Photo Credit: Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

In memoriam: Hall for Larsson

It was a trade that sent shockwaves throughout the National Hockey League.

And to this day, its ramifications are still being felt.

Three years ago today, then-Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson.

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One for one.

Man for man.

Dude for dude.

Forward for defenceman.

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I didn’t remember today was the anniversary of the traee until I hit Twitter seeing everybody’s amazing tweets, including a few hilarious ones of my own.

I was reminded about so many tweets in the hours and minutes before the trade broke about how Chiarelli would never depreciate the value of an asset like Hall.

How he wasn’t that bad of a GM.

How there’s no way the Oilers could blow trading an eventual Hart winner.


Don’t get me wrong, I like Adam Larsson. I think he’s a fine defenceman to patrol the right side of this Edmonton Oilers blueline, but every time I look back I can’t help but cringe about the fact we gave up Taylor Hall for him.

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It’s not you, Adam, it’s what we gave up for you.

I always wonder about how much work was actually done in finding a good, right-shot defenceman for the Edmonton Oilers.

But I guess this was the price you had to pay.

It was the fact that Hall was the one — the man who was sent to Edmonton from the Windsor Spitfires to bring the Oilers out of the depths of NHL hell.

I’ll never forget how excited 15-year-old Zach was for Edmonton to get Hall. Finally, for the first time after a long few years, there was HOPE. Hall, Omark, Puljaarvi, Eberle.

I vividly remember going to my Dad’s work one day and seeing a reverse standings order of every teams points in Hall’s draft year. #FallForHall sat above it.

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None the less, Hall’s years in Edmonton were joyous to watch. He provided so much energy up and down the ice and was such a treat to watch in the offensive zone.

Those days of him dawning an Oilers jersey are gone, but the great memories of him playing for the Oilers will never fade.

God speed, Taylor.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

  • D

    Trading Hall was the modern equivalent of Sather trading Mark Messier instead of sending him down to Houston when he wouldn’t get with the program. Stupid move and I hope Chiarelli pays the price for it for the rest of his hockey career.

    • Bigdaddypuck

      No it isn’t the return for Mess was better except for the Nichols not want to play here, Hall trade was an act of desperation for a defenseman and a miscalculation on Lucic. Hall Is no Messier he has never willed a team to this point in his career. Not saying he won’t ever but at this point in his career I can’t compare him to Messier’s leadership after the Gretzky trade. Comparable hairlines perhaps.

      • D

        @Bigdaddypuck – all valid points you raise but the context of my comment was an incident in 1979 before Messier was the legend we know today. Messier missed a team flight and was sent down by Sather to Houston. That was a big wake-up call for Messier. The Oilers never really tried to give Hall a similar wake-up call, and instead allowed NJ to turn him into an MVP. Here is the article from 1979.


        • Bigdaddypuck

          It was and mess said when he came back the preferred apples to crabapples. And Sather said show me a 18 year old that gets a fist full of cash and dosnt get into trouble and laughed it off. I don’t think Hall did anything that some of the greats didn’t do in this town. Several had kids out of wedlock several got out of trouble with EPS because of who they where. To me I would never have traded Hall at that point. If I couldn’t get a defenseman by trading nuge or Eberle then no deal. McDavid arriving was huge but Hall can drive a line. Even if Lucic wouldn’t have dropped off so fast the seven year contract I wouldn’t have traded Hall for anything less than a Top parring D not that I’m against Larson but without UFA working out that trade is a loss.

        • Svart kaffe

          One could say New Jersey management gave him that wake up call. In this story people always talk like Hall would’ve won the Hart trophy wherever he ended up, or even if he had stayed as an Oiler.

          He wasn’t a Hart trophy winner when he was traded – New Jersey made him one because they could get through to him when his ego was bruised. He rose to the occassion, he wouldn’t have reason to in Edmonton.

          I hate the Devils but I’ve got to hand it to them. They also challanged Barzal to go back to AHL and develop his leadership skills, something Oilers would’ve never dreamed of doing, unfortunately.

      • Gravis82

        That does not make sense. What return for hall would be appropriate? A norris trophy winning D man? No teams trade those players. Why would you. There is no need to trade two players of equal impact. Trading a super star who is playing like one does not get you one in return, it gets you depth and perhaps futures. There was no way you were getting fair value for hall in a trade, ever. No GM would give you that, because its too risky. Fair value is just too valuable.

        • Svart kaffe

          Not to mention the position they were/is in. Four 1st overalls and lots of top-10 picks and still in the basement… Yeah, GM:s of are just lining up to gift this team a #1 RHD for fair value.

          • Bigdaddypuck

            Which is why you don’t make the deal.
            Full year on McDavids left side see how he does. I’m sure that would have hurt his value. And now there’s articles about trading Larsson because we have a few kids that have potential in the Ahl need to learn from mistakes. My point was my personal view but reason for responding was the fact the Messier trade was much more fruitful return. DeBrusk at the time fighter that can play the game.Rice Captain of the Canadian world junior team. Nichols 112 points and 150 before. Seems to me Slats was little better than this than Peter was.

        • HOCKEY83

          lets see. Tampa just got a first round pick for JT miller even though they are cap strapped. I think Hall would have been worth Larsson and a first round pick at least and at the time everyone who knows hockey thought so too. any round pick would have made it better

    • Petey Summers

      Could have been worse, there was a deal agreed to with the Sens, Hall for Ceci straight across. While Sens management was seeking Melnyk’s approval Chia pulled the trigger with Joisey in that amazingly bad trade.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Screw Hall. He acted like an immature douche and did nothing to lead the oil out of the basement. He did take good care of Taylor Hall, however. He aint coming back, deal with it.

