Photo Credit: Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Taylor Hall for Cody Ceci was almost a thing

Over at TSN 1260, Darren Dreger appeared on The Nielson Show to talk Oilers, fishing for Mike Hoffman, and whatever else is going on, but the big nugget came when he spoke about a Taylor Hall trade that almost happened. 

As you would expect and hope considering how bad this season as gone, Nielson asked Dreger about the possibility of the Oilers upgrading their offence. He looked at a guy like Mike Hoffman in Ottawa and asked the insider if this was the kind of guy that the Oilers should go fishing for. Makes sense, right? But that’s where things got weird:

“I think that there’s some history between these two organizations that is going to hamper the likelihood of a deal.”

History? What are you talking about? I know Chiarelli used to work for the Senators but that was 100 years ago. What could possibly be going on here?

“We remember Peter Chiarelli back in the early days and he had that squabble before going to Boston with the Ottawa Senators. There was some bad blood there as he tried to get out and all of those things. I don’t know if that still lingers, but some think it might.”

Oh good. Grown ass men holding grudges for over a decade. Chiarelli left the Senators in 2006 and there could still be bad blood? This is ridiculous.

“And these two clubs came real close to making a pretty big trade not that long ago and just couldn’t get it done.”

Oh yeah? What was it? Some kind of tweak between teams “on the rise” probably. Something that wouldn’t have been a complete waste, right?

“That trade was Taylor Hall for I think they finally got to a place where Ottawa was willing to consider Cody Ceci – so it would have been Hall for Ceci.”

Wait a minute… Hall for Ceci? Peter Chiarelli was realistically going to trade the Oilers’ second best player at the time for a guy that had one decent season, and has done nothing since? Perfect. What happened?

“(It) had to be cleared in Ottawa through ownership. And before they could get clearance, Hall got traded to New Jersey for Larsson.”

I think I’m going to be sick. Nielson, can you take over for a second?

Nielson: There would have been more on that deal, right?

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

Stunned Nielson: Really?

*I stop vomiting and get back up off the floor*

WHAT IS IT WITH PETER CHIARELLI AND ONE-FOR-ONE TRADES THAT HE LOSES ALL THE TIME!? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS! Alright, Baggo, calm down here. That trade didn’t happen, Adam Larsson is pretty cool, and we can just be happy that this didn’t actually go through. This is okay. This is fine. The trade didn’t go through and we’re fine.

Now, back to Hoffman. How’s that looking?

“I don’t know that these two teams are best suited to make a deal, but I know that Peter Chiarelli should and does have some interest in Mike Hoffman.”

Gord dammit.


Now, before I get started I know some of you are going to say “get over the Hall trade” and blah blah blah, but this is newsworthy. If what Darren Dreger is saying is actually true, and he’s not just trolling us all, then Oilers fans should be very concerned about Peter Chiarelli being the man behind any future deals for this franchise. This isn’t about Taylor Hall. This is about the guy in charge of making trades having the ability to win those deals.

If these are the kind of trade options that were on the table, and Chiarelli realistically considered them, then we should all be worried about what kind of panic moves could be on the horizon. If this kind of stuff along with Chiarelli’s trade history of moving big pieces, aren’t enough to make you nervous about this guy negotiating deals then I don’t know what will get you there. I mean, I get why Chiarelli would try to save his job, but we’re the ones that will still be cheering for this team long after he’s fired and ruining another organization.

  • OilersBro

    I feel like Chia only knows one way to win and isn’t adaptable. The guy was gifted a skilled team but traded down for grit and D. A good GM should have the analytical skills to make the team he has thrive and not just trade the key pieces for spare parts

      • OilersBro

        True, but I’m saying that there’s a happy medium between the DoD Oilers and the slow moving team we have right now. If we weren’t gonna use the cap space, we didn’t need to buy out pouliot until next year, especially since he was our best penalty killer. Also guys like Desharnais may not look essential but keeping him gives us a 3C which then let’s Drai stay on the 1RW. We could’ve easily given what NYR paid for him. Same with pitlick. Wouldn’t his speed be great right now?
        But hey, my hindsight is always 20/20

      • 24% body fat

        the skilled team didnt work because they couldnt upgrade the D or the G. Bad drafting made it impossible to put cheap complimentary players around the skill players (this date back to hemmer and gags). As good as the elite players are you cant undervalue maturity. Expecting under 22 year old players to bring a crap team back to the playoffs all by themselves was a big mistake. I don’t think taylor hall had an attitude, i think years of losing and all the pressure on him created a negative attitude. The culture starts at the top, and when no one in the old boys club is accountable, why should the players be.

