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.
A massive rainstorm appears to have caused flooding in Edmonton's Rogers Place

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  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    i have an opposite opinion here. maybe Chia just COULD NOT get a better d-man and Jersey didn’t want anyone else? after watching year after year after year of losing, i am quite alright with the Oilers trading anyone not named Mcdavid but i too am a little surprised we didn’t get just a bit more.

  • Here’s the thing, Larsson was NJD #1 defenceman on a team who’s D was much better than ours. Larsson IS a top pairing guy right now, a solid #2. Is stats are rough because he played on a garbage team against the toughest competition. Wait for the eye test, New Jersey fans will testify this guy is LEGIT. That being said, this was a terrible value deal for us. But I’m sick of oilers fans overreacting and dumping on this player they’ve likely never seen play. Stop being so negative, we got a top pairing defencemen! The price sucked, but let’s rejoice in the fact we have a #2 guy who has even more potential; Larsson was the best defencemen in New Jersey! He isn’t a middle pairing. Losing Hall sucked, but we have to grow up and stop dumping on Larsson. Klefbom and Larsson will be an elite shutdown pairing for years.

  • Lamar's Javelin

    What you are missing and many are is the controlling the flow of the game. Did Hall ever cycle? Was there ever puck possession in the zone that led to much once the initial rush ended? Not really. How many games did you see Taylor fly up and create something, only to watch other teams endure the initial rush and then simply dominate and get the puck back? Let’s not lose sight of that. That had to change and for my $ I take Lucic + Larsson > Hall every day of the week.

  • RYLO

    I feel for Hall. That’s like going to see a really slow movie with a great ending and someone pulls the fire alarm right before it gets good. No refund. Start again at another theatre

  • GK1980

    I’ve had some time to digest this trade but here is my conclusion. Taylor is gone and now we all need to support Larson and encourage him while he developes. Wish Taylor all the best but what is done is done.

    I personally would not have done this trade. Hope chia is right.

    • My thoughts exactly. And Chiarelli is a smart hockey guy, he has a plan. All I say is let’s judge this from a macro perspective at the end of the offseason. We lost big time on this trade, but Chiarelli could very well make us a contender. Time will tell.

  • Realist1

    Maybe New Jersey won the paper trade. The less flashy player with a shorter resume came to Edmonton.

    But at the end of the day Larsson logged some of the highest def zone strarts in the league on the best def team in the league. The Devils were -20, Larsson was a team high +15. He was in the top 5 for SH minutes in the league. Oh, and he is a right shot, right D.

    Even if New Jersey “won he trade” please stop making Larsson sound like. 4/5 guy when he was a clear 1/2 on the best def in the league…

  • fran huckzky

    We criticized Tambellini because he was afraid to do anything so he sat on his hands. The culture on this team needed to change and thankfully Chia has the balls to make a move that he no doubt new would be unpopular. I have been a Hallsy fan for 5 years but how many playoff games has that got us? Thank you Peter.

    Edit. Gregor’s blog was titled based on hope. I would like to say that now I finally have some hope whereas tthere was little reason previous other than McD

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    How has Hall done with the Oilers since early February when McDavid came back full time? Did he live up to his “best of the League’s left wingers” when he had McDavid playing in the line up? or did he slide out of “best left winger” contention?

    How did Hall do after the trade deadline when the team did an internal reset and said internally that while we’re not making the play-offs we expect to earn a certain number of points and wins from here on in?

    The answer to both those questions is that Hall did badly. Really badly. He did better in previous years, is the only gentle way of putting it. But face it, he did badly in the last 50 games. He did badly when he needed to do well, when McDavid was challenging for the league lead in ppg and Hall had every opportunity to take advantage of the time and space that he gained to up his game.

    He didn’t up his game, in fact he barely showed up on the score sheet.

    Some fans may be viewing this as the red wedding, but it’s really the battle of the bastards, and of the 6M players Hall was the poor bastard that got traded.

