Lucic is Taylor Fit for the Oilers

Milan Lucic

The mourning period for Taylor Hall has almost come to a close. The Twittersphere is almost safe to return to but there are a still a few moaners out there crying over spilt milk. If you’re one of those fans who are still reeling over the trade, I want to let you know that it’s okay to be upset but it’s time to move on. Let’s embrace the players we have signed or traded for and not hold anything against them.

Now, one thing that has bothered me a little bit with this whole Lucic/Hall/Larsson deal is that there are fans and pundits that really believe that Hall wasn’t moved for Larsson and Lucic. Sure, technically the deal was Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall and then Milan Lucic was signed later on.

But come on. Who are you trying to kid?

It’s painfully obvious that Hall was being moved. You’re going to tell me that when McLellan and/or Chiarelli talked about culture and attitude during the season, you didn’t think about Hall? I mean Chiarelli said that they were trading Hall no matter what because they needed a right-shot D. Regardless of if Lucic was signing in Edmonton or not.

And consider this quote as well:

  • “we’ve lost a good player, a very good player, in Taylor, who was a real significant part of this team. But I feel we’ve improved by the style of player that we’ve brought in and our approach to the game.” – Peter Chiarelli

A “good player” only? Not an elite player or one of the best in the league?… Chiarelli feels that the team has improved by the style of player. That says to me that perhaps he wasn’t a fan of the way Hall played the game or he prefers Lucic’s style.

Chia also feels that they’ve improved in their approach to the game… Wowzas! Surely you’ve got to read into that a bit, no? What was so wrong with Hall’s approach to the game? Was he not on board with what the coach and/or GM were selling? Now if I’m not mistaken, I thought that Taylor Hall was one of the hardest workers on and off the ice. Do you think that was just a sweeping statement and had nothing to do with Hall individually?

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ADAM LARSSON

A lot has already been said about the big Swede that I don’t need to get into. I think it’ll go one of two ways for him. 1) He might find some offense playing for the Oilers and be a huge find for Chiarelli or 2) he’ll be a very quiet stay-at-home defenseman like Teppo Numminen was for the Jets or what Kevin Lowe was in his playing days.

I do have a couple of questions for you stats guys out there.

What are defensive point shares? How do they define a defenseman?

I went to Hockey-Reference.com to check on some stats and I found out that Adam Larsson was 2nd in the NHL for defensive point shares between Drew Doughty and Ryan Suter. Needless to say that perked my interest. You can check out the stats at the bottom of this page.

The fact of the matter is, the Oilers have players that could’ve covered for Hall on the LW in the top 6. Benoit Pouliot and Pat Maroon both spent time on the top two lines last year. Now that’s not to say they are on the same page or even in the same stratosphere as Taylor Hall but they must be valued by someone in the organization quite a bit for Chiarelli to make that statement.

This trade and signing was made to change the image of the team. Some might even say it was a culture change. The team has been bullied for far too long by the tanks that patrol the Pacific Division and I can’t wait to see what the Big Bad Oilers have got in store.

LOOCH

Click on the pic and grab a new 16-bit Fighting Looch tee!
Click on the pic and grab a new 16-bit Fighting Looch tee!

Milan Lucic is a first-line left-wing in the NHL and don’t let anybody else tell you he isn’t. A lot of people will say he doesn’t compare to Hall and if we’re using style of play and fancy stats as gauges to implement that comparison then they’re right. But it’s like comparing Chester, that big bulldog who had the little dog running around him all of the time, to the Road Runner from Looney Tunes or if you want to put it in hockey comparisons, it’s Brendan Shanahan to Mike Gartner. Weird, one of those players never won a Stanley Cup and the other won three…

I know we’ve spent a lot of time comparing Hall and Lucic with the fancy stats and I’ve got zero issues with that. Whatever tickles your fancy but what if we just focused on the basic stats for a moment?

In the last six seasons Lucic and Hall really have put up similar numbers.

  • Hall: 381gp 132g 196a 328pts
  • Lucic: 448gp 125g 183a 308pts

I know what you’re going to say but are you really going to punish Milan Lucic for being able to stay healthy despite the style of game he plays? I mean shouldn’t we be jacked that we finally have THE Milan Lucic on the team?

I’ve heard some speak of Lucic’s impending loss of foot speed or lack of current foot speed and you know what? It doesn’t bother me. You don’t think for one second that the GM and coach have considered this? You don’t reckon the game plan might be to gain the offensive zone with control of the puck thus negating the need to dump and chase. Even if the chip and chase strategy is used, you’re telling me that the other players who’ll be on the ice at that time won’t be able to compensate for  Lucic’s lack of after burners. His game is not speed, it’s muscle and that is something that the Oilers GM and coach cherish.

Taylor Hall wasn’t hard on the puck meaning he was easily disposed of it. Be that through body contact or just falling down or making a poor decision with the puck, it doesn’t matter. Do you think that those will be problems for Milan Lucic?

