Adam Larsson: Defensive stalwart

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Adam Larsson was drafted fourth overall in 2011. He played 65 games with the Devils as an 18-year-old rookie in 2011/2012. He then split the next two season between the AHL (66 games) and the NHL (63 games), before becoming an NHL regular again the past two seasons.

The Oilers acquired him this summer in exchange for Taylor Hall. General Manager Peter Chiarelli made the deal because he felt the Oilers needed a legitimate right-shot defender. Larsson is a proven defender. He’s played tough minutes the past two seasons and done well. He arrived in Edmonton in late August to find a place, get comfortable with the city and to get acquainted with his new teammates.

I sat down with Larsson earlier this week to find out a little more about him.

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**My thoughts are in italics.**

The past two seasons Larsson has played almost exclusively with Andy Greene at EV. He played 1943 EV minutes with Greene. Jon Merrill was his second most common partner and they only played 136 minutes together.

Jason Gregor: How much have you learned the last few years playing with Andy Greene?

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Adam Larsson: A lot I would say. Having him, such a calm demeanor back there and he’s such a good skater and for me he’s probably one of the most underrated guys in this league. People maybe don’t notice him because he never does anything wrong, but he helped me a lot and he taught me a lot. Mainly about the need to be patient, while also being aggressive in your own end. It was just a great experience for me playing with him and my time in Jersey was good, and now I’m on a new chapter in life and I’m very excited about that.

Gregor: You were on the Swedish National team with with Oscar (Klefbom), but you’ve never played as a pair before. How much time will it take for you two to understand one another?

Larsson: I think that that is the charm with the pre-season. You’re going to see mistakes from me and from Oscar as well. It will take some time to find the chemistry together, but pre-season is eight games so once the season starts and you have those games under your belt you can’t have excuses there. You’re going to go out and it’s all business after these eight games, and you have to be as prepared as you can as a pair, as a team, and as an organization when the season starts.

***I love Larsson’s attitude regarding the regular season. Once it starts, not excuses, but their understanding of one another will evolve throughout the season. Those two will likely play five preseason games together, and it would be great if they understand every tendency of the other, but it is unlikely. It will take time, just like it will for new forward combinations, but I like his belief about no excuses for the entire organization. There will be mistakes in the regular season, but at least he’s focused on limiting them.***

Gregor: For Oilers fans who have yet to see you, what’s the best element of your game?

Larsson: Probably my defensive side. I mean I’m a big guy so I try to use that as much as I can. I try to play with my stick and play body on body and I think that’s my strength. And, in my opinion, I’m pretty good with the puck too. So hopefully that’s my next step. I want to improve and get better there (offensively) and build on last year. I feel very confident going into this season.

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***The Oilers desperately need a dominant defender. Any offence he produces in the first half of the season will be a bonus in my eyes. It is great he wants to keep evolving his game, as all players should, but his strength is defending and early on if he does that well, then the forwards can do the scoring.***

Gregor: Last season was your best year offensively. Did you make more of a conscious effort to jump up in the play to be a littl more offensive in the second half?

Larsson: No, I wouldn’t say that. It was more that I got more comfortable, I got more trust from the coaches, I could tell the coaches trusted me and then you just build on that. You go more forward. I mean it’s hard to really point out what it is, but maybe you shoot more, maybe you don’t look for opportunity (to pass) as much. I don’t know what it was, but I kind of just kept it rolling.

***It is boring and some won’t like it, but so much of the game is about confidence. Once a player has it they will make more plays and try more things. As Larsson said, often it just occurs organically without a specific focus. If the Larsson/Klefbom combination has success in their own end the offensive numbers will emerge over time.***

KLEFBOM

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Gregor: I know it’s only been a few practices and one game you have played with Oscar. What parts of his game do you feel will complement yours?