    • hags437

      Agree completely. Listen…did Jersey get the best player? Yes absolutely. However, we can look back in a few years and today won’t seem to be that bad. One thing about Halls game that made me irate was his compete lack of toughness. The kid would skate the other way when a scrum happened. Never put a glove in someone’s face, never stuck up for a teammate like a leader should. Anyone who thinks different has their head up their %#*. Larsson keeps the puck out of his net. That’s a fact folks and we need it sorely. Homer fans overvalue their players..in every city. I heard yesterday a Hall for Piterangelo suggestion..ridiculous and laughable. Elite D men rarely get traded and if they do another elite D man goes the other way..as we saw today. Taylor Hall wasn’t gonna get you an elite true bona fide #1 D man. Never. I want to make the playoffs..I’m sick of losing and I don’t give a damn who’s on the roster if we are in the playoffs. While I don’t think Hall was a cancer in the room, I also believe that he and Ebs and maybe a couple others, caused some issues. How many of you were whining and crying over the way Yak was treated by them. At least that was the perception. Perhaps there was something to that..who knows. And for God sake let’s give Larsson a chance. Victor Hedman took time to develop as did several other D men over the years. He didn’t ask to be in this position. Everyone step off the ledge and see how it plays out. One thing I know for sure..the Oilers have a better chance to make the playoffs today than they did yesterday.

  • TDSM31

    Bottom line is we were a cellar dwelling team with Hall in the lineup for six years. Time get the semblance of an actual balanced hockey team on the ice and this is definitely as positive step in that direction. Whether it was Hall, Eberle, Nuge…doesn’t matter. We had enough assets up front to sacrifice any one of them. A clear leader will now come to the forefront in McDavid and this team can move forward. I’m over this trade already.

  • Hockey123

    Chia is trying to build a team . Taylor Hall is worth a lot more than Larsson in Oilers fans eyes. The market thought differently.

    I applaud the GM he is trying to build a team , having all-star forwards has not worked well.

    This is the first step in a longtime that addresses the problems with the Oilers

  • camdog

    The trade was bad, but there is no need to make Larsson sound worse than he actually is. WoodGuy has Larsson as the 5th best right shot d-man in the league. Larsson is every bit if not better than Hjarlmarsson and he’s still a kid that’s developing and improving.

    He’s a legitimate #2 d-man right now and he still has the potential to improve.

    • pkam

      5th best RHD? As far as I know, Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo, Kris Letang, PK Subban are all RHD. Is Larsson already better than at least 2 of them?

      And I haven’t mentioned some of the really good but not elite RHD like Seabrook, Shattenkirk, Klingberg, Barrie, Faulk etc. Is he already better than all these players?

    • Pritchard

      Yeah and woodguy knows his s**t ! Larsson is going to surprise alot of oilet fans how effective he is in all aspects of the game. But give him some latitude the first month to adjust.

    • McRaj

      Woodguy has lost it. Doughty, Ekblad, PK, Karlson, Burns, Pietro, Webber, Klingberg, Barrie, Johnson, Hamilton, Buff, Shatty, Letang, Faulk, Carlson, Risto, Hamonic are all easily better right shots.

      I wont punish Larson because it’s not his fault. I just really hope he becomes a legit #1.

      But we got ripped off and for all those bashing Hall now, you’re just cowards. Yeah waste a player on the way out, so classy. I wish Hall nothing but the best and he deserves better then this crappy organization who never provided him with adequate support.

      Give me Hall any day over Nuge, Drai, or Eberle. I have lost all faith in Oilers management once again.

      • camdog

        I am a little mystified that WoodGuy had him so high, but I’ve liked his work for a long time. He’s better defensively apparently according to the advanced stats. Once again just like Woodguy I am not saying it’s a good deal, but the advanced stat guys are saying the numbers for Larsson are good.

    • Moneyball1976

      Lets get back to reality for a moment. This is a high risk gamble on the future prospects of a Dman who has struggled in the past for a top 5 winger in the league. No matter how you cut it this deal is a big gamble that you did not have to take. Sports deals are all about risk management and there were less risky deals out there.

      I think Chia really wanted this player and went all in for him. See that Garth Snow transaction where he signed a goalie for a 20 year deal. I’m afraid Chia has looked at this player through rose colored glasses the same way Snow did.

      I’m also afraid that now he signs lucic to a ridiculously long contract.

      However, I’m hoping that common sense takes over.

      • I am Batman

        We do not know what other deals were out there.

