word considering its past history to the Oilers and transactions. I call it a move of Hope.

Here are my thoughts on the trade.

  • I’m not stunned Hall was traded, I sense the organization didn’t like him, which is idiotic, but I’m surprised this was the return. Proven RD are rare commodities, but so are forwards who can drive the play themselves. Larsson has steadily improved, but at this point he isn’t a proven top-pairing defender. He is tracking to be one, but proven and projection are very different at the NHL level. Hall is clearly the better player. Oilers lost this trade.
  • Chiarelli is hoping Larsson continues to develop and becomes a steady top-pairing D-man. He will never be flashy, and the best-case scenario I can see would be Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Vlasic doesn’t get a lot of attention, but he’s an excellent defender. And everyone knows the Oilers need D-men who can defend. If Larsson becomes Vlasic Chiarelli will be applauded mightily.
  • Vlasic might even be too high of a comparable because Larsson has played a total of 51:40 on the PP over the past four seasons. He plays mainly EV and SH. In 2014/2015 he did manage 24 EV/SH points, which was tied for 27th most among NHL defenders. Vlasic has predominately been a 20-25 point defender, but he has had a 36 and 39-point seasons.
  • The most interesting stat I uncovered about Larsson wasn’t even about him. During his rookie season he played 106:45 on the PP. As mentioned above he’s only played 51:40 on PP since. Mark Fayne led the Devils in PP minutes that year playing 123 minutes. The Devils blueline PP options in 2012/2013 were not great.
  • Maybe Larsson becomes Niklas Hjarlmarsson. An excellent defender, who only plays EV and SH and doesn’t produce many points. He’d still be a valuable asset. Ask Hawks fans how important Hjalmarsson was on their Cup winning teams? Just remember if he maxes out as Hjalmarsson, don’t be upset at Larsson. He didn’t make the trade. He should not be compared to Hall, even though they were traded for one another.
  • Don’t expect many points from Larsson and your chances of being not disappointed will be much better. “He logs a lot of minutes. He can match up against the top players. He has more offence to give,” said Chiarelli. The last line is very true.
  • Larsson will have a better chance to produce at EV with the Oilers because he’ll be passing to McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH and Eberle. McDavid could get him four or five assists from below the hashmarks in the defensive zone. Larsson does move the puck quickly, and that could be one of his biggest assets to the Oilers. However, very few D-men put up a lot of points in Edmonton with Hall and Eberle producing the 24th and 25th most points in the NHL the past five seasons. You need to have some good offensive instincts to be a point-producing defender. Larsson hasn’t shown much offensive creativity to this point.
  • I heard many suggest Chiarelli was trading from a position of weakness because everyone knew he needed a RD. Weren’t the Devils in the same position, looking for a proven offensive player? Chiarelli chose to make this trade, because he recognized the need to improve defensively. It was a risk, but I don’t buy the notion he was the only one in a position of weakness.
  • I don’t agree with the suggestion Chiarelli had to address the blueline and because of Connor McDavid and the other forwards sacrificing Hall to improve the D corps was a necessity. It is true they needed to improve the blueline, but this was a very risky move. I’m not sure he had to make it now, but I understand the urgency to improve his blueline instead of doing nothing, but replacing Hall will not be easy. I’d say it will be almost impossible to find a left-winger who can drive a line like Hall.
  • Hall can drive his own line. He doesn’t need to play with McDavid to produce points or create scoring chances. Milan Lucic (who we expect will sign a contract on Friday) offers a unique skillset, but he’s not a driver of a line. He’ll likely play with McDavid, and have success, but Hall’s departure means Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will have to drive the second line. Maybe they are ready, but again, that is based on hope, not a guarantee like Hall.
  • The Oilers would likely have improved next year even if this trade didn’t happen. A healthy Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom will make them much better next year. Adding Jesse Puljujarvi gives them better depth on the RW. Darnell Nurse will be improved and if Brandon Davidson stays healthy all year and plays the same as last season they are automatically better.
  • Larsson is in a much better position coming to Edmonton than Hall was six years ago. Larsson will have many more competent players around him. If he just plays to his strengths, and gets sheltered if, or when, needed he should be okay.
  • Hall played hard when he was here. He showed up. The organization wanted him to be the saviour, but they never protected him or surrounded him with quality players, especially on the blueline. I still don’t understand those who felt Hall was the problem. Some people just want to blame someone I guess, and instead of pointing the finger at incompetent management they incorrectly pointed to Hall. Hall was devastated when he heard the news. He wanted to be here. He finally saw some light at the end of the dark tunnel, but he’ll have to taste success elsewhere. I expect Hall to have great success in New Jersey. He produced points on a bad team, in a tough conference, and while the Devils aren’t a great team, they have an excellent goalie and they play in a weaker conference. I won’t be surprised to see him in the top-ten in scoring again.
  • Chiarelli will need to make some other astute moves to avoid this dealing backfiring on him. I’d be surprised if this trade is ever looked at as even equal, but if Chiarelli makes some other moves and this team becomes a playoff team the deal could be looked at differently by some. I see it purely as a Hope trade. Chiarelli is hoping Larsson becomes the solid top-pairing defender he believes he is. I can appreciate his yearning to improve his blueline, but, man, this was a risky move.
  • What stood out most for me in Chiarelli’s presser about the trade was his comment about needing to find a PP D-man. Jason Demers is not that guy. He has 41 career PP points in seven seasons. His career high came in his rookie season when he tallied 11 points on the PP. Does he have another trade up his sleeve? Can he afford to “lose” another trade, and still improve the team?
  • Darren Dreger mentioned on radio Lucic might be getting a seven-year deal from the Oilers. Yikes. If you thought people were angry today, wait until Friday if a seven year deal is announced.