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Larsson: It’s going to be fun obviously, he’s a Swedish guy and we know each other from the past and we were good buddies before I even came here. He was one of the first guys I called as soon as I heard there was a trade. Playing with him, he’s such a big guy and a smooth skater for being that big, so that kind of helps if you’re going to play against their top lines and stuff. Now I don’t know if that’s going to happen right away, it is up to the coaches, but you have to have confidence in each other. Both of us can’t really go (jump up in play), so we have to have really good communication. I think developing that communication and understanding what each other likes to do in situations, that is the biggest key for us; especially in the start.

***I watched them closely on Monday. Klefbom hadn’t played since December and he was rusty through the first 30 minutes. He found his game in the second half and he started pushing the puck up ice more. It was only one game, so we’ll have to watch them more, but my first impression is to expect Klefbom to be the one more up in the play, and Larsson more comfortable hanging back.***

Gregor: Will you two speak Swedish on the ice?

Larsson: No (laughs), it’s too hard to switch when one guy comes on and you have to talk English and then Oscar comes and you’ve got to talk Swedish, it’s too hard to switch back and forth all of the time so I don’t start speaking Swedish with Canadian guys (laughs).

Gregor: Maybe you can teach some of your teammates some Swedish?

Larsson: (Laughs) I think it’s better if we stick with English on that one.

Gregor: You came from New Jersey, who had a new rink built just a few years ago. How does this rink compare to the one in New Jersey?

Larsson: I mean this is like… better than everything in the league I would say. If you just look around the locker room and the concourses and stuff, it’s the nicest rink in the league for sure. I mean we had a nice arena in Jersey too, but as a player you don’t get to see the concourses and stuff up there, but what we can see down low and up in the stands it looks unbelievable and it’s going to be very fun to go out there.

Gregor: Any special reason why you chose number six?

Larsson: No, I had five in Jersey, I thought the closest number to five was six. I don’t have any specific [reason] why I chose six, no. I’m not a big number guy.

Gregor: You talked about your defensive game being a strength. This team has struggled giving up goals; they’ve allowed the most in the NHL the last six years. How are excited are you for the challenge to be one of the main parts to turn that around and have this team start to move up the standings?

Larsson: Yeah it’s exciting, but we have to do this as a team. It’s not just me and Oscar and Connor or anyone, it’s everyone that has to put this together I think collectively we can take steps. We’re young in defense too and even with [Darnell] Nurse and [Brandon] Davidson it’s going to be a fun road for us all if we do it right. I think that it’s going in the right direction, but we have to prove it on the ice.

***Larsson hasn’t seen much playoff success in his career either. I got the sense from his answers and our conversation after the interview that he’s much more focused on actions than words. The Devils went to the Cup Final his rookie season, but he only played in five of their 23 playoff games. They missed the playoffs the past four seasons. He’s tired of not being in the playoffs. He thought it would happen regularly after his rookie year. He wants to get back in, and you’ll hear a constant refrain from him. It is about the team, not individuals. The entire team has to play well.***

Gregor: Your thoughts on [Connor] McDavid and [Leon] Draisaitl and [Ryan] Nugent-Hopkins,  who were at the World Cup and the three centers that you’re likely going to get to play with. What’s your impression of those three?

Larsson: Well I think everybody knows Connor and I think Nuge is such a smart player, and Draisaitl, for being such a young guy, seems very mature for his age too. You can tell on the ice they’re calm and they’re smart and I think that will be very important for our team. We need to play smart and fast, but be calm.

WRAP UP

His last line about staying calm was what he felt Greene taught him the most. As a young player you want to go, go, go but Greene taught him you have to be aggressive while staying calm. It is as difficult as it sounds he laughed, especially in a game that moves so quickly.

Larsson came to Edmonton early because he wanted to get comfortable off the ice. He believes being comfortable in your surroundings will improve his chances of success.

It was my first real conversation with him, and I came away with the impression he is really looking forward to the challenge of being a defensive catalyst. He knows there will be expectations because of who he was traded for, but he can’t let it impact his game. He said the strengths of his game equal him not being noticed.

