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?
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.
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
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.