Recently by Jason Gregor:   

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  • I don’t think cap hit was a huge factor when Chia pulled the trigger. A factor, yes, but not anywhere near a deciding one. I think Chia searched out his man that met the following criteria:

    Larger frame
    Right hand shot
    Fits the age cluster
    Proven, or about to break out (this is where the hope comes in)
    Longer term value contract

    • Mitch92

      I think this is a pretty accurate assessment of the deal. If you subscribe to the three hundred game development theory for young NHL defensemen then Larsson is about to step into his own and take off as a bonafide top flight minute munching defender. Look at Jake Gardiner in Toronto. Last season as he passed the 300 game mark, he stepped up his game and along with Morgan Rielly afforded the Leafs the luxury of moving on from the Dion Phaneuf era of futility. Perhaps the acquisition of Adam Larsson signals the end of a futile era for the Oilers?

      • To me that’s still too big of an ‘if’ to give up a player who has undoubtedly proven himself to the team and the league. I’m a fan of Larsson, big time, I think he can project as a no. 1 Hedman-type defender, but what an asset to give up. This will be a career defining move for Chia for sure, and we’ll have no way of knowing how it will pan out until at least a couple of seasons.

  • Mitch92

    Oiler fans need to let go of the notion that Taylor Hall is the third best left winger in the game. Hall was not the third best left winger in Canada! He is only invited to represent Canada when our good players are unavailable because they are playing play-off hockey, a concept that Hall is completely unfamiliar with. I understand that there is a lot of attachment to Hall being that he was the first of many first overall picks the Oilers have collected over the years but now that McDavid is here and the window of opportunity to win has been defined it is time to forget about sexy and get serious about building a winner and that starts with defense. I predict that Adam Larsson will become a pillar of the defense for the Oilers and more important pieces will be added as they become available.

    • herb

      A little context

      Some of us who are in our late 50’s watched as our Oilers were dismantled during the late 80’s and early 90’s, these guys won 5 cups together.

      Last year we finish 29th and after two decades of losing our GM trades a player who I have rated no higher than 5th in importance to this organization.

      I see a upside to the Oilers that I haven’t seen for a very longtime.There is still plenty of good work to do before this team contends again but I’ve confident based on yesterdays deal that the Oilers are on the right path.

  • OilBlood

    Gregor – just because you were friends with Hall doesn’t mean he wasn’t a cancer and didn’t have character issues.

    It may look like a clear cut loss for the Oilers but like Montreal in Subban there was more to this than just hope. Where there’s smoke there is fire. Old management saw it and after a year chia and Tmac saw it. The turning point was that game where Tmac kicked hall to the end of the bench, the writing was on the wall. Hall is uncoachable and plays more for the name on the back than the crest on the front.

    Anybody listen to his conference call after the trade? I thought I was listening to a spoiled 10 year old throwing a tantrum because everyone should have loved him and heaven forbid he not be considered the main part of the fix.

    Oilers are a better team today on and off the ice.

    • BubbaZanetti

      Couldn’t agree more.
      Don’t understand why these guys get so upset because someone “questions ” Hall’s character ?
      This stuff is real. You think they shipped out Subban because he can’t play ?
      This locker room stuff has been floating around for a couple of years.
      Chiarelli and McClelland spent the year assessing the team, and would know better than anyone including Mr Gregor.
      They can spin it however they want, but there’s more to it than just a hockey deal ?
      To conclude, it’s not about the name on the back, it’s about the crest on the front, and players who come together as a TEAM !

    • 24_McClelland

      You can spin it any way you like, the Oilers were taken out behind the shed in this trade.

      As for Hall, I had a similar experience in my work life. I was offered a ‘lateral transfer’ to another position in my company after performing well, giving more than coworkers in order to do a job that I loved very well. I wasn’t going to lose salary or benefits, but I was going to a different team in the company. I took this personally, and when you give all you have and you want to see it though…that’s what happens. I don’t blame Hall one bit.

      That’s a guy who I want on my team at 24 years old, top 3 LW in the league (with more upside), good contract. Frigging Milan Lucic and a couple 2nd pairing D who don’t produce 5×5 or on the PP aren’t going to replace that. If you’re trading Hall, you trade him for that RH D you NEED. If needed, you add pieces with Hall. I’d rather be looking at Hall + going out the door for Subban than what transpired yesterday. Now they roll with Lucic at #1 LW, who has peaked in his career already, and will give him 3 years of term that they shouldn’t…..and additionally even if they sign Demers they STILL won’t have a 1st pairing RH D who can produce and run a PP.

      Oilers are not a better team today on the ice, and you have no frigging idea in terms of off the ice.

  • Ed in Edmonton 1

    Its been a rough last couple of months for Hall for sure. Being left off the Canadian team (how do those who clain Hall as one of the top 3 LW in the world explain that)and now being dealt. No doubt is ego is bruised, it will be interesting to see how he responds in Sep.


    You know I woke up this morning and pictured Chiarelli sitting at a Texas hold em’ table all-in, waiting for the river card. To me this is what he did on the Hall trade. He went all-in HOPING, Larsson will be the one player he needs. God I hope it works out.

  • You just got LITT up!

    I appreciate the people trying to justify this trade, “oh, larrson’s good … He’s a #2”. I personally don’t buy it. I think Chia got bent over on this deal and it will haunt the oilers. I agree the oilers needed to do something and moving hall was that something, but that return???? Wow. My question- what’s the rush? The draft is finished, free agency starts tomorrow. You can’t tell me the return for hall would’ve been worse after July 1st. So why not wait till closer to the season?