Of course, he wants to produce more offensively, but his biggest impact will be in lowering the Oilers goals against. He is excited and ready for the challenge.

Much of the Oilers success will hinge on the play of Larsson and Klefbom. If they become a reliable pairing, who excel playing against the best opposition, then the Oilers will have a decent chance at improving and pushing for the playoffs in March and April.

Recently by Jason Gregor:    

 

 


  • testyesty44

    in celebration of our swedish top pairing i have converted all my old furniture with IKEA things. Hopefully Adam and Oscar are the Allen Key to our defensive problems.

    • I am Batman

      and by Swedish top pairing you mean OEL and Karlsson, right?

      We have not seen anything from “our” swedish pairing and to be fair, we have not even seen a lot of klefbom…

  • Spydyr

    “Much of the Oilers success will hinge on the play of Larsson and Klefbom. “

    That scares me what is the over under on Klefbom being injured again? I’m going with thirty games.

  • Canoe Ride 27.1

    After Wednesday’s nights game I’m pretty excited to see Larsson, Klefbom, and Sekera back in the lineup. It also made me realize that we better sign Gryba.

  • Oilerchild77

    For the first time in years, we’re talking about a legit top pairing on the backend. There’s a switch! Let’s hope it all works out with those two and Klef stays healthy *knocks on wood*

  • TKB2677

    If the combination of Klefbom and Larsson can be the anchors on the Oilers defense, playing in the area of 23-25 mins a night and every time they go over the boards, you know they will be good, that is HUGE for the Oilers. As much as some still may not like the Hall trade, if Larsson can help do what I described, it could end up being worth it.

    We have all see what a good defense can do for even a mediocre team with little offensive talent.

  • Turd Furgeson

    Worst trade ever..eerrrr wait…. Maybe the Reinhart trade was worse. Either way chia now owns two of the top ten worst trades in oilers history. He was fired tm boston for weak return on the seguin trade (who needs one of the best centers in the game when youcan have spare parts) and miss managing the cap. How long has he got in oilerville now that he dumped one of the best left wings in the game for Mark Fayne part two and signed old man lucic from no to end of time?

    Chia gotta go. We are now older, slower and have less cap space moving forward. Sound like the blue jackets anyone??

    • Danglishish

      LOL. Glad you’re able to draw such a definitive conclusion with ZERO games played… what a tool.

      Gotta say it’s funny watching the “fire Chia” geniuses complain about trades he’s made from a team that has finished 28-30th for the past decade. How dare he mess with such success!!!? Hall was going to win us SO MANY CUPS!!!! Hahaha

      And about “one of the best left wingers in the game”, maybe take off the Oil-colored glasses my friend. Hall wasn’t even considered one of the best wingers in Canada by the rest of the hockey world, let alone in the entire game. He was a good winger who never scored 30 goals, something that is replaced as easily as you can say Pool Party. Top pairing RHD are unicorns. Give your head a shake, and when Chia’s new team climbs in the standings I look forward to you eating crow.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      The Seguin trade was out of his hands. Boston ownership wanted him out due to his off ice antics (missing flights, team meetings etc.) Has nothing to do with Chiarelli wanting to move him for spare parts.

      The Reinhardt trade is/was unexcusable. Giving up as much as we did for a guy who might be a career AHLer is poor management of assets no doubt.

      The Hall trade however was great. Moving Hall and bringing in Larsson and Lucic is a win. Especially given Halls injury problems in the past. I’d do that trade over again in a heartbeat.

      I have faith in Chiarelli.

      • That's My Point

        I’d rather have Reinhart at 6’4″ and 212 lbs than another small forward like Barzal.

        Yes, Barzal if he ever makes the NHL is only 175 lbs.

