Lucic Isn’t Replacing Hall

The Oilers committed to a new look, a different feel to
their roster when they traded Hall for Larsson then stepped up to acquire
Lucic. However, it’s not as simple as one LW out and another LW in to his spot.
Milan Lucic isn’t going to be replacing Taylor Hall in this lineup. At least,
not based on what we’ve heard so far.

It’s important to note that Hall was indeed Edmonton’s top
left winger and came at a cap hit of $6 million dollars per year. Milan Lucic
is now Edmonton’s top left winger and comes at a cap hit of $6 million dollars
per year. However, the two players occupy different spots on the Oiler roster.

Taylor Hall’s greatest benefit to the Oilers was that he
provided elite level scoring and he did it away from Connor McDavid. They
played and conceivably would have continued to play on separate lines, each
driving offense apart from each other except on the power play.

It would have looked something like:

Hall – XXX – YYY

XXX – McDavid – YYY

The X’s and the Y’s are all decent to very good players, but
in Edmonton we could be sure of two drivers on different lines. Hall played
exactly 74 minutes and 50 seconds at 5v5 with Connor McDavid and that’s all.
During that time Hall scored just a single goal — 47 of his 48 5v5 points came
without Connor and he had the fifth most 5v5 points in the entire NHL.

Long story short, Hall killed it and did it playing a
significant number of minutes away from a generational superstar talent.

Milan Lucic will not be occupying that same role. Lucic
came to Edmonton on the expressed promise of playing beside Connor McDavid.
Milan Lucic is going to be glued to McDavid’s hip in Edmonton and that’s
perfectly fine. He is going to add a level of physicality to that line that
should basically wreak havoc on the opposition like Shock and Awe tactics on
the battlefield. I’m just going to call that line Thunder and Lightning™ until
you guys beg me to stop. McDavid is going to give teams fits with his speed and
brilliance, and when they’re left in complete and total confusion because all
they saw was a streak of blue light and the back of McDavid’s jersey, then Lucic is going to grind them into hamburger.

Scary. Exciting. I have to wait 30 minutes before swimming
after even thinking about it.

But that brings us right back to Hall’s replacement. It isn’t
Lucic. If Milan is playing with McDavid then the person replacing Hall is
someone else who is now expected to contribute offensively on the port-side of
another line. Right now, that replacement for Hall is either Pouliot or Maroon.

I would say at this moment that unequivocally the next best
LW on the club is Benoit Pouliot, but as it doesn’t feel like Chiarelli is done
making changes, I don’t know if Pouliot will be here in the Fall. I expect
Maroon will be because that was a Chiarelli acquisition and a pretty good one
based on cost, production, and salary. So who steps up to take on Hall’s spot
on this roster is most definitely not set.

Pouliot brings a lot to the table. His entire career has
basically been spent as a positive possession player and a 5v5 scorer who adds
top six level offense (on a per 60 basis). Over the last four seasons (2012-2016)
Benoit Pouliot is second on the roster in Points per 60 minutes with
1.98 P/60. That’s virtually identical to Jordan Eberle, who is lower by less
than hundredth of a point per hour. Over that same four year stretch, Pouliot also
has the second highest shot attempts for percentage, relative to
teammates. The puck goes in the right direction a lot when Pouliot plays and it
finds the back of the net a fair amount too.

Now Pouliot isn’t perfect. Despite his considerable
possession numbers and scoring, he is often looked at as overpaid by media and
one wonders if that extends to management as well. He isn’t a particularly
adept power play performer. He takes penalties in the offensive zone. And he
has missed a significant number of games due to injury in his career. While
stat-heads love what Pouliot brings, there’s no denying that sentiment isn’t
replicated universally.

Maroon brings less offense and weaker possession numbers
relative to his teammates, but they are indeed still both positive. He also
brings mammoth size and a contract that’s somehow being partially covered by
the Anaheim Ducks for the next two seasons. He fit in well with McDavid a year
ago, but that’s not going to happen moving forward if Lucic is playing on
McDavid’s line. He may still get a chance in the top six, depending on Chiarelli’s
next moves, and that’s going to put him on a line with Draisaitl or
Nugent-Hopkins. However, Maroon’s NHL career high is 34 points. He’s
going to be hard-pressed to fill the gap left by Hall.