      If you look at previous years most notable/top tier players are traded long before July 5th.

      Also, take into account, there are NO legit #1 RHD available this year, especially just for Halls services.

      I doubt Hall, Nuge and Ebs would get you Subban, yesterday proves this. Bonafide stud for bonafide stud when your talking RHD.This is why Doughty, Karlsson etc. will never be traded(Worth their weight in gold!).

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        I’d wager a lot of people yesterday were saying that Subban and Weber* would never be traded. let alone both on the same day. never say never.

        * only because Omark is apparently no longer available.


      Lucic is not coming here? WTF MAN! Wishful thinking? Putting a curse on us? Armchair G.M. inside knowledge? Pouting over the trade?

      P.S.- Iv’e personally wanted Lucic here for years, one of a handful of guys that make you earn your space on the ice and doesn’t care about who he attacks(Scott Stevens-ish). Sick of seeing the Oilers lose board battles for 10 years straight, time to go from boys to men.

  • JimmyV1965

    Lucic is getting a minimum of $6,5 over seven years. Book it. PC doesn’t make this deal unless he knew Lucic is in the bag. And the only way he has him in the bag is with a massive overpayment.

  • JermBank

    Say what you want, Taylor Hall took every loss personally. He understood our frustration in the crowd, shared it and often times showed it (how dare he splash Dallas’s shoe!). I personally loved it. This guy has a winner’s mentality and he should have seen the playoff with the Oilers.

    Gregor’s rant on 1260 yesterday was absolutely bang on. Frustration with this trade is completely fair, but make no mistake where you should direct it. Not Hall, not Larsson, not Chiarelli. Direct your frustration at the crew who ultimately put the team in a situation where trading one of the best LW in the league for an unproven Dman was totally necessary. And they all still work for the team, collect a pay cheque and have input on hockey operations. Scary.

    Props to Pistol Pete for having a huge pair, good luck to Hallsy in Jersey and welcome to Oil Country Adam Larsson. We’re all looking forward to seeing what you can do out there.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Jason, of course it’s “bold.” That’s what this is. This trade is the very definition of boldness. Trading Hall straight-up for Subban wouldn’t have been “bold” – it would have been a no-brainer (turns out, it was actually a non-starter).

    It’s funny. We nicknamed Tambellini “Mr. Dithers” because he wouldn’t make any big moves. We laughed when Kevin Lowe bragged about his six rings and “knowing a thing or two about winning” but never making a decent move. We made fun of MacT because he promised “bold” moves and never made one. But, then when someone finally comes along and makes a bold move, we rend our garments and fall into hysterics. As the rain poured in Edmonton yesterday afternoon, a lot of angst poured down on talk radio and Twitter and the melodrama was getting hard to stomach.

    This was boldness in the face of a cold reality: Taylor Hall was not worth what we thought he was worth.

    Oh sure, if you’re a fan or a blogger, or an accredited member of the media, it’s easy to throw around names for trades. It’s easy to say that Hall should fetch Subban, straight up. Or that the Oilers should jump at the chance to trade Draisaitl and the No. 4 for Subban, if the rumour’s true. Or the No. 4 pick for Dougie Hamilton, if that rumour’s true. Or any of the other ideas we’ve heard over the past few weeks. It’s easy to put together those combinations and discuss them on sports-talk-radio to fill up air time, or on sites like these to push readership. But none of it is reality.

    The GMs deal with reality, and the marketplace is where reality resides. Out on the open market, Hall was worth Adam Larsson. He wasn’t worth PK Subban. If he was, that trade would have happened last week and we know that now because, obviously, Subban was available for the “right price.” Taylor Hall, straight-up, was not the right price. Furthermore, given what happened yesterday, it also means that Hall wasn’t worth Shea Weber. And probably not OEL in Phoenix, either. It sucks and you don’t have to like it, but that’s the truth. That’s the cold reality.

    It’s not Hall’s fault. It’s the Oilers’ fault – they’re the ones who have been out of the playoffs for the last 10 seasons building a team that’s heavy on forwards and an absolute tire-fire on defence. Think about it – the Oilers have done such a bad job building their blueline, they’ve got, like, two serviceable right-shooting defencemen. That’s so bad, that’s laughable. Chia not only faced the task of upgrading his defence … he has to do it by finding guys who shoot right. I swear to you – I’ve been watching the NHL for more than 30 years and the righty/lefty quagmire on the Oilers’ otherwise-incompetent blueline has never happened before. It is without precedent.

    The 29 other teams in the NHL haven’t been blind to that reality and they obviously made that clear when Chiarelli came calling for trades.

    Statistically, Hall might be the second- or third-best left-winger in hockey, but out on the open market, he simply wasn’t worth what we thought he was worth. It’s tough to swallow, but it’s true. If there was a better deal there, it would have happened.

    The good news is this: All of the reports I heard yesterday about Larsson were of a good second-pairing guy who can play lots of minutes and do all of the little things right in the defensive zone. He’s on a great contract, he’s young, and by the sounds of it, his development curve is still trending upward towards “first-pairing potential.”

    Yes, Jason, that’s all based on “hope.” But being hopeful requires a certain amount of courage, conviction and, yes, boldness. Let’s recognize that.

    • Jason Gregor

      Lowe never made good moves?

      You might want to check out summer or 2005 to the traded deadline of 2006. He overhauled team and they lost game 7 of Stanley Cup final.

      He traded for Pronger, Peca, Spacek, Tarnstrom, Samsonov and Roloson. In a span of seven months.