        Jordan “Butterfly” Eberle is only 181 lbs and is the softest player in the NHL so why do posters think Barzal is better than Reinhart?

        or why they could possibly fathom it was a bad trade?

        The Oilers need to staock the shelves with dmen for the future and Reinhart is only 22 years old so will help them in the long run.

        • Word to the Bird

          Reinhart is a pretty brutal defenseman,and especially considering how high he was drafted, you’d think we’d see some progress by now. If I had to bet I’d say that Reinhart will be a career AHLer.

        • pkam

          Barzal is already listed as 182 lbs. Players at 18 – 21 years old will continue to grow. Using your argument, if Nuge ever makes the NHL is only 165 lbs.

          How to determine if a trade is bad? You compare to similar trades or what value similar players will get in a trade.

          At the time of the trade, the Flames got Dougie Hamilton for a very similar package of draft picks.

          Yak was 1st overall and had played almost 200 games at the time of the trade, Reinhart was drafted 4th overall in the same year and only played 9 games. Do you think Yak will even get a mid 1st rounder? I believe most Oilers fans will be happy if we can get a high 2nd rounder for Yak.

          I like Reinhart when he was an OilKing and I hope all the best for him, but that doesn’t mean that trade is not bad.

      • Word to the Bird

        Not to mention Seguin likely would not have been given the same opportunities in Boston and thus probably wouldn’t have blossomed like he did in Dallas.

      • fisherprice

        This is a pretty rose colored glasses way of looking at Chiarelli. The fact is that you’re responsible for your moves as GM, Chiarelli has said nothing to contradict that he made that Seguin trade, and all the “rumors” that this was an ownership move are simply that, rumors. There is a widely available video on YouTube that shows the process of trading Seguin, and it’s pretty hard to say that Chiarelli was forced to make that trade if you watch it. It’s not just Chiarelli that comes across bad, pretty much all Bruins management does, but it’s still a bad decision that all those guys have to own.

        To anyone who’s arguing that Seguin wouldn’t have blossomed on the Bruins… sigh… he led the Bruins in scoring in 2011-12 and was only 4 pts off the team lead the following season. It’s pretty obvious Seguin was a special player before he got traded – this narrative that he only began living up to his potential on Dallas is a patently false one. He just got better in Dallas, like almost all offensive stars do once they reach their early 20s.

        The Reinhardt trade.. I can see a little more of what Chiarelli was trying to do. Fact is, the Oilers wanted a D prospect who was further along in his development than an 18 year old and had high upside and that’s why the trade was made. It was probably a bad trade, but you know hindsight, 20/20 and all that. Reinhardt’s too slow physically and mentally for the NHL level right now, and I don’t know if he’ll ever overcome that.

        The Hall trade was a bad one. For the record I don’t mind him trading Hall to shore up the defence – you just got to get more than Larsson. If you’re trading an offensive star who can carry an entire line’s offense, you have to get a legit all-purpose defenceman back – and although Larsson may be good, he isn’t that. It says a lot that when everyone in the hockey world heard about the Hall-Larsson trade they all assumed there was more to the package and were shocked it was 1 for 1.

        I’m more impressed by how Chiarelli has re-tooled the bottom 6 on this roster, and I remain bullish on the still ongoing process of building defensive depth. If you look at his time in Boston, this is the area that Chiarelli really shined. A lot of really smart trades that gave them significant minute eating role players up and down the lineup. This is something the Oilers have lacked for years, in their hope that some elite talent could carry a sack of AHLers to the playoffs.

        There’s good and bad to what Chiarelli’s done in his career and I think he’s a quality GM overall – but anyone who honestly thinks the Seguin and Hall trades were good trades is really buying the company line a little too much.

        • Cowbell_Feva

          I actually linked that youtube video onto this site a month or so back. I found it interesting to see the behind the scenes stuff.
          But what I couldn’t find was the video when Gene Principe interviewed Chiarelli after coming to Edmonton. Geno mentioNed something to the effect of “your not afraid to trade young stars” referring to Seguin. Chiarelli immediately said his hands were tied on that trade. Not rumour. Fact.

