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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at the Taylor Hall trade for the last time I promise

It was one year ago that the Oilers shook things up around here as it was announced that Peter Chiarelli had traded Taylor Hall to New Jersey for Adam Larsson. Today, I want to look back at that trade with the benefit of 12 months of hindsight.

If you read the trade announcement article that I wrote a year ago it wasn’t hard to see that I was not a big fan of the deal. Actually, that trade pissed off a sizeable chunk of Oilers fans to the point that that same article is one of our most commented on items ever in the history of the site. The general consensus was that Peter Chiarelli got fleeced on the trade that sent the face of the franchise away for a player that most of us hadn’t really seen or heard much about. That unknown was enough to piss off the Nation and have most of the hockey world questioning what the hell was going on around here. Don’t believe me?

Let’s take a look back at some of the reaction:

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Needless to say, Peter Chiarelli wasn’t going to win any popularity contests around here. That said, it’s funny how things change after actually watching him play.

LEARNING ABOUT LARSSON

Apr 18, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson (6) throws a punch at San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the third period in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that I will readily admit is that I didn’t know nearly enough about Adam Larsson before getting pissed off about the trade. All I knew for sure was that Taylor Hall is one of the best left-wingers in the league and that it seemed like a hefty price to pay for a defenceman that was somewhat unproven. What I didn’t know is just how physical Adam Larsson can be and how he’s able to calm things down around the crease like a player with far more years under their belt.

Over the course of the 2016-17 season, Larsson found himself as the yin to Oscar Klefbom’s yang as the pair built a strong chemistry while also playing big minutes on a night-in-night-out basis. Larsson’s laid back approach allowed Klefbom to venture further up the ice and further develop his ability as a two-way defenceman. On paper, Larsson and Klefbom SHOULD have matched well but seeing it actually happen was fun to watch and having them both locked in at under $9 million is a great value for the Oilers.

While Larsson will never be the puck-moving defenceman that the Oilers are still looking to find, he undoubtedly brought a sound brand of defensive hockey to a team that was as porous as they come. In the playoffs, Larsson was a workhorse that Todd McLellan could depend on and I’m sure that role will only expand as he moves forward in his career with the Oilers. The next step is to wait and see if the big Swede can add tools to the toolbox that make his game a little bit more well-rounded.

WHAT SAY YOU?

Now that we’ve had a year to watch Adam Larsson and get over the shock of the trade, I want to know what you think now that the dust has settled? How long did it take you to get over the anger and open up to Adam Larsson? Personally, I still think that Chiarelli should have pushed for draft picks or something to go along with Larsson, but I’m not mad anymore that he didn’t get them and I can understand why Larsson was a target. For as little as we knew about him a year ago, it’s hard not to appreciate him now that we see all of the good things that he does on the ice.

And before someone in the comments section tells me to get over it — I am over it — but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t look back on one of the biggest trades in our website’s history.

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  • 0W-20

    Biggest compliment I can give the Hall for Larsson swap one year later: I would make it again and twice on Sundays. Well played Chiarelli – that deal took some stones and EDM is a better team for it.

  • Can't Fix Stupid

    I remember listening to Oilers Now with Bob Staufer before the trade went down and he mentioned that there seems to be a lot of talk involving a defenseman that nobody has even mentioned and would surprise the hockey community. Sure enough then news broke about Larson coming to Edmonton and Stauffer was right. I wasn’t sure how I felt with trading a game breaker LW for an unknown defenseman. I am a season ticket holder and sit on the goaline in the Oilers row in the bottom 10 rows. Watching how mean and nasty Larson is in his own zone was a pleasant surprise. The crosschecks, sneaky elbows, and slashes when the refs are not looking reminded me of the nastiness that Souray provided once upon a time. Edmonton seemed to be missing that on the back end. I’m not comaparing Larson’s offense to Souray though.

    His first pass seems to be underrated also. Not many people talk about how great a job he does at finding the loose pucks and then getting it up tape to tape. There was one game where the play was blown dead for an icing to Talbot’s right. Larson took the puck, was gliding behind the net, looked up to see where the linesman was at the other end and made a bank pass off the opposite boards 180 feet right into the linesmans feet with zero effort at all.

    He may not skate and shoot like Karlsson, Subban, Letang, Burns, etc but he is proabably the top “number 2” defenseman in the NHL.

    • jultz=2cups!??

      Taylor hall, jordan eberle and Nuge are now considered “passengers” around here during the dod? Hmmm. Amazing how everyone here quickly forgets. Pretty sure those 3 were the oilers best players during the dod but that’s just my opinion. Personally I loved the hall for larsson trade at the time because it was glaringly obvious the oilers needed to upgrade the defence. Love it even more now after watching larsson for a full season. And hall was my favourite oiler at the time!

  • the reasonable person

    I can’t believe that so many people still just don’t get the value of good dmen in a 31 team league and cap era vs the value of good wingers. Chiarelli got a young top pairing d for a bargain for a winger who is good but not great, on a team stacked with forwards at the time and horrific on defence. And you all saw how well our mix of players went for like 7 years (lots of decent wingers and a joke of a d corps) and a bunch of you, including the writers on here, lambasted the move by Chiarelli. We also had a healthy McDavid when the trade was made and had just drafted 4th overall (another winger) and Chiarelli had a gentleman’s agreement with Lucic… Think about all that.

    • Bagged Almond Milk

      At the time, @Hallsy4 wrote “I like it! PLAYOFFS NEXT YEA. Plus 15!! Trade the rest of the mall! The Culture in the room is cured!”. It’s almost like Hallsy4 was banished from the site for disagreeing with Ruebenlee Brown and came back as Bagged Almond Milk. The Crow has been prepared carefully, and cooled for a year now…. As we know, it’s a dish best served cold. And the TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

  • Big Nuggets

    I liked Hall but I always felt he was overrated. I was always waiting for him to take that next steo and stop falling and turning the puck over with poor decisions. He got some points but I thibk we got fair value with Larsen.

  • Pouzar99

    First off, as any of my friends can tell you, I defended this trade as at least reasonable from Day 1. I never dreamed that in the first year it would be a total win for Chiarelli and the entire organization, of course. For this trade alone Chiarelli should have been voted the top hockey executive. It is only one year of course and things can change, although I believe Larsson is every bit as good as he looks. I expect Hall can do more for the Devils than he did this season, but we were desperate for a quality right-shot D man and Larsson was superb. I still cannot believe that there are folks out there who still hate this deal. Hey, I liked the original Reinhart deal on Day One and was dead wrong and have come to admit it.

  • AJ88

    It is interesting how this trade seems to linger on, I think writers and ON followers seem to get themselves so much more attached to a bottom dwelling teams players, yet here we are, 30 points better. There is more crying about this trade than the Gretzky trade, I can’t believe ON continues to write about this.