      He gave up Eric Brewer, Doug Lynch, Jeff Woywitka, Mike York, Cory Cross, Jani Rita, Tony Salmelainen, Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and Marty Reasoner to get them.

      Lowe was never afraid to make moves. Some he made didn’t work. Some signings he’d like back, but saying Lowe never made good moves is 100% incorrect.

      And never judge value of a player based on a trade. Was Chris Pronger not as valuable as you thought because of the return he fetched in trades. I doubt it. There are many aspects of a deal, but suggesting one trade reflects the value of a player seems narrowminded.

      • TDSM31

        When Spiff is saying ‘We laughed when Kevin Lowe bragged about his six rings and “knowing a thing or two about winning” but never making a decent move.’ he’s referring to the general consensus that the majority of fans had regarding Lowe. I’ve been on this site for years and that was definitely the opinion that most had about Lowe. Right or wrong that was the consensus.

          • Jason Gregor

            Didn’t cherry pick anything. People can hate Lowe all they want, but the suggestion he never made good moves or was one who sat on his hands is simply incorrect. I simply pointed out the consensus was incorrect. Have a nice day.

          • TDSM31

            Uggghh, now I have to explain this…the overall point of Spiff’s post was not that everyone thinks Lowe never made a decent move as GM, rather that Chia should be recognized for making a bold move in the face of the harsh reality the Oilers are in. But you didn’t respond to his overall message, instead you took out a general comment he made (which was just one in a list of other more accurate statements regarding past GM’s) and responded only to that, knowing full well you could make an argument against it. Almost like correcting his grammar just to say you’re right. That is the very definition of cherry picking.

          • Jason Gregor

            His point was that Lowe did nothing and Chiarelli should be applauded for doing something. Lowe was never afraid to make moves, so suggesting he was and Chiarelli isn’t is complete BS. Which is why I commented on that. He wrote it exactly like that. You tried to say he didn’t’ mean it that way. Let him speak for himself, don’t presume you know what he was trying to say, but didn’t say it.

            Fact is he applauded Chia for being bold, but said Lowe never was. This is flat out wrong.

            As for a Bold move. I’m pretty sure my article said it was risky. Use any adjective you want, they are the same. Chiarelli admitted they traded away the more proven player. The better player.

          • TDSM31

            So its ok for you to call my suggestion BS but you remove comments I make about your posts??…by removing my cherry pick comment and then referring to the removal of it as ‘weak’. You’re a piece of work. Lets make that three comments you remove.

          • Spaceman Spiff

            Jason’s right. I did say that Lowe “did nothing,” but I was meaning post-2006. Lowe did make “bold” moves throughout the early-to-mid 2000s and I definite acknowledge that. Apologies to both of you.

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        I think you overstate the case “never judge value of a player based on a trade”, although there is some truth in it.

        Players on traded away based on a judgement of the team that the team will be better after the trade than if the trade isn’t done. If the Blues had not traded Pronger they would have been in violation of the cap and would not have ben able to play him (or somebody else), so getting some value was better than no value.

        So PC made the call that the Oil will be better team with Larsen but without Hall than the other way round, if this turns out to be the case then PC did a good job. Even if Hall score 50 next year, the only metric is if this trade made the Oil better or not.

        With the Oil shelling out big$ to Lucic tomorrow, don’t underestimate the cap room this trade brings. It will help keeping McD in the fold.

        • Jason Gregor

          If you pay Lucic same money as Hall how does that save cap room? Especially when Lucic is less productive. I don’t see how paying Lucic same as Hall opens up cap space for McDavid.

          Hall wasn’t overpaid. If you are saying saving $1.8 on Hall for Larsson helps, sure, but it is then all given back by overpaying Lucic for six years is it not?

          • Ed in Edmonton 1

            I don’t think it is a coincidence that the trade came down the day after they agreed to terms with Lucic. Whatever the $ are for Lucic they will be significant and the cap saving obtained with the deal was part of the attraction.

          • DannyGallivan

            2 reasons: 1) The bet is Larsson improves over his $4.16M:5 year contract so you save cap space vs. performance i.e. IF he improves (and Chia said he expect he will) then to get the same player 2 yrs from now would near $6M e.g. D.Hamilton or Petry and he is young at 24, Ekman-Larsson at $5.5M in 2013 and Doughty at $7M in 2011 are bargains today, 2) not filling the RD void would have been a disaster so he had to make a move.

            With McDavid at $8M+ in a few years RNH:Ebs at $6M ea, we NEVER had the cap space for a Weber or a Subban in the long term anyway.

    • Derzie

      Although well written, this is a very flawed analysis. You are concluding that since Chia made this trade, it was the best anyone could do and that Hall has been overvalued by the faithful. You are overlooking the fact that all this really says is that this was the ‘best that Chia could do’, not what Taylor Hall is actually worth. Your conclusion assumes that all GMs are created equal, more or less. We can all agree that Benning is out of his league. Would he get the same value out a trade as Ken Holland or Steve Yzerman? Does that make the player value correct if you base it on what Benning can get for player x? I understand the need to justify the move but it is a massive asset mismanagement. The good news is it was not for magic beans and Larsson fills a need. The bad news is the team is not better because of it until Hall’s point production is replaced.

      • Spaceman Spiff

        I haven’t overlooked anything. What I’m saying is that the “best Chia could do” and “what Taylor Hall is actually worth” are actually the same thing.

        The only lens we have to look at this is through the end result. Hall for Larsson. Everything else, including and especially, speculation on what other potential deals were doesn’t really matter because none of us conduct any business in the NHL trade market.

        I agree with you – not all GMs are created equal, but they do all work in the same marketplace. The trade market is a fluid thing – what you get now may not be the same as what you get three months from now, or in January, or next June. But if your need is now (and I believe it is in this case), then the price gets set and there you go.

