Hall trade: It is based on Hope

AdamLarsson

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.

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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.

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.

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  • 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.

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  • Big Buck

    Great trade! Just what we needed. No way Taylor is a top 3 LW in the league. If so wouldn’t he be on Canada’s World Cup team which alone has 4 LWs? Good player but highly overrated. I applaud Chiarelli for having the stones to do what needed doing. Unlike the guys before him. I’m a lifelong Oiler fan and I can say its good to see somebody in the driver’s seat that can do what needs doing. Hall was not going to take this team anywhere – just gets his points and be happy with that. We need to compete and this gets us one step closer. Hopefully more fireworks in the next 48 hours. Oiler Fans will all be on board with the change by November 1st when they see the different attitude. Its a great day in Oiler Land!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Larrson = Klefbom

    I don’t care the Oilers traded Hall, I care about the return, it sets a precident here, trade us your best and will give you 50 cents on your dollar.
    It’s like UFA’s I’ll sign with the Oilers at an inflated rate.

    So now the Oilers are constantly trading and hunting UFA’s from a point of weakness.

    Good Gord already ! Uncle! Uncle!

  • Free Bird

    I was expecting a deal like Hall for Hamonic straight-up, so Hall for Larsson is not a surprise but I’m also a little disappointed that Chia couldn’t get an extra asset coming back.

    I’m still good with the deal if it means that a solid winger is signed from free agency (Lucic or Okposo?). This would explain the workings of the trade, as it probably meant that Chia was desperate to clear up cap space before July 1 and had to accept a lower return on one of the $6M smurfs.

  • Masma

    Jason

    I’m sure every GM makes a trade based on hope. hoping that it helps their team

    you don’t want to say bold fine say risk , but better risk a piece that you can afford than to risk nothing, keep Hall and HOPE your not in 30th again or 29th same dif.

    yes he over paid , but that’s what it took today. Chia gave up the better player to make the team better. sounds like the man made a calculated move .

    I liked the risky move he made today plus 15 player against the top lines in the league , Vs minus 27 playing on the second line .

    • 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.

  • 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

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Question Gregor…..

    Let me know if I’ve got this right or wrong.

    The expansion rules state you have to let X amount of players free…

    At or during the expansion draft does every team after L.V drafts get a crack at the “unprotected” players?

    If so, why wouldn’t you wait till the expansion draft, because you will find 20 Larsson in that expansion draft come 2017.

    I would have been fine if the press conference was TraderPete telling the fans I didn’t make a trade because the value coming back wasn’t a premium player but the ask was a premium player, I wasn’t getting fair value, I’ll wait for the expansion draft.

    • Seanaconda

      No the unprotected players are only availible to Vegas and they only get one from each team. Idk why you think the nhl would just scramble up the teams after that.

  • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • Bubba Train

    Oilers management record of incompetence continues.

    Rienhart was awful trade. This was ghastly.

    Potentially a Stanley Cup limiting move.

    You got burned again Taylor by a management team that again failed to support you. As I did and the fan base.

    My wife wanted a new house. I could have traded our first born and told her that’s the price you got to pay. Or I could tell her the price was too high and let’s keep looking. There were other options.

  • Bubba Train

    By the way Gregor, I find nothing wrong with telling it like it is and holding Oilers management accountable. Years of fan base suffering deserves accountability.

  • Oil drop

    So I tuned into the cbc news 42 minutes in. Three mentions of pk suban trade multiple references on the ticker. Not one note of hall trade.

    I feel like hall deal is bigger news but apperently wrong

  • Total Points

    The Hall trade indicates that he was the cancer in the room that former players like Hemski and current like Ference talked about.

    As well as Dreger stated that Hall is not coach-abel and wanted to do things his way.

    We will see what the situation is come fall.

    • Gravis82

      Doing things his own way made him an elite player. I’m fine with that. Coaches can x and o the 3rd liners all day for all I care. But let the superstars play and do what they do best. I don’t pay to watch you stand behind the bench in a suit.

  • madjam

    Well this is just another of Chia’s boneheaded trades , as he has had several over the last ten years . Just take a look at his trades with Boston from 2006-2014 and you’ll see what I mean .