Alternatively, replacing Hall might happen by going
completely off the board. That means maybe it’s done by signing another player
as a UFA (slim pickings there) or by doing something really crazy like playing
Yakupov on the left side of the top line. I know, even for me it’s a stretch to
think that’s something the Oilers would be comfortable with at all. Still, we
can’t entirely rule-out the possibility that Hall’s replacement on the de facto
second line isn’t one of the two obvious choices.

With more balance to the defense and the addition of Lucic, the
team should feel stronger going into next year. However, there are roughly 16
minutes of highly impactful even strength minutes per game that Hall was
playing that are unaccounted for. There is going to be a huge opportunity for
someone like Maroon or Pouliot when October rolls around, but this team needs
production from whoever ends up in that spot.

  • madjam

    Let’s get things straight here . Hall played well with McDavid , as Conner was just learning in his first few games . They also played well in World’s together , but that was less physical than NHL . Both are dynamic on international ice . With Conner down and also Pouliot I believe , Oilers experimented with Maroon and Eberle to have a second scoring line . Seeing how well that worked for Conner with that physical presence , made it an obvious choice for them to try and get a Lucic . Draisaitl , in Conner’s absence worked well with Hall for a time to all our benefit , and thus two potent lines were developed . Draisaitl , not Hall tailed off and thus effected Hall lines the most . Looked like we were getting Lucic either way , it’s just unfortunate we did not retain Hall . Jesse should help shore up RWing weakness beyond Eberle , I really do not think Yakupov will beat him out for top 6 duties .

    • Disagree. Hall and McD were never on the same wavelength when they played together for the Oilers. They were always passing about a foot in front or behind where they should have to each other, and it was clear nothing clicked with them.
      They both need to be the mastermind behind the play, and the player that his line mates should play off of.

    • JimmyV1965

      I would actually like to know why someone trashed this? Too lucid? Too reasonable? Not enough Hall hate? It’s all the rage these days and it looks super great for summer.

  • Soccer Steve

    I don’t want to come across that I do not appreciate the FREE content on this website, but can you move on? Who cares about Hall anymore?

    If my two cents count about Taylor…actually, no, I won’t give them because it doesn’t matter anymore.

    Instead: I’m thrilled for Larsson. He gets to come to our awesome city with an amazing arena and hockey crazy fans. I’m also thinking about buying my first jersey in years: “Lucic”.

    Let him go. He’s gone and he’s not coming back…and good riddance the little pout (oops, there I did it – charge me $0.02)

    • I’m fully aware he isn’t coming back. That’s kind of why the article turned towards the question of “Who is taking his spot?”

      If you get a flat tire and you take the wheel off you dont immediately “Move on” and drive off with 3 wheels. You generally put on a spare at least.

      • Soccer Steve

        It’s this sentiment that I’m bored stiff of:

        “Long story short, Hall killed it and did it playing a significant number of minutes away from a generational superstar talent.”

        Sorry to nitpick your article over one line though. But my personal first reaction to it is: No, he didn’t. He was a black hole and the team is better off that he’s gone…but I don’t wanna get into it. 🙂

          • LibrarianMike

            I got this:

            EXTERIOR: Edmonton, Evening.

            “One time I saw Taylor Hall on Whyte Ave and I yelled “TAYLOR STOP GIVING AWAY THE PUCK” and he flipped me the bird. That was mean, and he was a bad player.”

            /scene

          • Oilerchild77

            I’ll answer for him. This is why he was a black hole: He constantly forced rush plays when there was no play to be made and turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Thereby creating an odd man rush the other way for the worst D in the league to try and defend. And when he did manage to get through on a rush chance, he’d fire the puck straight at the goalie’s chest with no rebound whatsoever for his linemates to take advantage of. This happened regularly.