        Your question on whether or not Ken Holland or Stevie Y or Benning (if any of them were in Chia’s shoes yesterday) would have produced a different trade is a good one. The short answer is: I don’t know.

        The longer answer is: trades don’t involve one GM … they usually involve two. The New Jersey GM has a team that finished 30th in league offence. He knew the Chia needed right-shooting defencemen and were beating every bush in the forest for them… but the bushes were turning him down. Jersey, meanwhile, could offer up a kid who isn’t a No. 1 but might be someday.

        Faced with a blueline with a shortage of right-shooters and a shortage of defencemen who know how to play defence, a gaggle of dynamic forwards under the age of 25, 10 straight years out of the playoffs, a 29th-place finish last year, a new building, an impatient fanbase and the most northerly market in a south-oriented league … yeah, I would think that three GMs you mentioned would bite the bullet and trade Hall for some help to address a burning need.

  • Mitch92

    I hope all the butt hurt Taylor Hall fans give Larsson a chance to show what he can do. A look into my crystal ball tells me that a year from now the Oilers will be happier with Larsson than the Devils fans will be with Hall.

  • Mitch92

    Once the Oilers sign Jason Demers everything will make sense. They had to clear out the number four for Demers much like the Leafs had to clear out James Riemer’s number 34 to give it to Smugly Mercun.

  • tkfisher

    I’ve been optimistic the past 10 years. For the past 10 years i’ve said we’re getting better, we will be good soon; just wait. We’re getting closer to being good and i’ve held out hope and been positive.

    Now we’ve traded an elite player for a good player and have gotten worse because of it. Suddenly, I can’t say we got better today. For me this is the darkest day of the rebuild (now officially on version 3.0 – Gagner wave, Hall wave, and now McDavid wave). After all of the horrible management decisions, poor trades, draft errors, botched development of prospects, mishandling of assets, mishandling of Dmen, signing the wrong players, going after the wrong free agents and narrowly missing, and releasing the wrong players. I’ve finally, finally lost hope and trust in management and my earliest memory of the Oilers was the Gretzky trade. For the last ten years, being bad WAS the plan and I understood. Now I feel like they’re trying to get better and are making things worse. I’m not sure what to say anymore. Hope is fading, and hope is all fans have had for the past decade. I don’t trust the men running the ship at the top or the bottom. And honestly, for the first time in my life I’m starting to feel indifference. That is more scary to me than managerial incompetence.

  • DannyGallivan

    Three facts. 1) McDavid will get north of $8M in 2 yrs. 2) on that basis, Edmonton needed a quality (vs. top pairing) RHD under a good/cheap contract ($4.2 4 yrs) i.e. Subban wouldn’t work with his $9M contract (even if we could trade Drai, Klef, 4th round pick and whatever else the Habs wanted) with McDavid (soon $8M+), Ebs/RNH ($6M ea) 3) Hall was expendable with Lucic as L is a stud/heavy to play against and great defensively – straight across at $6M?

    Hall vs. Lucic – CF% 57.1 vs 63.5 (7th best in league), +/- -4 vs +26, Pts/60 – 2.48 vs 2.32. The only issue is Age 25 vs. 28. Except for age, Lucic compares very well.

    Lucic is a done deal tomorrow. $6M for 6 – better not be more.

    At the end of the day, we had to improve our RHD. IMHO, we should have received more (e.g. 1st or 2nd round next year) but the trade had to be made. Now Larsson needs to step the F&^% up. The Oil are a better team today (w Lucic).

    • MorningOwl

      fans keep saying that McD is the best in the world,but expect to pay him around 8 million per year?

      you don’t think the Oilers will have to pay McD like he is the best player? maybe closer to the 12M range?

      what is the max salary available for a player? if he is the best, wouldn’t you expect to pay the max?

      • Spiel

        You’re right, but McDavid is an RFA so there will be a downward pressure on the contract. I think he will come in close to the $10M range. $9.7M per year kind of like Crosby’s $8.7M on his second contract? The Oilers will gladly pay it too. If they want to eat in to his UFA years, then it goes higher.

  • JimmyV1965

    What bugs me the most about this is its just a continuation of what we always do. We’ve just traded a proven elite offensive producer for a basket of hope and unrealistic expectations. To replace Hall’s offence, we’re pinning our hopes on Drai and an 18 year old rookie. Wonder where I’ve seen that before.

    We’re also hoping Larsson can be as effective playing away from Greene, who we know zooms the dmen he plays with. I’m looking at you Matk Fsyne. And to top it off we are going to grossly overpay for a free agent.

    Is this what winning teams do? It’s now apparent to me that PC is as incompetent as the people he replaced. PC has done two positive things. Trade for Talbot and then trade for Maroon. But now he’s going to replace Maroon with someone who makes 4 times as much.

    • I don’t think the team is pinning hopes on Drai and an ’18 year old rookie’. That vastly understates the rest of the forward group and just who that ’18 year old rookie’ is.

      Consider this:

      Right now, even without Lucic, top 2 lines look something like:

      Maroon, McDavid, Eberle

      Pouliot, Nuge, Draisaitl / Puljujarvi

      With McDavid Maroon scored at nearly a ppg. McDavid himself scored at more than ppg in his rookie year, playing with the likes of Yak, Pouliot, and Maroon.

      Pouliot and Nuge have good chemistry and are able to handle top line competition. Add in Draisaitl who was absolutely lethal on his off wing playing with Nuge, and you have, without question, the best top six the Oilers have iced since the glory days.