        Next dont forget about eakins. He single handily killed the offensive players scoring. Gagner Nuge and Yak all had growth seasons the year before with a proper offensive minded coach. Even hall and eberle fell off big.

        What could this team had done if they left the skill intact and just signed Demers and Franson

        Marron – McDavid – Puljijarvi
        Hall – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
        Khaira – Nuge – Eberle
        Caggulia – Letestu – Kassian

        Sekera – Demers
        Klefbom – Franson
        Nurse – Benning

        This is not a shot at Larsson, he is a great player, but this team looks a lot more cap efficient and potent.
        There is enough size and grit in there with out Lucic. Than with proper drafting, you could eventually move Eberle, Slepyshev, Franson, and Caggulia, to bring in Yamamoto, Barzal and Carlo.

        Way to many asset killing move by Chia so far.

        • Fist is for tards

          Marron – McDavid – Puljijarvi
          Hall – Draisaitl – Yak
          Khaira – Nuge – Eberle
          Slepyshev – Barzal – Kassian

          Sekera – Hamilton
          Klefbom – Franson
          Nurse – Benning

          Barzal and Debrincat were the picks Chai gave away for Reinheart, also I added Hamilton (they would have wanted Barzal but maybe something could have been worked out, Boston would not trade him to the Oil because they hate Chai)

          • 24% body fat

            Barzal and Carlo/Aho were the picks he gave away for Reinhart. Debrincat did not fit the oilers model of being an oilking, ex players son, born in edmonton, or big and slow. so they drafted benson (an ok pick).

            But how many times has that philosphy early in the second round worked for the oilers.

          • Rock11

            Oh for Chrissakes can we please stop with the Barzal BS. He wasn’t being drafted by the Oil if they had 4 picks in a row there. Remember that draft and the team at that time. The Oilers had too many small(ish) soft skill forwards and needed to get bigger tougher and add D to the organization. Everybody and their dog was saying that. Combine that with what we know about Chia’s desire to get “heavy” players and Barzal was a non-starter. Yes the Reinhart deal was a disaster but plugging Barzal into these fantasy line-ups is no more likely than plugging Crosby in. As we have heard here many times regarding the Hall trade. Get over it already.

          • 24% body fat

            thats an even bigger issue that the scouting staff wasnt going to draft Barzal, you can say give up on it all you want, but the philospohy of size over skill is not working and further illustrates Chia bad decision making.

            Kyle connor than instead of Barzal, but wait they want Ek because of his size. STUPID, pure STUPIDITY . Size means nothing without skill.

          • gr8haluschak

            Thank you Rock 11 for saying what needed to be said with this BS about Barzal, as well since you want to play fantasy so much take out Nurse if you are adding Hamilton because that was the extra ask in that trade

          • Fist is for tards

            My comment was more around if Chai wasnt the GM. If we had a good GM, Barzal should have been drafted, and the Nurse ask was because Boston hated Chai.
            That is the whole point of this thread. What if Chai was never hired?

          • gr8haluschak

            By your logic take out Maroon, Kassian, Sekera, Franson (and why you have him here is beyond me but whatever), and guess what you are trading at least 2 of those players this year anyways so remove 2 of Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Dria, Klefbom, Sekera, or Hamilton so there is cap space for McDavid

          • Fist is for tards

            Perron – McDavid – Puljijarvi
            Hall – Draisaitl – Yak
            Khaira – Nuge – Eberle
            Slepyshev – Barzal – Pitlick

            Davidson – Del Zotto
            Klefbom – Schultz
            Nurse – Benning

            Ryan Miller

          • 24% body fat

            1. why was he an alternate captain than
            2. why would they have McDavid live with him
            3. with less pressure with Mcdavid now on the team could there be growth there
            4. that doesnt mean you give away value for less

          • Dan 1919

            He’s an Assistant in NJ already. A young player that’s been an Alternate Captain on both NHL teams he’s played for. The conversation starter there is a character guy, not a cancer guy. Sorry this cancer crap just isn’t true, we’ve seen other Chiarelli tactics like buying out a solid NHL player like Pouliot (sure not a top 6 guy anymore) for no reason, and just straight up leaving the team weaker. A couple years ago I would have agreed with you or been more likely to. Today this is just Chiarelli, what you see is what you get, no hidden dressing room meanings.