        I do not like this trade, but I do not get paid to build a championship team, Chiarelli does, we may not like it but if the Oilers go to the play-offs, we will all be at peace, not because only this deal made us make it, but because we all know that walking in with almost the same line up as last year (especially on D) is guaranteed failure, bearing an unbelievable season from Klefbom or Nurse (both of them we have not really seen, we paint them as mythological heroes, they both have played very little).

        If Chiarelli and his scouts did an analysis on the development of this player and he projects to keep improving, who knows. OEL, Karlsson, Weber, Doughty…. they all started somewhere. Which one was Norris at 23?

        I am not happy with this trade, but I need to wait and see, We do not know what happened behind closed doors and we cannot predict the future.

        Maybe the kid is a stud. Taylor Hall was a stud, but how many Taylor Halls do we need? There is not enough puck for all of them. I wish it had been Eberle, but Eberle sucks, nobody wants him.

  • albertabeef

    Hall reminds me of Lindros. Not in the way they played the game, but how they thought the game. From 12 years old until they were 18, when the going got tough, they either tried to blow by, or blow up the opposition. They both were/are either too stubborn, or too stupid to adjust to better opposition. Larsen will give us 10 years of good defense.

  • Rusty Patenaude

    Yes it is a trade based on hope…what trade isn’t? Straight up, nobody trades an elite defenceman ESPECIALLY a rh defenceman for an elite winger. And here is a little clue for you all, Hall is not among the top tier of left wingers in the NHL, he is just below that level. Don’t have an aneurysm because I stated the obvious. He has made zero all-star teams, he was passed over for team Canada. Why? Because he is the best? Please spare me! Hall has never broken 30 goals. 5 players drafted after Hall in 2010 have…FIVE. He is good, I liked him a lot…but he is not the God Oiler fans are making out to be. The only way we were going to trade for an elite rh defenceman was to correctly project that a young, not quite there yet guy will become that guy. No, we didn’t win the trade in the short run. No there is no guarantee that Larsson will be an elite #1…he probably won’t. But I think there is good reason to HOPE that he significantly improves the team.

    I just beg you all not to pull the same crap you unleashed on Justin Schultz…heaping unrealistic expectations on him and taunting Larsson until he loses all his confidence. Give the guy some time to develop, don’t expect miracles and we will probably see a pretty good player develop…one who will help to make McDavid shine a little brighter.

    • Moneyball1976

      What crap like the diatribe your blew out trashing Hall? Time to face facts this is a desperate move that did not have to happen. There is just a much chance larsson is riding the Nikitin train to the KHL as there is that he becomes an elite defenceman.

      Better management would have made a deal that did not have so much risk. Larsson is a hail mary pass at best.

      Does Chiarelli remind anyone else of Danny Machocia?

    • Ronr68

      Thank you for saying this. To be fair though, Oiler fans weren’t the only ones with unreal expectations regarding Schultz. Hall is a good player, but did he make anyone better for playing with him? Larsson gives us a defenseman who can actually play defense. He can also make a first pass or skate the puck out. If Lucic is in the bag this was a good deal. NJ got the better player but the trade made the Oilers a better team.

      • Seanaconda

        I don’t think he meant the all star game team but the actual all star team that is voted on at the end of the year. I think the only time hall would of made it is that year they managed to vote ovechkin in twice.

  • Strottie

    I’m still very miffed about this trade. An egregious over-payment for a “maybe”. I have a couple takeaways from it though, and they’re sort-of helping me cope with what happened.

    1. Had the Devils tossed in say, Zacha and the 2017 1st, to sweeten the deal, I’d still be somewhat upset but not as much. Neither Zacha nor the 1st help us win next year unless we flip them, so Larsson’s still really the only piece that helps next year.

    2. The defence is better today than it was yesterday (I keep hearing this, and I know it’s true, but it doesn’t make me feel better). Adding another piece to help man the PP does significantly help our blueline. We lost a lot of close, 1-goal games last year and a few that just got out of hand once we were out of it. Does having a 25+ minute muncher and a more confident Cam Talbot help with that? Probably, and it’ll mean something in the standings.

    3. We free up a tiny bit of cap space in this trade, maybe it lets us take a run at both Okposo and Lucic? No idea what Chiarelli’s up to, but something like that would easily fill the gap that losing Hall’s production leaves while giving Puljujarvi a chance to develop in the AHL.