      Yes Hall was a driver of the Draisaitl and Purcell line, but Nuge is very capable. He’s a great chip and place player, Pouliot is very good at forechecking and retrieving pucks. And Draisaitl on that wing was so good at gaining zone entry, turning back to protect the puck and making a sublime pass to the trailer in the slot. That line can work, especially as a second line.

      Now add in a guy like Lucic in place of Maroon, and the Oilers top line isn’t just McDavid carrying the mail.

  • Rock11

    To me this deal is pretty simple, short bus simple but still simple. The Oilers will be a better team next year because of it and probably make a playoff push but will likely top out at the St. Louis level as opposed to the Chicago level.

    The pressure put on by the fan base and potentially the upper management group to open the new building with a “competitive” team over-ran good judgement. I think I, like most fans, was willing to put up with the BS seasons if it lead to a 5 year+ run of a being a true cup contender. Now with what appears to be an absurd Lucic contract on the way the only path to that kind of success appears to be that McD and Pulj really are Gretzky and Kurri.

  • MorningOwl

    essentially dropped a redundant forward – a position best described as an “embarrassment of riches”,in edmonton, for a Dman that at worst can play the top offenses and hold his own?

    wake up and get over it. Sure, i know fans expected Suban or OEL for Hall, but as you can see, that was never even going to be close to happening. Yes, a GM like Treliving would have gotten a lot more, but you have Chia – who has a history of these deals.

    given how hard it is to get bonofied stars to come to edmonton unless they are forced through the draft, this trade looks pretty good for Edmonton. Edmonton will continue to grossly overpay on trades until they are 1) able to deal from a position of strength, and 2) become attractive to prospects and free agents.

    this is actually a great move, even if the pay is inflated. my god oiler fans, you need to D-men that can play in the top pairing – and you got one!

    Now, Oilers need to trade Yak to Calgary for Wideman – a guy that is slightly overpaid, but who can quarterback the powerplay and put up the points from the blueline.

  • Spiel

    The Oilers sold the hope that Taylor Hall would lead them to a championship, remember #HereComeTheOilers? It was hope that somehow a team that was completely misconstructed could finish any higher than the bottom 5 of the league.

    Reality is that a trade for a defenceman should have happened long ago. Drafting a defenceman instead of Yakupov or Nugent Hopkins should have happened long ago.

    Reality is also that the Oilers are in a position where no GM in the league is going to do them any favours. Management groups around the NHL are jealous/unimpressed with the Oilers lottery luck in getting McDavid and their other first overall picks. No opposing GM wants to be the guy that makes the trade that turns the Oilers in to a cup contender. If the Oilers wanted a d-man to plug the gaping hole in their organization then they would have to pay, and pay dearly.

    Reality is Chiarelli traded out the best player in this trade, but the Oilers are a better TEAM because of this trade. He filled a massive hole in the organization. Six years of a concerted rebuilding process and the Oilers have no right shot D for their top two pairings. That such an organizational hole still exists is an indictment of their entire management and scouting staff. Chiarelli carries some of the blame as his Reinhart trade last season dropped assets for left shot d-man and did not address the bigger issue.

    Reality is the Oilers are still selling hope to their fans. The names attached to the hope are just changing.

    • Derzie

      I agree with the majority of your post but please explain how they are a better team now? Where is Hall’s production going to come from now? Sure the D is better but at what cost? There are 3 veteran D men about to be bought out. Adding any one of them and keeping Taylor Hall would make the team better. Trading away Hall and adding a decent D man makes the D better but the team worse. And the talk of Hall being a cancer is just goofy. He wasted 6 years of his career on the same hope that the fans have been fed. He could have walked away at any time. He did not.

      • Ed in Edmonton 1

        Don’t make it sound like Hall, or any other professional (or really anyone getting paid to provide a service) is doing someone a favor for doing their job. Hall was getting well paid for his services like everyone else in the NHL.

      • the big GRIGowski

        Please explain to me how he could have “walked away”? And aging guys being bought out is for a reason: they suck. Adding them isn’t making us better. We addressed a glaring need that will make our team better. As for the offense, we have McDavid. I’ll take playoffs with Larsson over no playoffs with Hall any day of the week.

  • I think it’s time as a collective sports community we start to use another word than cancer to describe a player we – for whatever reason – believe to be have a negative impact on the dressing room. I know this sounds a bit PC, but I have a feeling people affected by the disease likely don’t enjoy hearing the comparison of a life destroying sickness being compared to a million dollar athlete.

    As for Hall being a negative influence, don’t buy it. Any guy that gets his face stepped on, and tries to come back that night is a person who doesn’t have a ‘bad attitude.’

    As for this notion we are saving on cap, well I agree with Gregor that one for one its not much of a savings. But if you compare Larsson to PK Subban, or say Shattenkirk who would get paid big time next year, or even a guy like Trouba, then I think the cap savings start to make sense.

    If Klefbom and Larsson are now your top pair, well then you have them both for less than one PK Subban.

    I really liked Lowetide’s comparison of Larsson to a player like Vlassic. That to me is the type of player the Oilers just acquired. And that is massive. Still think it was an overpay, and Oilers lost the deal. But if in the end the team is better, and they are winning, I might not care.

  • btrain

    I can understand that Hall was traded and that Larsson was acquired. When looking at the roster, of the 6 million dollar men, Hall was the only one occupying a position (LW) of relative strength. What upsets me and disappoints me is that Larsson was the only thing that came back to the Oilers in this trade. You cannot tell me a 1st round draft pick at minimum should have also been coming back to the Oil! Like the Devils are going to find a better deal elsewhere for an elite scoring winger! This deal needed to be sweetened to make up for the bitterness of losing such an elite player and that didn’t happen. Which is a shame because even with Hall, the Devils are a mediocre team which will likely be picking high in the draft next year.