      • “The Hall trade however was great. Moving Hall and bringing in Larsson and Lucic is a win. Especially given Halls injury problems in the past. I’d do that trade over again in a heartbeat.”

        Disagree with that logic, trading one of the best wingers in the league for a 3-4 dman (on a good team) was “great”. Couldn’t the Oilers have gotten a 2nd round pick (at the very least) or a “top level” prospect as part of the deal. Objectively speaking Hall’s numbers warranted a better return. Chiarelli dumped him and his 26 goals for what, and average defensive defenseman all the while freeing up cap space for an aging winger.

        Speaking of that winger. I am not sold as well that Milan is a great fit for either the Oilers and especially for McDavid, if in fact he ends up playing on his line. McDavid plays at another speed and needs a player who can compliment his unique skill set. Milan is not the player he was a few years ago and he is coming to a team that – for lack of better terms – isn’t in the same league as Boston and LA. McDavid would be clearly be the best player he has played with so maybe that helps him.

        Lucic is clearly a downgrade for McDavid especially given the fact he just played with Matthews who was in his league in terms of skill set. LOl imagine if we had drafted Matthews, good god none of this would matter…

        Time will tell if the trade was good or not, my point is we didn’t get equal return for the departing asset (Hall). Who knows maybe Larsson and Lucic are the catalysts in getting the Oil into the playoffs. I doubt it though.

        Anyway enjoy the weekend!

  • OilBlood

    Hall blows, can’t make a real team Canada, can’t score on the power play because he has no hockey sense, couldn’t play with Mcdavid, was a cancer in the locker room (where there’s smoke there’s fire), did nothing to lead oilers out of basement.

    Larsson being the only return for hall was a reflection on the real value of hall and not Petes managerial skills. He was over valued by plugs like you and real hockey minds saw that.

    Good riddance to that cancer and welcome to Larsson.

  • Pangs.

    If he puts up 30 points this year (which is very attainable feeding Connor a good first pass on the rush) and is a rock defensively, then I’d say the trade is looking pretty fair.

    • TKB2677

      THANK YOU!!

      I have said that soooo many times. People need to realize that as good of a player as Hall was and Oiler, there is not a chance in hell the Oilers were getting a big, strong, right shot (or left for that matter), skates well, move the puck dman that can play 25 mins a night, play great defense and put up 45 + points. #1, there aren’t many out there to start with. #2, teams that have them sure as hell don’t give them up easily if at all.

      As an example. Subban. He checks off almost all the boxes I said except being great defensively. He’s decent defensively but I wouldn’t call him great which is the main reason he doesn’t make Team Canada as long as Babcock is the coach.

      Even though the GM wanted to get rid of Subban badly before his No Move kicked in, even though his contract is way too high and they wanted to dump it, it took Shea Weber to get him. You can debate long term if it is a good trade all you want. Shea Weber is one of the best Dmen in the league right now, is in the conversation for the Norris every year and that won’t change anytime soon. So Hall wasn’t going to get you a dman that checks off every box.

      Maybe the Oilers could have gotten a different dman for Hall but that Dman would be missing somethinhg. Either the dman scores a lot of pts but doesn’t defend well. That Dman is a second pairing guy, doesn’t skate well, whatever. In Larsson, they picked a guy who
      – Is a right shot.
      – Can play in your top pairing and do well.
      – Has size.
      – Defends extremely well which they need.
      – Is young and signed to a real good contract.
      – Skates pretty well.
      – Can move the puck fairly well.
      – Can play big mins against top competition.
      – Realistically is probably a 25-30 pt guy.

      So Larsson checks most of the boxes the Oilers needed. If Larsson was a guy that scored 40 pts, people would be doing back flips. But because he played on a team that doesn’t score a lot in general to start with and there is a chance he scores 10-15 less points than what people would like, it’s a crap trade. Which I don’t get.