    • Gravis82

      one player cannot get a team from the basement. Two star players, and then three when LD emerged last year, we had traded hall. Keep that guy while your other two superstars are finally emerging and you have a team. We traded him and now we are looking for a top line LW for 6 million max lol. Its insane that you made this comment.

    • It’s not that Chia traded Hall. It’s the return for Hall that was and is the issue. If it was Larsson and the Devils 1st rounder (or at the very least a second and a prospect) most fans would have had time for the trade. 1 for 1 was and is insane. One of the top point-producing wingers in the game for a #2 D at best, (more a second pairing RHD) is not enough of a return. Pete “Pennies on the Dollar” Chiarelli was even worse than “Dithering Steve” Tambellini…

      • The Iggy complex

        The scarier part was he almost traded Hall straight up for Codi CiCi. Ottawas gm was getting the permission to make that trade as new Jersey snuck in with the Larsson offer.

    • #97TRAIN

      You’re not a very good judge of talent. Hall is world class. I could just imagine the top six we would have if Chiarelli hadn’t shown up. Hall McDavid Draisaitl
      Barzal Nuge Eberle!!

  • Gravis82

    wow. At the time everyone was saying it was a fair deal and the oilers got the player they wanted. Would you have written this article when the trade happened? An article saying how the trade was terrible. If I can recall, literally the only media person denouncing the trade at the time was Gregor. And he was being nice. Most fans knew this was a terrible trade. And no, I don’t care about halls character and personality, I am not his dad. And I never never had a problem with that stuff anyway. He wants to win and lost a lot, his action were understandable. I had a problem with the super good character of the super bad players that surrounded him who said the right things for years on end while we remained in the basement of the league.

  • Beer

    The NHL is over until Bettman is gone. Expansion is good for jobs, not so good for the quaillity for the on ice product. The player’s suck, and so do the officials.

  • RJ

    This is a big piece of revisionist history.

    I don’t remember how many fans on this site kept saying:

    Hall for Larsson + Lucic

    Like the Oilers were making out like bandits for getting Lucic to replace Hall.

    Then people hammered Hall for not being able to lift the Oilers out of the Decade of Darkness.

  • CMG30

    Hall had a lot of unearned hate from some fans around here. They still can’t admit that he was a player who moved the needle here in Edmonton and he’s gone on to success elsewhere as well. As for the trade, it was one of the most lopsided in NHL history and will make top 10 worst trades for decades to come. It was immediately obvious how dumb it was the moment the trade hit the news and Chirelli and everyone involved should have been fired on the spot.

    Some folks may want to just stick their heads in the sand and pretend that what’s done is done but that can’t happen because Edmonton is still dealing with the hole blown into the forward ranks from this absolute disaster of a trade.

  • Digger

    Slow day in journalism I guess. The Hall ship has long since sailed. Get over it. Whether you liked the returns or not, Oilers got what they needed, a decent defenseman for a pouty wanna be superstar at the time. The idea of keeping all those departed players would be pretty hard under the current salary cap too I am guessing…

    • WHH

      Actually Digger they didn’t get what they needed. Everyone going into that off season said the Oilers needed a right shot defenseman who could quarterback the powerplay. Larsson is not that.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    People make this trade out to be worse than it really is. At the end of the day, it really isn’t that bad. Offensively, we scored MORE goals without Hall in the last 3 seasons than we ever did WITH Hall. But here are some other stats.

    Both New Jersey and Edmonton have made the playoffs once since this trade.

    Both Edmonton and Ndw Jersey have had a hart trophy winner since the trade.

    Since the trade, Edmonton has 7 playoff victories, New Jersey has one.

    So no, I don’t buy that the trade was all that bad. Yes PC should’ve gotten more for Hall, absolutely, but this trade didn’t break Edmonton and it didn’t empower New Jersey.

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      And furthermore, I LOVE ADAM LARSSON! He’s had a rough past couple season, with his dad dying and all that, but I loved his play during the 16-17 season. Always physical with opponents, always taking them into the boards whenever he could, and he was good at moving the puck out of the d-zone. I’m happy he’s on the team, and it’s sad he gets lumped into this like it’s his fault.

  • Rama Lama

    The most stupidest trade made by the most stupidest GM…….every job interview that PC has from here on in, he should be asked the reasons he made this ridiculous trade? I’m not aware of anyone who thought he extracted fair value in this trade……..there may be someone out there who thinks this was a good deal, perhaps some NJ fans, but that’s about it.

  • camdog

    For every season Hall helps you he spends the next season injured. The talk about Hall last season was understandable, this season he spent the year injured and New Jersey got a high draft pick as a result. Next year he’s UFA and in 3-4 years a teams going to be stuck with a large cap hit for a guy that can barely walk.

  • Ken McTippett

    We should have demanded a 1st Round pick in addition to Larsson. If ever there was a deal that required a “sweetener,” this was it. Still, the Oilers made the playoffs the next season, and the Devils did not, so we all were proclaiming Chia a genius. And then…

      • Kool-Aid Man

        Wouldn’t that in turn make Burger Bobby Nicks one of the worst CEO’s in history? He is the jack-a$$ that did not do a extensive search for a proper GM and, instead brought in Charelli to destroy the Oilers roster all the while preaching patience for a “plan” that never really existed.

        Shouldn’t Booby Nicks shoulder a good portion of the blame too? It’s really disappointing to see how this organization rewards failure and discourages success. Frustrating as heck!!!