Also, consider how Lucic changes the powerplay. The team can now afford to set up Milan Lucic in front of the net on one PP unit and Pat Maroon on the other. Now, I sure hope they can find a way to get a nice right-handed defenseman who can bomb the puck. Tyson Barrie’s sailboat looks to be sailing with a better gust of wind that the Oilers’. I’d be surprised if something happens there and I reckon Chiarelli feels the same.

Friend of the blog Ryan Robinson has a great vlog out detailing his reasons as to why he loves the Milan Lucic signing. Check it out below and then check out the new Tee shirt design and my updated depth chart at the end of this post!

THE DEPTH CHART

L1: Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
L2: Pouliot – Nuge – Yakupov
L3: Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
L4: Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian
Extra: Lander, Pakarinen

D1: Klefbom – Larsson
D2: Sekera – Fayne
D3: Nurse – Davidson
Extra: Reinhart

PP1: Lucic – McDavid – Eberle – Klefbom – Yakupov
PP2: Maroon – Draisaitl – Nuge – Davidson – Sekera

What do you think about Lucic being on par with Hall from a basic stats viewpoint? Let me know in the comments below.

Dig skateboarding? Click the pic and grab this new "Thrasher Magazine" inspired tee!
Dig skateboarding? Click the pic and grab this new “Thrasher Magazine” inspired tee!
Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Mark Reithmayer

    Great article and insightful reasoning! Not to bash another site however those frickin whiners at Copper & Blue are getting pathetic regarding their negativity with these great recent moves! First they bitch things need to change and when they do they bitch because we couldn’t get a number one right shot D for a bag of pucks….

    • Griff

      Agree 100%! The same bloks will be lined up at the airport welcoming home the cup. Bitching is oilcountries way of menstruating.

      • Mark Reithmayer

        Ha…great point however I sense they will be in denial once again.

  • HockeyWiz

    Lucic does not drive play. The Hall trade could not have happened without Puljajarvi falling into our laps at four. Yes, he is that good. He drives play. He turned 18 just two months ago and Lou Lamorello said he looks NHL ready. Scary.

    Line him up with Nuge and Draisaitl, and I think you have the makings of a really good second line.

    Logic would tell you that Nuge and Drai will each centre a line; but that isn’t how Chia builds a team, and isn’t how McLellan deploys his talent (see SJ Sharks and World Championships)

    We need a third line centre as much as we do a second pair defender. Letestu didn’t get it done last year, and Lander and Hendricks are best suited for the fourth.

    I think Pouliot gets traded in season or exposed to expansion. Still too many dollars on LW considering Maroon’s value contract and a still capable Hendricks… not to mention Caggiula and Benson bubbling under in the minors.

  • Kane Adamson

    Always solid and well reasoned. Nobody can tell me our team doesn’t look better than this time last year. Still lots of Barrie smoke (sounds like maybe arbitration so this should come to a close either way quite soon) so we may not have the true lineups, but if there’s a way for that trade and the C depth isn’t hurt? Exciting

  • superdutyfan

    How about James Wisniewski on a 1 yr contract ? I would like to see Nurse and Reinhardt to start in the AHL giving them more playing time . Jordan Oesterle with Davidson in the 3rd paring. Or if we signed Wisniewski he could be paired up with Davidson in the 3rd pairing. From what I read on the net Wisniewski could QB a pp

    • Beer League Hero

      I’m a fan of this. I wrote about it in the article entitled, “The Day Before”. I think wisniewski would be a rad pick up.

  • Marcus Danson

    Cool article and vlog. I could not have agreed with you more. It’s about the room, and the confidence. Saavy move by Chia. Taylor thought it was his team for a very long time while Ebs is way cooler and feels less entitled. You will now potentially see him on team Canada as the token winger to McDavid next go around. He deserves it. Attitude is everything. Klowe and Co anointed him before he hit the ice. He was unaccountable for years. And a whiner. Proof after the trade. He saw it as an indictment as a player. No, son. It was an assessment of your lack of charachter. Doesn’t matter if you did charity. You’re a millionaire. You’re supposed to.

    Your forwards are looking almost all world right now. Defence and goaltending needs further addressing. And whether or not the oil can finally develop depth forwards and D instead of continuing to patch them from elsewhere remains to be seen. Great patchwork at the very least. And with the perception of the team, at least other fans might actually start a love/hate (McJesus/Looch) relationship with the team. This is a whole lot better than being a fricken joke. Alberta hockey is nothing like that team and I am sure Oilers fans have just been shaking their heads for years as the identity of the Chuck was not represented since the 90’s. And Go Flames. Very thankful for Bennet. That might be a draw. Drai is pretty solid. Even more thankful for Tkachuck. I doubt the Canucks fans are happy with whatever his name is. Don’t care. Let’s get back to Death Valley and some head to head match-ups in the playoffs for christ sakes. This Province needs the battle again. Thanks again for the good info. Oilers suck. Even if they don’t anymore… had to say it. Still feels good. Later haters.