  • Gravis82

    I loved hearing Gregor give it to the Oilers all day. He was pissed, we are pissed, and rightly so, and unlike us he actually has a way to challenge and hold them accountable.

    My favourite part of the day was listening to him pick apart Rishaug. Normally I like Ryan, but you can tell he was grasping at straws trying to defend an indefensible position. Please, more Gregor interviews.

    I feel this is almost at the point where we as paying fans should have a democratic right to oust our GM and hold elections for a new one…as well as everyone else up there.

      • Gravis82

        he covers the team. He represents the fans. The fans are pissed. He is reacting accordingly.

        No matter if you are a fan or not, this goes beyond just being mad at a trade and is borderline complete incompetence. So ya, if my job was based around a team that just did that, I would be harsh on them too.

        • Seanaconda

          Hmm I spose but I would just wait and see how this works out. We finished 28th last year none of us got to be in any of the trade talks.

          People are grumpy atm but this could improve us overall as a team. Let’s be grumpy if we finish 28th again this year. Edit I honestly can’t remember if we finished 28th or 29th but either way it’s not like we can get much worse.

    • herb

      What you fail to understand is that Gregor was faced with reality and it wasn’t a shining moment for him.

      Gregor has touted Hall for as long as Hall’s been here and is aggressive in Halls defense. Today management and the the other NHL GM’s disagreed with his player assessment of Hall and he had a difficult time coming to terms about that.

      his options were either he doesn’t get it or management is clueless. Gregor was about Gregor today and showed us a side that reflects poorly on him.

      The question is whether he will apologize for his behavior or opt to go after Larsson like he has gone after Yak and others.

      • hagar

        He and 90 percent of the bloggers say they aren’t oilers fans because they are “professional non biased journalists,” yet when something sets them sideways, it goes out the window.

        I have no problem with getting defensive or opinionated about the team you cover, but when you can pick and choose when to hide under the guise of unbiased opinion when it serves you, then just random fly off that handle with obvious biase, that’s BS.

        Many bloggers use the excuse to end an argument that they are just “reporting facts ‘and’ saying it how it plays on paper” but I have always called BS on that. You can clearly read through what they are saying lots of times, and it isn’t fair and balanced opinion.

        I wish they would actually claim what they say when they feel it! I just hate when they pretend they don’t. The best articles are when they say stuff we all think and know, but it is chicken sh’t when they feel the need to say they don’t even like the oilers, and it’s all just journalism. Lol

  • OilBlood

    So when Connor returned from injury at what point in time was Hall ever “Driving” the second line.

    He disappeared. Yes he’s great player but he never meshed well in a line with Connor and never showed to be the second “driver” of a line.

    It’s always the same argument about Hall and how he supposedly “drives” a line and “pushes the river”

    What has it gotten us?

    Our TEAM is better today than it was yesterday and it will be even more so when Lucic is signed.

    Good luck to Hall and wish him nothing but the best but this team needed a major culture change, Hall may not have been the main problem for the last 10 years missing the playoffs but he was here for the last 6 and all you can say about him is that he was a “driver” of play. He wasn’t the solution.

    Our D needs fixing and if that was the return on Hall what do you think Nuge or Ebs would be getting? Or do you think we should have done nothing and repeat the last 6 years?

  • Jersey#67

    It amazes me how many Oilers fans are calling for Peter Chiarellis head. Yeah LETS FIRE PC. Oh and you know who takes over? Assistant GM Craig McTavish! I love the Oilers but truly we have one of the worst fan base of all teams after Toronto.

    Hall is a no.1 bust.
    Yakupov is a no.1 bust.
    RNH is a no.1 bust.
    All decent players but not the second coming of a dynasty team as Oilers fans see them. Its like how Hemsky was seen as a Jagr 2.0 and in Oilers fans eyes he should have had more return from Ottawa. Nope. Same with Hall. Hall is a good player but not the player he was supposed to be being drafted no.1.

    The jurys verdict. In the Tyler vs Taylor case. Tyler Seguin all the way.

    • Slippedshot

      If Hall is a #1 bust what is Larsson? Seems to me he is a questionable pick and out of 5 years in the NHL only really had one modest year to show for it.