            Also, it’s become pretty obvious to me that Hall doesn’t listen to advice because he didn’t change his game at all in the time he played here. He had run-ins with at least 3 different coaches by my count. One of which was at the WC with Lindy Ruff.

            Black hole of losing hockey right there.

          • Soccer Steve

            Yakupov seemingly ostracized from the cool kid gang.
            Hendricks’ comments about some guy(s) not having pride about being in the NHL.
            Hearing second and third hand stories from people about him and how he treats women.
            A general look of pout on his face on the ice sometimes.
            Smashing a water bottle and getting his coach and teammates around him wet.
            Never being picked for a real Canada team.
            Seeing him repeatedly turn his back on teammates when they’re in one of those silly little scrums at the net after a play is called to a stop.

            A rabbit hole? Yes, totally admit it. I’m a lowly fan at arm’s length from these people. I know nothing about them, I admit that, but all these little nuances slowly added up for me. I consider myself a decent judge of character. That, and where there’s smoke there’s fire. For me the fire was Hall and I’m convinced the team is better off now.

          • JimmyV1965

            WooHoo. This gets my vote for stupidest comment of the night. You say you’re a good judge of character, yet the incidents you cite are all third-hand gossip. Also. Hall has played for team canada many many times. I would bet you that Hall makes the Olympic team but you probably lost whatever little money you had when your neighbour told you to invest in Bre-X.

          • Soccer Steve

            Low blow, man! Not my intellect!

            Yeah, I’m beyond stupid all right. Right beside Chiarelli (Stanley Cup winner, 20 year NHL mgmt veteran), McClellan (Stanley Cup winner, former NHL player), Katz (billionaire),…, et al.

            We’re all stupid, seeing the same thing and deciding to trade him was the right choice for the team.

          • Zarny

            Yes, if you think the Oilers are better simply by trading away Hall you are stupid. Full stop.

            Chiarelli and McClellan certainly don’t think that. Pete freely admits he traded away the better player.

            There hasn’t been a single person say the Oilers won the trade. The only defense can be that the Oilers are a better team with the D than the F.

            I don’t agree with that assessment since Larsson simply isn’t that good. If the return had been better that argument would have merit.

            Alas, the return was sh*t and the wrong choice for the team.

        • madjam

          Lucic is replacing Maroon on McDavid’s line . Maroon had quite a run being wing with McDavid , but expecting him to continue to have over 20.0 % shooting (unsustainable) would be ridiculous to expect in a full season , yet Lucic generally is high at .15 throughout his career for a season and above Maroon’s career average . You know what else is quite evident , Eberle seems to play well with upper talent and compliment them well. He does not get much credit for it .

          • The Dave

            I was actually just giving Henderson a hard time since he titled his article “Lucic Isn’t Replacing Hall” and then explained to someone arguing with him that the article was about how Lucic was taking Hall’s spot.

            For my money we have Maroon and Lucic as bigger options, and pairing them McDavid and Nuge or Drai in any combination is fine with me.

      • Powdered milk

        Just in case anyone didn’t know, Hall was ranked 714 in plus minus last year and is minus 27 over his career. Lucic is a plus 120. But yea plus minus is a useless stat right?

        Look it up if you don’t believe me

  • CravenChipmunk

    Lucic will bring other things, like team toughness (hopefully teaching the team how to stick together on tough nights) and bang in some junk goals from down low by standing in front of the net, something that has been missing for years. I wont miss the 17 pass powerplays.

    Whats the worst thing that could happen? We finish 30th place?

    This team of finesse players was going nowhere, we need to balance out at whatever cost.

    Not buying the driver argument

  • RJ

    For all the ON hype about centre depth, one thing that never gets talked about is how bad the Oilers are at winning face-offs. I’d like to read an article about what Nuge, Drai and McDavid are doing to improve their FO% (faceoff percentage).

