The future of Adam Larsson in Edmonton. The appetite for a Taylor Hall return to the Oilers. These are a couple of points of conversation that have lingered around all season. Let’s grab both topics and mash them into one.
Earlier this week, a guy named Joshua Marshall went on Twitter and claimed that Hall wants a trade out of New Jersey and that Edmonton would be his top destination…
.@NJDevils LW Taylor Hall has informed his agent Darren Ferris that he wants a trade as of a few days ago & that the @EdmontonOilers are the number one team on his list according to a former #Oilers player/management member, we shall see where this goes….#NJDevils #LetsGoOilers
— Joshua Marshall (@JMarshyBosco93) November 15, 2019
Of course, we have no idea if Marshall’s source is legitimate. Hall may not have asked for a trade and he also might not have any interest in playing for the Oilers again. Who knows. But, given the fact the Devils likely aren’t competing for a playoff spot this season, it seems inevitable the soon-to-be free agent will be on the move as a rental this year. Hall also doesn’t have any kind of no-move clause, so, wherever New Jersey finds the right return is where he’s going.
I don’t think bringing Hall back makes sense for the Oilers long-term. He’s going to command a contract at around $10 million annually this summer and signing him to that sort of deal would massively limit Edmonton’s flexibility in the future. But Hall as a rental? It makes quite a bit of sense.
There’s no doubt the Oilers need more offensive depth. If they’re going to make the playoffs and go on any kind of run this spring, Holland is going to have to make some additions prior to the trade deadline. Ideally, the Oilers can find another top-six winger to play on the second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal. I’ve thrown out names like Tyler Toffoli in the past, but Hall would really give the Oilers an elite second line behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
I wrote last week about the Adam Larsson conundrum, where he fits both short-term and long-term with the organization. With a bevy of good, young defencemen working their way up, Larsson might find himself on the outside looking in given his contract status. He also might be one of Edmonton’s most sensible trade assets heading into the trade deadline if they want to avoid dealing prospects and draft picks away for rentals to help their playoff push.
The Devils will most certainly be looking to deal Hall before letting him walk for nothing in free agency. The team went all-in this off-season in order to prove to him that there’s a winner in New Jersey worth being a part of, but it hasn’t worked out at all. Still, the Devils have quite a few win-now pieces and they surely don’t want to rebuild forever, so they might look to deal Hall for an established player. Their blueline badly needs some help, so maybe the veteran presence of Larsson is exactly what they need.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. If you’re Holland, would you trade Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall? If you’re the Devils, do you take that deal? What would the Oilers have to add to get this deal done? Would Jesse Puljujarvi make it work? Or would a reversal of the infamous one-for-one work for both sides?