    • Spiel

      For everyone panning the Devils as not as good as the Oilers, you do know that they finished 14 points higher than the Oilers last year, right?

      They also have about $20 million in cap space, one the best goalies in the league, and they had two 25 yr olds coming off of 30 goal seasons (Palmieri and Henrique). No one on the Oilers scored 30 goals last year.

      • btrain

        I suggested the Devils were mediocre (i.e. average, middle of the pack, etc). I did not even come close to suggesting a comparison between the Oilers and Devils. When I think of the Oilers I would suggest such descriptions as “bottom feeders” or “basement Dwellers”. To be able to call the Oilers Mediocre would be an improvement!

        The Devils do have some good pieces, there is no denying that. That said, I would way rather have the roster that the Oilers have then I would want the Devils roster. The Devils are one of many Eastern Conference teams in that mediocre range, in which they could make the playoffs any given year, but are unlikely to pose any real threat at a deep run. Having McD alone gives the Oilers a better likelihood of success.

      • Moneyball1976

        I agree the Devils are better managed than the Oilers. They are building a team and made a great acquisition in picking up Hall for next to nothing.

        One would have though they could have passed on korpikoski to the devils to at least save Katz the buyout money.

  • TS

    If nothing else, it does suggest we fans value players like RNH and Ebs way more than NHL GMs do. If you believe PC simply didn’t try to move lesser parts for a dman, you’re fooling yourself. Saying “that’s the price for a defenseman today” is his way of not having to say “our other players aren’t worth much in the market” and thus trash his own guys. Though I suspect the players piece that together pretty quickly on their own.

  • TyeDye

    The notion that Chia just traded our second best player for a 2nd pairing Dman and says he’s still in the hunt for that 1st pairing PP guy is terrifying. How does he intend to get it? McDavid!? If all Hall gets you is a 2nd pairing guy (though I find it hard to believe there weren’t other deals out there) how the hell do you get that 1st pairing guy?? He wouldn’t trade McDavid, right? Right!?? RIGHT!?!!??!

  • Hemmercules


    Jason, why do think Chia never got another piece back or at least a salary dump?? Seems like a lot of the discontent with this trade is that they didn’t get any extra stuff thrown in. Especially when Chia himself is saying NJ got the better player, why wouldn’t he at least push for a pick or something??

    Chia sounds like he really loves Larsson, sees something there maybe the rest of us dont. Haven’t watched him much so I’m going off stats and praise but I think he will be a great asset to the team as well. For sure some hope in this but I think I’m ready for this type of gamble, the current core wasnt advancing.

    • Jersey needs 2 things right now, offence, and picks to help rebuild its team. Trading Larsson was acceptable for the return on offence given they have Severson to step up. Trading picks or prospects sets back their goal of rebuilding quickly and getting back into contention.

    • Jason Gregor

      He has his reasons. Larsson could be very solid and Chiarelli knows he has to improve the blueline.

      I agree, why not try to toss in Korp, for instance, but I think he decided he would make a deal and if he losses it, but improves team elsewhere he would.

      I’m curious to see if they land Lucic. If they do and it is at hefty price, I wonder if all those claiming Lucic/Larsson is better than Hall will still feel same if they see the money and term.

  • @Gregor, I’m not sure I agree with your narrative that part of the reason Hall was sent out of town was due to an internal character assassination by the old regime, who you feel should be permanently swept away. I have to believe Chi is not basing his decisions on the whispers of Mac T and Scott Howsen.

    The way I see it, Chi decided the team needed help on D more than the team needed Taylor Hall, and then got the best possible return for Hall based on what was available. I think to believe any other narrative is a bit silly.

    Now yours’ and others’ mileages may vary on whether Larsson was the BPA, but I think it’s difficult to say the team needed Taylor Hall more than they needed defence, especially if Lucic is going to be signed.

    And yes, I know all the ‘Lucic isn’t a driver and won’t play on that line’, or ‘scoring is hardest thing to do, Oilers need scoring’. But other than maybe Phil Kessel recently, name me one other winger who was the reason his team won the cup. Even Ovechkin can’t win his team the cup.

    As horribly cliche as it is, cups are won by building down the middle. For every Kessel, there’s a ‘teams had to key in on Crosby.’ For every Hossa there’s a Toews, Seabrook, and Keith.

    So, my question – sorry it took so long – do you think the Oilers needed defence more than Taylor Hall? I suspect your answer might be something along the lines of yes, but Larsson doesn’t fill that need enough.

    • Jason Gregor

      Yes, they need D. Larsson might become what they need. I’d have rather got a more established guy. Hard to do, yes, but if I was trading for Larsson, who could be very solid, I would have tried to deal other pieces before Hall. I assume Chia tried and couldn’t or maybe he didn’t. We likely will never know.

      So Toews was more important than Kane, Hossa and Sharp? Don’t see it that way.

      You need many good pieces. There is not set rule on C and D. Pittsburgh didn’t have great D depth. They had one. Kessel drove a line like very few can. Whether you play wing or C if you can drive a line you have a lot of value.

      • I agree with your points and solid rebuttal. But you can’t say Kessel would have gotten the space had it not been for teams keying in on Crosby. In the finals Kessel got the Burns pairing, Crosby got the Vlasic pairing. How many points did Crosby get against the Sharks?

        As for the note about Kane, Hossa and Sharp. You are right that they played huge roles in contributing to those cup wins. But that also sets up the comparison that Hall is as good as Hossa, Kane and Sharp.