    Lander was 24th in the NHL. Letestu was 44th. Drai was tied for 74th. Nuge was 91st. (Top 100 by total FOs – puckbase.com)

    Can Lucic win faceoffs, since this is the only major weakness on McDavid’s stats?

  • DrillForOil

    So I’ve got something that grinds my gears with most of the trade analysis – the narrative that Hall is an ‘elite’ player. Nope.

    Hall is just a 1st line LW. A one dimensional first line LW actually. I see the trade closer to a lateral move than most.

    Does Hall put up 30+ goals a year? No.
    OK, is he an 80+ points a year guy? No.

    Play a good 200ft game to go along with good offence? No.

    Is he a lock to be on Canada’s Olympic or WC rosters? No.

    A one dimensional 1st line LW nets a #2 D-man. Big deal.

  • FlatRonnie

    It’s funny how when people bring up the Hall trade and Lucic signing, a constant phrase is always, “Hall put up x amount of points not playing with McDavid.”

    Guess what, Lucic has scored every point in his career without playing with McDavid.

    IMO, Lucic will probly put up more points than his previous averages when he’s on a line with 97, and he will probly score consistently as he has in the past if he’s got Leon or RNH as his middle man.

    What Lucic does, (stay healthy, hit, intimidate, play smart in every zone etc..) is a trade off where the team comes of a little bit better overall.

  • Kepler62c

    The driver on the “2nd line” doesn’t need to be a LW.

    Let’s use your notation, maybe this is what will happen:

    XXX – McDavid – YYY

    XXX – Nuge – YYY

    or this:

    XXX – McDavid – YYY

    XXX – Drai – YYY

    OR MAYBE EVEN THIS:

    XXX – McDavid – YYY

    XXX – Nuge – YYY

    XXX – Drai – YYY

    Long story short – you don’t have to replace Hall with a LW. Their are plenty of players that could step up this season to contribute more offensively.

    • oilnik

      Precisely! I think the way Chiarelli is protecting Draisaitl, Chiarelli believes Drai can be the driver on the second line to “take over” for Hall. It’s another “hope it works” on this roster, but that’s what I think he’s betting on.

      Huge at times, when hall was injured, was able to drive the play. That would be my plan. With the way Nuge has been linked with Barrie, I don’t think he’s in Chiarelli’s plan.

  • Kepler62c

    Personally I’m a fan of:

    Lucic – McDavid – Eberle

    Pouliot – Nuge – Puljujarvi/UFA

    Maroon – Drai – Yak

    Hendricks – Letestu – Pakarinen/Kassian/Lander

    Looks like those 2nd and 3rd lines will cover Hall’s minutes just fine.

  • KMA

    At the end of the day all we can hope for is that Lucic, who has averaged less than 20 goals per season since joining the league, will earn every cent of his six million dollar salary each of the 7 years of his contract.

  • OilCan2

    I like the idea of Yak playing his natural shot (left) side. Puljujarvi will cash in on right.

    With three solid centers we may be able to spread the butter for scoring with two of them giving the opposing D fits all night. That should be enough to swing the balance in road games when the other coach has to rotate his D pairings more evenly.

    Secondary scoring. Another phrase that I will have to dust off before using just like depth at center.

  • CMG30

    I’m glad to have Lucic and Larsson, they’re both good players but I’m also really annoyed they traded Hall.

    Everyone of those players brings something to the team: Lucic leadership and physicality, Larsson is a massive upgrade on RD but Hall brought scoring and points. For a team that seemed to have as much trouble scoring last year as the Oilers did, it’s more than fair to wonder who is going to pick up the slack.

    Reading through the comments, far to many people who keep saying “Get over it” seem to be defaulting to that position because they either don’t want to acknowledge what Hall brought to the team or don’t have an answer for how his production will be replaced.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I don’t expect anyone on the current roster to replace Hall. I do expect Yak(if he’s still here all season) Pouliot, and to a lesser extent Maroon to make up for Hall’s 60-70 points he’s got every year he’s been in the league.