      Out of all the years cheering for the Oilers through the Prongers and Tikkanens it was nice to get a guy like Hall who gave 110% every night, never complained and actually wanted to be here and play here. He was fun to watch and truly one of the few bright lights on the oilers.

      I really can’t see Larsson amounting to much but like everyone I hope to be proven wrong. On the plus side Chiarelli has tied his future to Larsson whether the Oilers improve or not his future is tied to this unproven Dman. Nikita Nikitin didn’t pan out but he did not have as high a price tag as Larsson which makes it a better risk/reward.

      Best of luck I’ll be paying more attention to gardening and perhaps ice fishing this year than to hockey.

  • hagar

    Like has been said, lots of unknowns. All I know from where I sit is things needed to happen.

    You would think by the value they received, that the rumors about attitude in the room might be a factor, but that is as good a guess as any reason. The only thing I can say is that the hockey community is way tighter in knowledge than we ever get to hear.

    I have never been a fan of Halls play beyond him putting up points, and I would rather have seen Lowe and Mact traded first, but something had to happen, and those guys will never take the blame.

    This is a year over year thing that the oilers find something to change that brings hope for the next year, let’s hope this isn’t the only change.. if it is, it has classic oilers management written all over it.

    I feel like someone just offered me less money than I want for one of my cars, but it pays for the truck I need, and not the car I want.

    I hope we will be better in the end, but man that was a pretty decent car to trade for a truck to haul gravel.

    Let’s hope that truck can build the foundation with that gravel.

    • OILFANMEXICO

      I agree Hagar, one has toread between the lines and ask themselves “Why didn’t Hall fetch more?”. It’s above our pay grade, but well worth mentioning.

      We get what we can get or we stand-pat(potentially in 29th again!)

  • OilFanSince96

    I hate this trade as much as the next fan but we have to give Larsson at least a chance to show what he’s made of and what he can do to help this team make the playoffs and eventually to a Cup. This guy played top defensive minutes against the likes of Crosby, Tavares, Ovi etc and was a +15! He has the ability to make a great breakout pass and I can’t be the only one seeing him feeding McDavid constantly onto a breakaway. So yeah right now we can be angry about Hall leaving and on the return, but let’s welcome Larsson to Oil Country and at least wait until he has been able to play a couple games before we rip him to shreds or else he’ll join the list of defence men to bolt.

    • hagar

      Nothing wrong with Larsson. He is the best dman on the team now, and right shot to booot.

      All we need is average dman to go with the rest of the team to succeed. Lots of teams have epic dman with average forwards, and they make runs. Our D is so far below the poverty level that the team just can’t survive. I would trade eberle and poo for one more Larsson, then the team is on track.

      We don’t need a true number one, we need two larrsons.

  • MessyEH!

    I know Edmonton overpaid. I sure wish there had of been a couple of high draft picks coming back our way. Say a 1st and 2nd in next year’s draft. Some sort of currency to use to trade for a another defensemen PP specialist.

  • Anton CP

    I hope fans can show some love toward Larsson. Regardless if the trade is fair or not that he is our guy now so at least try not to discredit him.

    If the deal doesn’t work out then it is not Larsson’s fault, it will be Chiarelli’s.

  • crackerjacksregular

    Short sighted panic move so he would appear to be doing something! The D may be looking more respectable but we will lose one come the expansion draft next year. I fear the team will be getting older with addition of Lucic if he signs. Not impressed! Should of waited Chai!

  • Kurt

    5 minutes into the first hour where Jason goes on about character assassination. Calls out the organization for leaking info about Hall being a “cancer” etc. Haha he uses the term “jabroni” in a rant!

    Anyways, a guy called into Stauffer about 5 minutes later and told Bob about what Jason said. Bob froze and said he doesn’t have time for people saying that the organization thought Hall had a poor attitude. Gregor says he has people on record saying these things? I say if he’s willing to say something like that on air during a live rant, then you might as well prove it. On record my butt lol.

    But it sure does seem like Gregor overvalued the market on Taylor Hall. Guess scoring wingers just aren’t as valuable as he thought…

    • BubbaZanetti

      Maybe the Oilers should should just save us all from this misery and fire Chiarelli and make Gregor the GM, Willis can be be POHO and we’ll be hoisting the cup within a year…book it ?