        While stats show he drives play, and generates points like few LW in the NHL can… Kane and Hossa play RW. Kane and Hossa are superior wingers than Hall. If you disagree then you are saying you’d rather have Hall over Kane and Hossa (few years ago Hossa). Maybe you take Hall over Sharp, especially now, but Sharp in his prime? … Tough call.

        As per usual your hockey knowledge gives you a bit of an edge here. I think my point is apt that the wingers you can point to that win teams cups are the exception to the rule.

        Other than the Mac T character assassination narrative, I think so far you’ve been one of the more measured pundits about this whole thing. Keep up the good work.

  • Zarny

    Chiarelli just got shawshanked worse than Andy Dufresne in the laundry room. He choked just like last year with Reinhart. That isn’t “bold” it’s dumb.

    The Oilers are worse today, not better. They had two lines that could drive possession and play; now they have 1. There is no way to shield McDavid now; he’s the only player on the Oilers you have to worry about. Draisaitl was terrible away from Hall last year; get ready for a big dose of regression from 29. 3 scoring lines? Try 1.

    And all for a 2nd pair, middling defenseman with no offensive upside whose been a healthy scratch several times over the last couple of seasons.

    If telling yourself Hall was a cancer or that Larsson might develop into Hedman helps you sleep at night go nuts. Hall wasn’t a cancer and Larsson isn’t even in the same zip code as Hedman. Never will be.

    The Oilers have been the worst run organization in pro sports for the last decade and it was on full display yesterday. If you are still an Oilers fan next year I feel for you. It won’t be fun.

    • Huh, and you’re usually so empiric.

      Couple of questions:

      Do you really think a second line of Pouliot, Nuge, Draisaitl won’t drive play? Sure, maybe not as much as if Hall was on the line, but to say they can’t make another single scoring line out of Pouliot, Nuge, Draisaitl, Yak, Puljujarvi seems a bit pessimistic.

      You say Draisaitl was terrible away from Hall last year. When did that happen? Ever? If so those are minuscule sample sizes. Both Hall and Draisaitl were streaky last year. Saying otherwise is just untrue. Maybe if Draisaitl doesn’t have to match up against the toughest competition on a nightly basis, he can do a little better.

      Can you really say Larsson is second pair given his stats last year? 22+ min a night. Toughest zone starts AND toughest competition amongst d men in the ENTIRE NHL, still a plus player. Comon. Acting like this is another Mark Fayne is also pessimistic.

      I agree Hall is not a negative influence on the room, I agree even though Larsson is a good D man and could be a really good D man, full value was not returned. But to think this somehow means the team is not headed in a positive direction is a bit sky is falling. You’re better than that.

      • Zarny

        I still am empiric. What I’m not doing is trying to spin a brain fart as a good move. It wasn’t. The Oilers are further away from the Stanley Cup not closer.

        No, Pouliot, Nuge and Draisaitl won’t drive play. That doesn’t mean they’ll be a bad line. The options aren’t digital. All 3 are complimentary players; none of them are elite.

        Yes, Draisaitl was terrible away from Hall last year. With Hall, Draisaitl scored 2.3 pts/60; without Draisaitl scored 1.1 pt/60. Stare at that and let it sink in. Draisaitl was more than twice as good with Hall as without. He did play a lot more with Hall but he played enough away to show he was riding Hall’s coat tails. Halls scores no matter who he plays with. Draisaitl does not. And Hall does it against the best every night. That you suggest maybe Draisaitl can do better if he plays against weaker competition only emphasizes the chasm between the two players.

        And yes, Larsson is a 2nd pair D right now. He did have tough zone starts and competition. He also didn’t do all that well. That doesn’t mean he did poorly but his play certainly doesn’t put him in the same zip code as true top pairing D. Remember, Jultz played a lot minutes in Edm too. Didn’t make him a top pairing D.

        The crux of the matter is that Hall is elite. He’s irreplaceable save 2 or 3 LW in the league. Larsson is easily replaceable. He’s maybe the 20-30th RD in the league. It’s not that he’s not enough value for Hall; it’s that he’s terrible value for Hall. The hockey world is laughing at the Oilers and rightfully so.

    • Ed in Edmonton 1

      I think you need to take a breath and try to look objectively at what Larsen is.

      Larsen played all 82 games for the D’s last year no healthy scratching there. All reports are that Larsen showed massive improvement last. Bringing up what Larsen did 2 years ago much like saying the Ds got took cause Hall is so inconsistent, just look how he flubbed the 14/15 season.

      He lead all their D in ice time, this in 2nd pair?

  • Oil_in_the_Desert

    Taylor Hall was in Edmonton for 6 years under 5 different NHL coaches, 3 GMs and countless teammates. Not one of them thought he should be a captain, little lone pin the hopes of a “rebuild” on him.

    Also, he’s not ever been seriously considered for a Team Canada spot.

    And, I’m sure the Oilers can finish in the bottom 5 without Taylor Hall.

  • slats-west

    Somethings about Hall have always disturbed me

    1.Taylor Hall at WC
    “In truth, though, Hall had a miserable time of it when he was out there, making soft plays on the puck that by my count resulted in four turnovers, an embarrassing fail on a toe drag, and zero shots on goal.” Edmonton Journal

    2. A Gamer?
    He has 9 GW in the last 3 years.

    3. Teammates got your back
    Over the past 5 years I think there had to be about 5-6 times per season where Hall gets run into the glass and no one . . I mean No One comes to his defence.

    4. Captain?

    Hall is a great left winger. I think if he wants he could be more but his body of work of being the Ultimate Team mate and Leader has a lot of question marks.

    Time for a change.