  • Krazykanook

    Everyone is ripping Chirelli but did anyone consider that maybe there was nothing out there to be had better than a top 2 D man making under 5 million a year for a few years? I have a feeling that there wasn’t a lot offered out there for him because of off ice stuff (locker room?). I have no idea, but it seems strange that we are only hearing about 2 offers and not teams lining up for him. Maybe he should have kept Hall then, but I think Hall had worn out his welcome here with management (rightly or wrongly).

    • btrain

      Of course there wasn’t a lot out there! top 4 right shot defenders are rare to find in the NHL. But does that mean you force a one for one trade seeing one of the best LW in the game go for a defensemen that is slightly better with less draft pedigree than Reinheart in Cody Ceici? In that case you deal with Hall’s 60+points and his “locker room” issues and you suck it up for another season.

    • McRaj

      I remember when the deal was made, one team executive had said if he knew Hall was on the block, he would have traded a 2D (not sure if that means 2nd pairing or a #2), prospect, and first round pick to start the conversation. So yeah there were better offers to be had but Chia was in a rush cause he had a stick up his @$$

  • btrain

    You can’t be serious! wow! Only Chia could sleep at night even contemplating a move like that let alone actually trying to make it happen! Thankfully the Sens sound like they dropped the ball on this one. It probably caught them so off guard that they suspected some sort of major catch attached and didn’t initially trust it was for real and when they finally recovered from their shock, it was too late.
    This man needs to be removed from his position before this organization is set back any further. Its not just these lopsided one for one deals, its his handing out blank checks to free agents, buying out of useful players, and failure to maintain depth and speed on this roster. I was willing to consider Chia sticking around for the sake of not turning over yet another GM, but if the Ottawa deal was on the table at all, Chia needs to be shown the door. Just the thought of such a move is a fireable offense.

    • Rock11

      Sounds like the Oilers were finally able to take advantage of an incredibly cheap owner. It didn’t get us a top player for nothing but saved a brutal trade. I can pretty much guarantee that the GM for Ottawa was jumping up and down in glee at his good fortune but needed his El Cheapo owner to sign off on paying Hall before he could finalize the deal. On the downside if Chiarelli makes that deal he might have already been fired and the awful Russell, Lucic and Drai contracts might not have been signed and the equally bad Eberle deal not made. Might have been a net win for the organization in the long run to make that Ceci deal.

  • Jsplash

    Is the problem Chia, or is it even larger starting with Bob Nicholson… The dinosaur from team Canada long past?? It doesn’t take a hockey genius to see how lopsided Chias big name trade histories have been. But Chia seemed to have full support in doing so. If they have to clear Cody freaking below average Ceci through ownership in ottowa to be moved for a top 5 LW allstar… Who the hell unanimously cleared the Hall trade? Lol
    Watching Barzal nightly stings greatly, watching Strome nightly stings almost the same way. I like Larsson, but maybe a bidding war for Hall would of boasted a massive return, more than a few GMs didn’t know of Hall being a available… Eerily similar to that of Seguin. Most were seemingly shocked when he was moved. Now we’re desperate and I’m cringing at the prospect of Chiarelli’s possibly parting shot against the Oil with a terrible patented star for below par move… 1 last time.

  • Dan 1919

    Katz needs to launch an internal investigation to find out if this non-sense is true. If it is, Chiarelli looses all ability to make any trades for the rest of the year. He has the rest of the season to salvage this team as is. If he is unsuccessful, do not pass go, do not collect $100. He’s gone, no discussion.

