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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.

    • 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!

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Anton CP

    I don’t think that I have the problem with this trade last year, it was one of those trade that you understand why and how but at the same time that you hope it would be a little bit more.

    Top pairing RHS D is so hard to find and it won’t be cheap when you desperately need one, I fully believe that Hall was not first offered but the other side will not just settle with either Nuge nor Eberle. Since McDavid is untouchable that other teams will ask for the second best player on the team. Here’s the thing, are you a fan of the Oilers or are you a fan of just some hockey players?

  • 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.

  • Frank Rizza

    I liked the trade last year because I was sick of losing and I wanted the dynamic of the team to change. I was always a Hall fan but something was off. If it wasn’t him almost never entering a scrum or almost never defending a teammate or his teammates never defending him. Whatever it was, it wasn’t working.

    I had also watched Larsson at least 5 times that year. Twice against the Oil and 3 times against the Rangers for sure. He shut down Mcdavid and Hall those two games they never had a sniff. The Devils game 2 seasons ago was my last game at Rexall and the score was a 2-1 devils boring shut down defensive NJ game and Larsson was great that night too.

    I thought Hallsy could’ve got us a pick on top but it’s not like Pete said “hey I have a deal with LA for Doughty and a deal with NJ for Larsson, but I really wanna piss off some morons at Oilersnation so let’s make it Larsson”. That’s obviously what the market was.

  • ed from edmonton

    Trade couldn’t have worked out better. Larssen exactly the player the Oil needed. Hall has great talent, but I gotta say I cringed every timed he handled the puck inside his blueline.

    Only criticism is that didn’t hadn’t also asked for a swap of 1st round picks in 2017. LOL

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Rugbypig

    Was sorry to lose Hall and knew nothing about Larsson.
    Then the season started and the real reason for Larsson became apparent.
    Now I am still sad but accept the trade and appreciate the talent that Larsson has.
    The Oilers are a better team today based on just that trade alone.

  • 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?

  • Harry2

    At the time with all honestly I can say thatvI liked te trade. And I was a huge Hall supporter. With McD on board Hall became a great trade chip. I think he was over rated especially around OilersNation. For a “scoring winger” the guy has never put up 30 goals.

    The thing that made me like the trade even more was watching the two after the fact. Hall pissed and moaned and Larsson went to work. Seriously, its was so nice to finally see in what seems like forever a dman continuosly break up cycles and make people pay the price.

    All in all I believe Hall is over rated. Hes an above average forward but not an elite one.

    In todays game you have to have defencemen more than skilled forwards. Just ask Dallas.

  • 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