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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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  • Slapnuts

    Was hoping chiarelli would try acquire Ryan Murphy, now treliving is starting to wipe the floor with chiarelli. I don’t like the russell signing, HUGE mistake 1. No power play QB mistake 2. I fully expect EDM to stand pat or do very little during free agency or trade’s mistake 3. Going into next season as is, I fully expect a regression of this team

  • Adam Laskaris

    The trade was a bad one.
    You know what cost the Oilers in the playoffs?
    Lack of depth scoring.
    You know what the Oilers traded away in back to back offseasons? Two of the best complementary pieces in the league in order to get worse players.
    Larsson is fine and works well in the Oilers system well and all that, but the fact is even Taylor Hall’s “bad season” this year on one of the league’s worst offensive team would have been third on the Oilers in scoring.
    The Oilers could’ve won a Cup this season with Hall as their third best forward. The Penguins did it with an NHL defence and a run and gun style.
    It was a bad trade and Chia is a bad GM being carried by McDavid.

    • Reg Dunlop

      Have to agree it was a horrific trade. Just brutal asset management. Of course, it was just a coincidence that the Devils dropped 14 points and 4 spots in the standings. And , of course, it was a fluke that the Devils scored ONE more goal with Hallsie-baby but allowed 36 more than the Larsson version. And then there is that annoying 33 point improvement for the Oil along with the goals against decrease of32. Those are just meaningless stats. The trade was a bad one, right Adam?

  • sumo

    Bad trade, Chiarelli rushed things. Just think where Oilers’d be today had he signed Demers and kept Hall…
    1. They’d probably have still made the playoffs, it would have helped the negotiations for Draisaitls new contract.
    2. Now they are relying heavily on Drai being able to handle his own line, Hall was a proven driver of offense).
    3. Oilers would have the option this year of trading either Hall of Drai for a better defensemen, one of both having come off good playoff runs which upped their perceived value. Maybe Oilers could trade Draisaitl for Parayko:
    Maroon – Mcdavid –
    Hall – Nuge –

    Klefbom – Parayko
    Sekera – Demers
    Nurse – Benning

    • Mike Modano's Dog

      …if Demers WANTED to come here. That is a big if in the UFA scheme of things. If he didn’t want to come here then Chiarelli did what he needed to do…which I believe is the more likely scenario.

      I love Larsson, but I would have loved to sign Demers too if we could have!

  • RJ

    If you go back and look at the commentary, Chia was desperate to shore up the blueline and New Jersey took advantage of him.

    New Jersey got the better player. The Oilers finally got a decent RHD. After years of Jultz and Fayne it was nice to see decent defence in Edmonton.

    A year later, the Oilers still got taken to the woodshed in their desperation for a RHD, but Larsson has been solid.

    I’d add one other point: with the massive signings of McDavid and Drai coming, it really would have been great to have another prospect going into draft+2.

  • tkfisher

    Love Larsson, but still hate the trade. There is an argument to be made that Hall shouldn’t have been the guy to go. I still find it hard to believe that at that time, Eberle couldn’t have been the basis for the trade. Obviously today that wouldn’t be the case, but one year ago, I find it hard to believe that Eberle and a Second (the Benson pick) wouldn’t have gotten that trade done. It also could have potentially prevented the Lucic signing, which although manageable today, will likely hurt like hell 3 years from now. Love the dman, will always hate the trade.

  • freelancer

    It’s possible to lose a trade but win the war. The Oilers made the playoffs laat season and the Devils didn’t. While I still think the Oilers lost the better player the trade accomplished filling a hole the Oilers desperately needed to fill.

  • nuge2drai

    Top pair locked in long term at 9 Million a year.

    Thank you Mr.Chiarelli.

    Who knows maybe Hall will resign here in a couple years for a shot at the cup. (One can dream)

  • 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.