      • fisherprice

        There’s a lot of people who indicated that the Oilers balked at the price for Subban immediately because it probably required Draisaitl and Klefbom going back. I like those guys a lot, but Subban is absolutely worth it, contract or no.

        It’s funny, people can say all they want about Subban being risky or offense only or whatever, but the numbers and quite frankly, the eye test, do not bear this out. He prevents more shots and goals than Weber and he generates more shots and goals than Weber right freaking now. Weber’s contract is also worse than Subban’s.

        Drew Doughty made plenty of boneheaded risky moves last night that ended up in turnovers – plays that would get Subban roasted until the end of time. Could you imagine if Subban had a game like Weber’s game 7 against San Jose last year (on the ice for all 5 goals against, the main defender on almost all of them too)? For some reason everyone’s taken it upon themselves to remember every bad turnover players like Subban and Karlsson make but conveniently forget guys like Doughty, Chara, and Seabrook are all right near the top of the turnovers list every season.

        There was a right handed D to be had, a top 5 one in the league at that, and the Oilers balked at the price immediately. Let’s not pretend Subban isn’t an elite player because the Oilers were too chicken to get it done.

        • TKB2677

          I heard many times the cost to get Subban was Draisaitl, a dman AND the #3. Even if the cost was like you said Klefbom and Draisaitl, no thanks.

          You still have to ice a team. At worst Draisaitl is going to be a excellent second line center. There were articles written last week on Sportsnet based on comments from other teams scouts and NHL people who think Draisaitl is going to be a top 25 player in the league in a short period of time. SO the Oilers in the very near future could have their version of Crosby and Malkin in McDavid and Draisaitl. So they’d give up that caliber of center AND give Klefbom. Who’s a big, strong, skates really well, moves the puck, has offense, play big mins dman who is signed to a long term, super cheap contract. That is just too much for one player, especially a player who’s probably 2 mill overpaid.

          • I am Batman

            I do not understand your post, you mean that Klefbom is overpaid 2 Mill because he only plays a third of the season every year and the Oilers pay for full seasons?

            that is a little bit mean, isn’t it?

            I mean, it is true, but still, poor guy was injured (all the time)

      • Pangs.

        I hear ya.

        He could be the difference between us going into the third tied, with us pressing all game, only to give up that late goal and deflate any of our momentum. Some people seem to think we were some kind of offensive dyanmo with Hall. Truth is, we weren’t. If he can put up around 30 pts and decrease our goals against, it’ll be huge for us.

        • TKB2677

          People seem to forget that you have to ice a team. This is assuming teams even wanted Hall. Centers are always worth more than wingers. Most teams are going to want a dman back. The Oilers already lacked dmen before Larsson so they can’t really afford to give up any of that are remotely decent. There is cap implications. With Trouba’s trade request coming out, of course people were like “Why didn’t they trade Hall for Trouba, he’s better”. Well #1, I don’t know if Trouba is better. #2 I have heard a few Winnipeg guys say the Jets wouldn’t take Hall for Trouba because they don’t need him.

          So then what? We are talking one of our young centers. Everyone says the Oilers have all this depth at center. Let’s be clear, they have 3 good centers. That’s it. After that it’s Lander and Letestu. So you trade one of Nuge or Drai for a dman, guess who’s your #3, Letestu. Right now because the Oilers are debating to have Drai on the wing because McLellan loves that in his top 6 and it;s debatable if they have a high end enough RW to slot in at the #2 spot until Puljujarvi is ready for prime time, they are auditioning a rookie college player who primarily played left wing in Cagguila. So really, how deep are the Oilers actually at center? Not very.

  • Oliveoiler

    I think Klefbom and Larsson will be a great pair, however, the last line of defense is the goalie. I pray that Talbot and Broissoit are in top form as Gustavsson sure doesn’t overly impress.