    I also expect the team to step up as a team and use Halls trade as a wake up call and look in the mirror and do more individually, for the team. Ebs needs to play a better 200ft game, Pou needs to lower his o zone infractions, Yak needs to get over the “pity me, I’m not in the top 6” bs and play for the damn crest on the jersey.

    A full year of damn near perfect health for the whole team will go a long way too.

    I’ve said before I’d have rather saw Ebs ++ go for Larsson, but if Hall had to be the sacrificial lamb to push the Oilers into the playoffs after 10 FREAKIN YEARS out of it, so be it.

    I don’t blame Chia for trading Hall, I blame the former GMs since 2010 that didn’t get the right players to support the likes of Hall, Ebs, and RNH to help get them in the playoffs. PC just did what he had to do to make the team better, and not wait for a miracle like Tambolini and MacT did.

  • Boom76

    In a effort to think of fresh summer content ideas… Could you guys run a weekly article about one of the Oilers cheerleaders? Like the Sunday Sun girl? They bring an under-reported element of entertainment to the game, and I think maybe — just maaaaybe — these articles might garner some interest?

  • FlatRonnie

    Gregor has written a few blogs on the Hall/Lucic thing, Willis has, Henderson has. Waiting on the brownlee, chris this intern, and that new interns take on things still. SUMMER OF BLOGS!

  • OilBlood

    So how many points exactly and how well was Hall doing when McDavid came back from injury?

    I seem to recall him pulling a disappearing act. But please fill me in, am I missing a portion of the season?

    All this talk about having him drive a line and McDavid another is absolute bs.

    He had his chance, and failed terribly, we were within reach of the playoffs at that time at least closer than we have ever been in the last 10 years and needed hall the most. He didn’t show up and mailed it in.

    Teams better off with Lucic.

  • Kr55

    Nuge was always guilty of playing the “Pass it to Hall” game. Not all his fault, because Hall always was calling for the puck and seemed to expect everyone to give it to him at every opportunity, but I think it took away from Nuge’s game. IMO, the best hockey Nuge has played as an individual has been away from Hall the last 2 years. I think we should try the Pouliot/Nuge/Ebs line again. It was very effective when it was used a while back, able to score and play against top players.

    We might not have a 2nd line that is single player focused anymore, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a line with all 3 guys pitching in that is as effective.

    • camdog

      I remember last season when Yak and Hall were on a 2 on 1 and Yak didn’t pass to Hall. Hall slapped his stick on the ice and glared at Yak. Yak should have made the pass to Hall in this circumstance, however there was no need for the antics. The need to keep Hall in the play had a detrimental effect on the powerplay, has been like that for a couple years now. It wasn’t a fluke that Todd Nelson had the Oilers powerplay on fire when Hall was hurt that season.

      What’s lost in all of this is that the Oilers wingers are going to every bit as strong going forward (if not stronger) with Lucic and Puljujarvi when he’s ready and Korps gone. I know Yak may not always be everybodies favourite, but I like the idea of giving him another chance (he wasn’t coming back with Hall here). I’m looking forward to the Oilers powerplay working as a 5 man unit, something that wasn’t always the case last season.

      The wingers will be every bit as strong in E-town next season, the sky is not falling in respect too the skill on the Oilers wings.

  • Shameless Plugger

    Leadership Leadrship Leadership. Lucic brings more than points and fisticuffs. Accountability will now be a REAL thing. Not just a word slung out there but and actual real thing. Wow! I’m excited.

  • JimmyV1965

    Not sure why you say Lucic is a lock for the McDavid line? I thought he said expressly that he was not promised anything of the sort. I’m sure he will, but I could also see him on the RNH line.

  • JimmyV1965

    A week ago 90% of Oiler fans thought we were hosed in the Hall trade. I would now say about 90% of fans are suddenly happy he’s gone. It is possible to believe we got hosed in the trade, but we still got a good player, and along with the addition of Lucic, we might be an even better team. I don’t get why virtually everyone on this site now thinks Hall sucks.