    4. A healthy Connor, Nuge (if he isn’t traded in the next couple of days), Eberle, and our FA signings can, and probably will, produce points. We just won’t have Henderson’s “Unicorns” top 9 like we did 6 hours ago.

    Again, no way I’m impressed with this trade. As of right now – and probably until he pulls a rabbit out of his hat – I’m convinced that Chiarelli’s a moron. Unfortunately, unless I want to completely abandon the Oilers, I have to come to terms with what just happened. There’s no “Control + Z” for bad trades in the NHL. Best we move on.

    • Sean17

      I think point 1 is the main thing that bugs me. We couldn’t have got a couple draft picks, an ahl depth player, an appearance by David Puddy?! Something more!!!

  • hockey1099

    listening to Gregor today was completely different than most. I think the oilers fan in him poked it’s head out today. There was passion, anger and you could tell he was a bit dumbfounded. Everything he said about Lowe, Mac t and howson was right.

    Bad trade hope it works out for us cause im tired of losing but I have been hoping the oilers would get good for a long time now.

    If this is what hall gets us imagine we can get for yak. Broken sticks and used jock straps should be he best we get

    • camdog

      What did he say about Mact, Lowe and Howson? When I was calling out Lowe, Mact and Howson many years ago for there incompetence, Gregor was calling fans like me out repeatedly…

  • Ol_OneNut

    Not saying if this is still relevant but…

    during the buildup to the 2011 draft, Larsson was considered to be one of the players that might go first overall.

    Edmonton chose Nuge first but at the time the talk was that Larsson could be the next Lidstrom.

    Now I’m not saying that he has progressed like he’s the next Lidstrom, but Dmen do take longer to develop sometimes…

    And he has been trending upwards, hasn’t he?

  • Oilers Rule

    Oilers new management is as dumb as our old management.

    I had much more hope that things would finally get better but it looks like the joke is on us the long suffering Oilers fans.

    If Larson was all we could get for Hall, should have tried to pick off Gardiner from the Leafs. Would have been a hell of allot cheaper and we would have gotten a far superior defensemen than Larson with lower risk. This trade just baffles me and any faith I had in the new management is long gone.

    For me, time to find another team to cheer for as I’ve had enough and can’t take it anymore.

  • Chia wanted Larsson. Whatever he saw in Larsson he liked very much and I think it just ramped up to the point where he needed to lose Hall. It’s a tough blow and I’m not on board with the trade as of right now. But as everyone else has said, if the oil make the playoffs next year this will all be forgotten.

  • McDavid Hasselhoff

    Like any business, if the right deal isn’t there, you wait. You wait! YOU FREAKING WAIT!! You don’t overpay. You don’t act out of desperation. I thought they would have taught that in Harvard. Oh wait, maybe he skipped that class. It would explain the Seguin and Reinhart trades. #Shero and the Golden Fleece.

    • Ready to Win

      1. There are many times it can be worth it for a business to over pay; context is everything.

      2. The Oilers have been waiting a really, really long time for good defenseman.

      3. Remember when MacT, who had years of experience in hockey management, first got the job of GM and told everyone about the bold moves he was going to make before spending two years mostly sucking at it. Being a GM is clearly not as easy as it looks from afar, and despite a few high profile bad trades, Chiarelli has found more success at GMing than most other GMs.

  • Pritchard

    Whoa ! Larsson is a waaaaaay better defender than Hamilton. Nothing wrong with Larssons zone exit passes…and again he’s a much much better all around player than Gudbranson. Anyone who thinks different hasn’t seen/watched the player enough to make an informed statement. Most if us are sad to see Hall go..myself included. But defence is our biggest team need. And Adam Larsson is a very good defenceman. And he’s not even in his prime. Big time upside. Some of u need to check your remarks. ..bag of pucks etc…ridiculous. we just filled a huge hole on this team. And kept are strength down the middle too .

    • Serious Gord

      Good point.

      Does anyone have Reinhart pencilled in in the top two d pairings next year? Top three? He should at least be at a solid 3rd d pairing at this point for the piece that was paid.

      Still makes me shudder that chia has Mact and howson at his side.

  • 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?

          • 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.

          • 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.

    • 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.