Taylor Hall Traded! A Good Thing?

Hall_Larsson

My mind is going a million miles an hour trying to process what happened today. Hall, Subban, Weber, and Stamkos all made waves today but none bigger that Taylor Hall. I’m going to take some time to collect my thoughts a bit better but I want to leave you with a couple of sentiments from some friends of the blog.

JARI LESSER

June 29th, 2016

The day 60% of the Oilers fan base turned on Peter Chiarelli.

You can’t trade a forward for a defenseman and win that trade. You just can’t. Especially when right handed D are at such a premium this summer.

Adam Larsson can play big minutes and has already. And on a top 10 defensive team. You cannot trade a Taylor Hall and get Subban/Weber/Ekman-Larson in return, you just can’t because defenseman are valued higher than scoring wingers. If you trade a center, you can maybe get a Larsson in return, but Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t get you Larsson in return. Eberle doesn’t get you the same return either.

On paper as it stands right now, Oilers have lost this trade, but you were never going to win trading Hall. Ever. You trade from strength to address the blaring need on defense. Oilers still have Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Yakupov (still remains to be seen if he’s actually good), Puljujarvi and Connor McDavid (who is pretty good if you haven’t noticed). Offense should be fine, especially with a bit of an upgrade on defense.

If the Oilers pull off Demers and Lucic on Friday, this trade is a piece of a bigger puzzle. You give up Hall, you get Lucic, Demers and Larsson in return.

If the Oilers do not land any of these guys, then we have to wait to see if Larsson actually helps the defense as much as we need. If not, Oilers 100% lost the trade, no question.

Chiarelli isn’t dumb. He’s gone through 2 drafts getting McDavid, Reinhart, Talbot, and Puljujarvi. So I have faith in him, and I’m not sure he’s even done yet. Still need a powerplay quarterback.”

MICAH KOWALCHUCK

(1) We now know what it takes to land Subban or Weber.. It requires having as good of a right-hand defenseman to deal for one, we did not have one to deal.

(2) Wingers do not fetch elite defensemen in deals, no matter how good they are. Centers can fetch more for their versatility. If we look at the elite wingers dealt over the last decade (Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, Marian Gaborik, James Neal, Phil Kessel) we can see that none of those players brought back an elite defender. They get you back prospects, equal forwards, draft picks, but they never land you an elite defender. A center can, but the wingers just never do, as much as we may value them as fans. If you look at the few RHD dealt, they were for other defenders or for 1Cs.

(3) Ok, so what about Hall’s performance itself. There’s a lot of emphasis on his points per game over the last few seasons, but let’s look a little more. In his career, last season was the most games Hall has played. Hall has also never broken 30 goals, his best year was 3 seasons ago when he had 80 in 75. So, although he may put up great points per game, he misses a fair number of games. Also, if you look at last year, Hall had 26 goals in 82 games, Eberle had 25 in 69 games. To get those 25 goals, Eberle took 173 shots. Hall required 286 shots to get his 26 goals. So, Hall is not an elite goal scorer. And there’s been talk he’s not great in the locker room for awhile now, and the team Canada snub may relate. And it was in 2014-2015 where, when he was injured and the new top line was Pouliot-RNH-Eberle where Eberle said how he preferred the line because, although he phrased it nicely, Hall was a puck hog. So all of these combine to affect his value around the league. I’m not saying he was a bad player at all, but I’m saying this all combines to affect value. (Injury history + Reputation + Bad Locker Room rumors + Only plays Winger = less value than we’d hope)

Also, if you look at points generated per season, Hall put up 328 points while 458 games were played (he missed quite a few). If you consider instead how much we get out of him over an 82 game season, it’s .72ppg, much lower than the 328 in 381. He misses on average 13 games a season. Eberle actually had 331 points in the same 458 games by comparison..

(4) Our roster right now is likely Lucic-McDavid-Yakupov, Pouliot-RNH-Eberle, Maroon-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi, Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian, and then Klefbom-Larsson, Sekera-Demers, Davidson-(whoever wins this spot). This is a much deeper, more balanced and better club with a much stronger defense. We may not be happy with the deals today, but that roster is a club with depth, physical play, defensive skill and the ability to compete next year for a playoff spot.

(5) Ok, now for Larsson.. First off, Larsson is only 23 years old, was the #4 overall in 2011, and he’s signed long term for $4.16mil, basically we have him and Klefbom as a defensive pair until 2021. He’s a true right shot, he’s 6’3 and 205lbs. Last year he averaged 22:31 playing for New Jersey, and he played 5 on 5, PK, PP, everything. For this reason, his CORSI was a bit lower, but his partner on the left side was Andy Green, who has lost a step. If you look at Sekera’s offensive performance with and without Fayne, it’s similar for Larsson, he had to lug a guy around who’s losing a step in his game. Also, New Jersey is not a very good scoring club, so Larsson’s scoring numbers will naturally be lower because, well, New Jersey can’t score a goal, which is why they did this trade. Also, Larsson had 30.8% offensive zone starts to 70% defensive zone starts last year, he only had 18 points last season because he was playing some very hard minutes. The season before, with 40% offensive and 60% defensive he managed 24 in 64, so he’s more accurately a 40 point defender with a better partner and more balanced zone starts, which he’ll get here.

In summary, yes, we all hate this deal. Yes, it probably was about right value-wise due to the winger (and other) factors, even if a lot of commentators will rant about it. Yes, the roster the Oilers will have on July 1 is a far better roster than they had on June 28, and is probably a playoff club. And Yes, Larsson is a better defender for point generation than he seems, and he’s a better overall defender than we think.”

Look, I know that a lot of fans, writers, journalists, media members, etc are ready to burn Chiarelli at the stake but what did you expect? The Entire NHL knew the predicament the Oilers were in and they took advantage of them. It’s not Chiarelli’s fault that this was the team he was laden with. Sure he had a year to do what he wanted but by his own admission, he needed that year to evaluate said team and how could he have with all the injuries?

I’ll say this before signing off here though. I told you to be prepared for a deal like this and if you lost your shit on Twitter because of it, you weren’t reading the tea leaves well enough.

What do you think? Do you agree with Jari and Micah? Let me know in the comments below.

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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!

  • Gerbec

    I agree with your summary as long as the Lucic deal is not too onerous

    • Beer League Hero

      yeah, I think it’s gonna be a big one though. It’s the only way they’re going to get him.

  • Marc Porter

    Great article

    • Beer League Hero

      thank you marc! and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  • shane

    I agree but think signing Demers now would be a mistake. He will be an older, over paid slightly less version of Larsson. Oilers desperately need a PP dman and I expect PC to focus on that. I could see a Boyle type of deal to bridge the gap to the expansion draft. With the $2 mill saved today, I could also see a possible offersheet made or threatened for Barrie or Lindholm. Lindholm means your trading Klefbom, becasue of Sekeras NMC, but I would swap that out all day long. Bottom line, Oilers need a dman who can play PP and get the shot through.

    • Beer League Hero

      I personally think they’re going after Barrie.

  • Mitch92

    The Oilers should do their due diligence on Cody Franson. He missed a lot of last season in Buffalo with a neck/concussion injury. If he is healthy he might be had for a mere pittance as he never really appeared to be a fit in Buffalo. He could provide some PP production and he wouldn’t have to play against top lines with Larsson in the fold.

    • Beer League Hero

      yeah maybe as a last resort. He makes a pretty penny and hasn’t been the same guy he got popular for in Toronto.