    I believe we are a better team today but every fan should be worried what PC will do in the future. He’s now traded away four superstars and received magic beans in return. If you are not at all worried about this you should be.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Interesting contrast between the Nation and Lowetide’s site. Vast majority here support the Hall trade while at Lowetide, the angst is thicker than the collective works of Sylvia Plath.

      I’m done commenting on the trade until 40 games are played next season. Then we will have a more accurate idea about Hall’s worth to the oil.

      • This comment is the perfect representation of one of the basic misunderstanding between people unhappy with the Hall trade and those who love it.

        Almost nobody disputes that the team will be better next season, and some of that will be due to balance, however by trading one of the teams only two elite players for pennies on the dollar Chiarelli has cratered the potential ceiling for this team. If it does become a contender it will not become as strong a contender and it is unlikely to contend for as long because they traded the chance at excellence away for a chance to be somewhat better next year.

        The team was improving next year by doing nothing. All of the youth is a year older an presumably better. Mcdavid has acclimated further to NHL hockey and developed physically.

        In short, the moves made by Chiarelli have made it easier for the team to make the playoffs but much harder to accomplish anything of note other than no longer being in the basement. That should never have been done because similar improvements could have been accomplished without giving up one of their elite players. The idea that the next 40 games will tell us anything about Hall’s value to the Oilers is exactly the problematic kind of thinking that lead to gifting another team an elite player.

  • This two driver line is so strange.

    Yes, people keep making the case that Kane drives one line and Hossa the other, conveniently forgetting Crawford, Seabrook, Keith, Toews, et al. And for the Pens Crosby drove one line and either Malkin or Kessel the other, forgetting Bonino, Haglan, Hornquist et al.

    But okay, that is two teams who have won cups recently. Can you really make the case that the Bruins, Hurricans, Wings, Kings, and many other very successful teams in both the regular and playoff seasons ALL have these two driver lines, and that any team without them is doomed DOOOOOMED!

    It’s preposterous. No, Lucic is not replacing Hall as a driver of a line, instead he’s taking Maroon’s job of complimenting McDavid, a job literally everyone from Yak to Pouliot, and everyone in between is able to do because it’s McDavid.

    So where o’lord will the Oilers find that second driver?

    Consider this, in Anaheim, perennial favorites to win conferences and cups, does Kesler drive the second line? Or does he go out against the toughest opponents the opposition has, and shuts them down? Cause in that Calgary series a year ago, not sure how many points he got, but I’ll tell you when he was on the ice, the Monahan line was useless.

    So sure, a line of say Pouliot, Nuge, and Eberle, or Draisaitl, or Puljujarvi may not have someone to “drive the offense”, but to say a line made up of those three players won’t contribute points while heavily limiting points against due to puck protection or having good retrieval, or being lauded for playing a 200 foot game, is to lie.

    Also, how many of us remember when Todd Nelson took over who the Oilers top line was, and how freakin well they did? Cause I remember a healthy Pouliot, Nuge, and Eberle dominating play, at the same time Hall was placed on the third line with Lander.

    Can we not all remember how many of us were stunned Nuge had such a good shot, or that without Hall to dish to Nuge carried the mail a lot more, or barring that he was also the Oilers best chip and place player?

  • OilBlood

    WAIT WAIT WAIT HOLD THE PRESS

    I quote you:

    “Hall played exactly 74 minutes and 50 seconds at 5v5 with Connor McDavid and that’s all. During that time Hall scored just a single goal.”

    74 minutes and 50 seconds with CONNOR F***** MCDAVID and that he only scored 1 goal.

    1 goal. 1.

    You miss him why exactly?

    • madjam

      Then how do you explain the Worlds away if you figure Hall and McDavid are useless playing together and Hall is somehow at fault for that ?

      Hall and McDavid both tied for second on Canada club at 9 points each , 1 behind leader Duchenes at 10 point .

      Hall: 6 Goals-3 Assists +8 30 SOG and 20% shooting average .

      McDavid : 1G-8Assists , +3 ,15 SOG , 6.67 shooting % .