  • fisherprice

    That said, after my tl;dr post – I do genuinely hope Larsson is really good and am hopeful about the Swedish pairing. I think there’s more balance to this team than before, and hopefully Puljujarvi can be that line driving forward somewhere down the line (probably not this year though).

  • That's My Point

    The 16th and 33rd picks Barzal and Beaulivier are such great additions to their teams this year aren’t they?

    Exactly, who are these no-names that will probably never make the NHL.

    Draft picks for Reinhart was the best thing the Oilers could have done at the time. Time will tell who made the better trade, wait 5 years or so.

    Can’t see Beaulivier or Barzal playing in the NHL either.

    So does it really even matter?

    • People keep remembering this in hindsight, everything from picking Yak, to trading for Reinheart is never remebered with any degree pf accuracy of what the situation was at the time.

      At the time of the trade, the Oilers had Klefbom, Ference, Marincin, and Nurse on the left. They had not yet signed Sekera, had no idea what they had in Davidson, and had not played Nurse that much. At the time they still needed left side guys, as much as they needed top pair right side guys. It was only after this they landed Sekera, found out Schutlz was garbage, discovered Davidson, gave Nurse his shot, and realized Klefbom was really good but injured.

      At the time there was so much damn work to do on the defence. Some of that has been negated by the emergence of Davidson and Klefbom, and more was done with the acquisition of Sekera. But at the time this was still so necessary.

  • Saw him good on Monday. He seemed uncomfortable in the offensive zone, but a veteran general in the defensive zone. So calm.

    His defensive game was so low event, the ice noticeably tilted when he was on the ice because the opposition had such difficulty coming through the neutral zone and gaining entry. Yes, it was only one game, but it was also only JUST game one!

    I really hope it was rust Klefbom was skating off because compared to Larsson, I have my reservations he’s a legit top pair defencemen. But again, first game back, so early days.

    Trade aside as it’s in the past, I am very happy Larsson is on this team. Now if only Lucic and Eberle can figure out how to play with McDavid. Might have to switch back to Maroon and Yakupov.

  • A-Mc

    I think the addition of Larsson will be huge for the oilers. It pushes everyone down into more reasonable spots on the roster. Larsson should have a decent year and i think the other defensemen will all see better years as well. Collectively the change should be fairly significant for only having added 1 player.

  • HockeyRulz

    I think this kid has some great passing, his vision is great… from the few times I watched him play what I noticed is he in under a min was able twice to get the puck in our defensive zone, held the puck for not even a few seconds and he had it passed up to a winger in the offensive zone. To me that is exactly what this team is missing a D man which can move the puck up that quick. if he can continuously move the puck up that fast (passing from the D zone to the player in the Offensive one), I can see him getting a lot more points with the Oilers than he did with the Devils. I am fully supporting this kid… the Oilers need him to succeed. I will be watching closely tonight on how much he pulls these kind of passing in a game.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    As far as the Hall trade. It was a 1 for 1 sure. But it also freed up nearly 2 million/year that allowed flexibility for other transactions ie Lucic/Versteeg which will ultimately make the team better as a whole.

    That and to my mind Hall is overrated. He produced, but also made lots of mistakes and was injured through half of his career. I like the team better today.

  • KevCantDance

    Probably in the minority here, but I don’t hate the trade. In fact, I liked it then, and like it even more now. Yes, we gave up the better player, but we still got better. I never got the sense Chia or TMac were overly bullish on Hall – yadda yadda yadda he drives the play – but none of us know anything behind the scenes that likely had a lot to do with pulling the trigger. It almost seems like they figured Halls absence alone would be improvement. I have absolutely no proof of this obviously, but combined with the entire league knowing what we needed, the trade is what it is. The return of Larsson balances the team. Simple as that. We are no longer in a position of weakness on the trade front, unless we shart the bed again this year. But I’m not counting on that, for the first time in a long time.