  • Derian Hatcher

    There s a lot of “ifs” – the biggest being the source – Darren Dreger – throw crap against the wall and see if it sticks. He’s hardly an insider

  • Consultant

    We have a five alarm emergency – our GM is out of his mind. Many of us have been saying this for a while now, but I think we are all starting to see it pretty clearly. I’m afraid the only way out of this is to lose and wait for firings. Come on Nicholson, get rid of this guy before he rips it all apart.

  • Connor McFly

    Scary. Fire Chiarelli before he trades away key players for more garbage. Is McDavid safe? The fact Chiarelli and the coaching staff are still employed speaks to a total fail on the part of managent.

  • madliberation93

    Dreger is full of feces and we all know it. This guy backpedals more then a hipster on fixed gear bike. The only thing that man knows about hockey is that ice is white and pucks are black. If it ain’t Bobby Margarita saying it I call bs

  • AJ88

    BM, I hope you don’t have kids in minor hockey, Beets, drooling over a player (McD) every game, complaining about the refs every game, and now sobbing over a rumoured trade that did not happen. Come on, you can do better and plus you provoked Henderson to follow up with this rumour on another ridiculous article. Maybe it is time to find out the facts on why Hall was traded, unfortunately it looks like the Oilers are fairly tight lipped (acting professional is always a good thing), much the same way about Drai’s black eye.

      • AJ88

        So you believe everything Dreger has to say? Enough to write a “scorching hot take” on something that did not happen. Perhaps a little more fact instead of letting rumours from media sources help you scorch Chiarelli. Bad trades, refs, coaching, GM, scouting, drafting, is there anything else you want to “scorch”.

        • Rock11

          Dreger’s livelihood depends on him talking to GM’s/scouts/coaches. No way in hell he goes on the radio and completely manufactures this statement. If those GM’s stop talking to him he is out of work. We will never know if there might have been an extra sweetener coming back to Edm in that proposed deal but I guarantee that there is at least some truth to the principal pieces of that deal.

        • I assume you must be an old guy because the hockey world was talking about this on Twitter this morning. But you’re right. I should ignore the story just because you don’t like it. I apologize for forcing you to read this article and anything else I’ve written.

          • AJ88

            How old are you? So Twitter = “The hockey world”, if you want to write this way expect some negative feedback as well. Oh, the real “hockey world” that has the facts are not on Twitter discussing trades that may have happened 2 years ago. Plus, you were right, get over the Hall trade.

        • Rock11

          Of course they are talking AJ. Not all of it will 100% factual but how else do you think Bob Mackenzie and the rest get their news. The GM’s float stuff out to gauge reaction. Reaction from the media, from their fans, from other teams. If you think management teams in the NHL aren’t “leaking” stories to these guys everyday then naïve would be the nicest way I would characterize you.

          • AJ88

            It’s funny how “Bob M and rest” did not have any idea of the real Hall trade before it happened, did Dreger report the Montoya trade today. Get a grip, media do a whole pile of speculating and hope they get one right. Remember a couple of years ago when all your Bob M and the rest of the TSN boys waited all day for a trade to come at the trade deadline, weren’t they leaked beforehand? And you call me naive…

  • Jordan88

    Maybe Taylor Hall was a locker room cancer. You’d be surprised how quickly that gets spread around the league and bbbbooommm trade value drops.

    Looks like Oilers were looking to offload.

  • Rusty

    People realize that this trade DIDNT HAPPEN right!!!??? This all comes from an offhand comment made by Dreger on a morning show. As plugged in as he is there is no way he knows EXACTLY what the deal was, how far along in discussions it went, and wether it was Chiarelli at all that proposed it. This is all speculation and people are losing their poop. Yes it WOULD hae been a terrible trade. Has anyone considered that is the reason it didnt happen? its easy to criticize Chia on the trades hes made, **cough**reinhart**cough**, but to roast him on bad trades that he didn’t make seems a bit ridiculous.

  • CaptainCanada94

    Someone please take the keys away from Peter! I think he’s had a little too much to drink. Someone also please take his phone with him, he tends to drunk dial and make irrational decisions as well.

    If I am every other GM in the league, I am wearing out Peter’s number to see how bad I can take him to the cleaners.