      Your giving far to much credit for Conner, and not nearly enough for Hall , who was a premier star on that Canada team as well .

      Seeing as we no longer have Hall , we should be asking why Conner was not as good playing with a star like Taylor , than Draisaitl was .

      • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        If France, Belarus, Slovakia and Germany get NHL teams, look out: Hall might do as well as McDavid in the Show. Until then, he’ll have to be content to being compared in McDavid throughout the preliminary round of the IIHF games while the best players are still in the NHL playoffs or taking a deserved breather (like Toews, Kane, Keith and Doughty, etc.), as Hall got only a single point in the IIHF playoffs, an assist in the 6-0 beating of Sweden.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    I still scratch my head when people refer to Hall as a “driver”.

    I think of players that are cerebral with great vision and high hockey IQ as “drivers”. Try to not turnover the puck and drive the play. Drive the puck to another teammate or out of your own end.

    Taylor Hall is the opposite of any of this. He was prone to terrible turnovers. Did not see the ice well. Worked hard-sure. Got points-yes. But never did I think he had much for hockey IQ. Getting steam-rolled consistantly. Backhand toe drags against 3 NHL defenseman at the end of a shift….fantastic.

    We are a more well balanced team without him. Good luck in NJ.

      • Cowbell_Feva

        So what is a driver then??

        Someone who falls down twice a shift, rips the puck high and wide 4 times a game, turns over pucks routinely at both blue lines, and has stick smashing/water bottle tossing hissy fits…..but gets a secondary assist so is a “point producer”??

        Again, some people on here have tunnel vision of Taylor Hall as some world beating uber-talent, yet he cannot crack Team Canada?

        Why is it that Canada’s best minds went with Brad Marchand instead of him, if he was so elite?

        • Zarny

          How the heck can you watch hockey and not know what a driver is?

          Your “critique” is emblematic of the vacuous idiocy we see here often. Cherry picking a “hissy fit” that occured literally one time in a 6 year stint as if it’s representative of the whole.

          Over the last 4 years, only Crosby and Benn have produced at a higher rate than Hall 5 v 5. So yeah, Hall is a point producer and an elite one at that.

          That’s why he was at least in consideration with Marchand for Team Canada; unlike Lucic lol. Not making Team Canada isn’t a point I’m afraid.

          Seguin hadn’t made Team Canada when he was traded. That didn’t make him not elite and it didn’t change the fact that Chiarelli got hosed on that trade too.

          The answer to your question is quite simple. A driver can produce offense on their own. Hall doesn’t need McDavid or other elite players to score points. Players like Lucic and Eberle do.

          Only in Edm would idiots argue the team is better by getting rid of one of the best offensive players in the league.

  • crackerjack14

    I think people get too caught up in this idea that replacing Hall is the only way forward. I think we have to reimagine who the Oilers are now. Hall used to be the best player on a team with little to no defence. McDavid is now the best player on a team with improved (but not complete) defence.

    McDavid is the primary driver now, as was Hall for 5 years. He’ll have Lucic to his left and have Eberle on his right. Awesome first line.

    Nuge will centre the second line with Pouliot to his left and with Puljujarvi or a yet to be signed UFA to his right like Versteeg.

    Draisaitl will lead the third line with Maroon and Yak. Drai and Maroon are two other big bodies with good hands. Yak has had some success with Drai, and since the other two lines will see tougher competition, these guys may have some success.

    The fourth line is what the fourth line is.

    The big difference will be the defence. Their personnel, at least on paper, is much more balanced, capable of shutting sown the other teams’ top lines, and moving the puck up to the forwards. The addition of a power play dman will only add to this.

    So, keeping Hall could very well have meant yet another year of a flawed defence. Another year of highly skilled forwards fighting to not be last in the league. This new line up gives them a better chance of moving up the standings.

  • Romance14

    Taylor Hall needed to go. And it was no fault of his own. Management created an impossible player for the Oilers to deal with. They didn’t properly develop him into a leader yet he was too big of a presence on the team not to be in a leadership role.