You Gotta Have Onions


I think that’s what former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Gord Stellick said on Oilers Now this week when asked about the Taylor Hall Trade. You gotta have onions sometimes. And I agree with him. Wasn’t it Todd McLellan that said,

β€œIt’s insanity if you keep banging your head against a wall. We needed to shore up a hole. I know there is a lot of talk about (losing) that dynamic offensive guy, but we also needed a good shutdown 20-minute-a-night guy, and we believe we have that in Larsson.”

McLellan had another quote that I found quite telling but I’m having trouble rounding it up, maybe if you know the one I’m talking about you could leave the link in the comments below. But what I remember distinctly about the quote was that he referred to Hall as a “good” player not an elite player, not one of the best in the NHL but just a good player.

*There’s some fowl language in the post today, please be forewarned*


Sometimes I believe that trades are made not because the numbers the player(s) are putting up are a reflection of their abilities but because there are other circumstances that we as the fans aren’t privy to. For example, maybe a player’s personality just isn’t a fit with the club or perhaps they leave the coaching and management wanting with regards to a certain work ethic. Perhaps there are some off the ice issues or there might even be the dreaded character flaws that are something a GM or coach can’t be bothered with.

I’d just like to present some things for you regarding Hall and you can either read them and let me know your thoughts or just skip down a bit because there’ll be other Oilers topics to talk about.

  • Taylor Hall had two VERY public run-ins with his coaches.
    • The water bottle incident with Dallas Eakins
    • The time Hall was sent to the end of the bench by Todd McLellan
  • Did any of the other notable Oilers have confrontations like this? I mean in the NHL as a whole, how many times have you seen a team’s best player get reprimanded the way Hall has been in the past by multiple coaches.
    • And don’t give me the “Oh he’s a passionate player” bullshit either. “He wears his heart on his sleeve” rhetoric is fucking boring and if that is true, tell me how. Did he play like he was the next coming of Mark Messier or Wendel Clark? Was he out there banging bodies and making shit happen. Was he sticking up for his teammates in the scrums and telling it how it is after the game or was he towing the company line and letting others get their hands dirty?
  • Taylor Hall played a full season in 2015/16 and that gave his GM the opportunity to evaluate him completely which can’t be said for most of his other teammates.
    • Hall only managed to put up 65 points. I say only because we expect more out of him right? This is a top 5 LW in the NHL, surely he’s not dependent on others for point production if he’s the type of player that pushes the river or drives a line on his own.
    • Hall disappeared for the 2nd season in a row in the latter third of the year… Yikes.
  • This is getting into the tabloid newsy type of shit but it’s worth mentioning I believe.
    • Was Connor McDavid rooming with Taylor Hall for McDavid’s own good or was it for Hall’s?
      • Was that in fact an evaluation test of Hall’s off-ice ability?
        • What happened to Nuge and Ebs? I thought these guys were the Three Amigos?
    • Hall is no longer an Oiler and neither is his roommate Luke Gazdic… Coincidence?
  • The left-wing was the most obvious spot for which the Oilers could deal from. End of story. Not Pouliot nor Maroon nor yak or Eberle, Nuge or the 1st rounder this year was going to get the team the player they needed.
  • Another thing is, and I urge you to consider this, Taylor Hall wasn’t what the GM’s were after. Why is that?
    • It was Draisaitl, Nurse, Nuge, Eberle, or Klefbom… But even those players weren’t going to get the Oilers the type of player they wanted.
      • Any Why would you want to deal any of those players apart from maybe Nurse.
      • Deal Nuge or Draisaitl and you’re short at centre again.
      • Deal Eberle and you’re left with Yak, Puljujarvi, Kassian and Pakarinen… No ideal.
      • Deal Klefbom and you’re out the team’s best defender.
    • Why can’t Taylor Hall Make Team Canada apart from the World Championships?
      • He lights it up versus inferior competition there and people say he’s so good… Think again.
      • Bob Nicholson used to run Hockey Canada, now he’s the man with the Oilers, now Taylor Hall is a New Jersey Devil.
        • You don’t reckon with the former head of Hockey Canada being Hall’s boss (more or less) that Taylor Hall would be given the “good word” if he deserved it?

Telling ya, there’s something fishy going on and Chiarelli doesn’t not put up with young guys who don’t fall in line does he? Ask Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin…


Don’t be the type of asshole to give this guy a hard time next season. Just because Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry got ran out of town doesn’t mean Larsson needs to be. You have to understand that this is a player that is not going to replicate Hall’s flash and dash and I’d ask you to search out McLellan’s quote online about getting rid of some of the flash and dash to see what he said about with what to replace it with.

I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with hard work and winning experiences.

Now if you’re a fancy statter or just a fan who likes to run the numbers, please do me a favour and consider these things when comparing Larsson to other dmen:

  • How does he compare with other players’ seasons aged 18-22?
  • How were the teams that those players played on?
  • How were those defenders deployed?
  • Since 2009, only a handful of defensemen have debuted the year after being drafted.
    • Victor Hedman, Dmitri Kulikov, Cam Fowler, Adam Larsson, Seth Jones, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Nikita Zadorov.
    • How have they done since then and how did they do in their first 4-5 years?
    • Notice something interesting about that list of players? Mostly offensive dmen, right?
      • Did the NJ Devils throw him into the fire with the notion that he’d be an offensive dman? If so, why didn’t they utilize him in a better fashion? They more or less gave him the Jultz treatment, no?
      • Now according to Woodguy, Larsson is one of the best defensemen in the entire NHL and keeping elite players to the outside.
      • Our very own G Money and the esteemed Woodguy are working on a groundbreaking new stat that is going to blow your minds and be able to let you know a bit more about quality of competition.
        • QoC is important because it let’s us know how players are doing against other players in the league. It also tells us how a player is utilized.

The more stat oriented fan might still believe that this signing is going to be an albatross in the final 2-3 seasons but I do have to ask you a couple of things:

  • Do you think that Lucic will make every other Oiler including the likes of Kassian, Nurse, and Maroon a little bit taller? Will it make them puff their chest out just a little bit more and feel the confidence to go out there and try a little extra night-in night-out?
  • Is it possible that Milan Lucic is a freak of nature given his ability to stay healthy inspite of his style of hockey? Could he be the outlier that bucks the trend of power forwards slowing down considerably in the back nine of their careers?
    • I suppose as long as Alexei Emelin doesn’t give Lucic the Ulf Samuelsson treatment, I believe we’re in for a long and fruitful tenure with Lucic.

I believe that there’s still the need to find a bottom-six right-handed pivot to cover for injury or roster movement. I’m not sure how durable Matt Hendricks is going to be and I’m not a fan of Iiro Pakarinen. If the Oilers could go out and sign a Josh Jooris for example, I think that’d go a long way.

Surely you’d remember Jooris from his time with the Calgary Flames. He’s a fast and rugged player. Last season wasn’t as good for him as the season previous but he’s a character guy in his mid 20’s. I wonder if he’d be the “Pisani” that Lowetide talks about?

If you recall, Jooris was the player that hit Tyler Pitlick a couple seasons back and lacerated his spleen. It was a violent collision to say the least. One of the hardest I’ve ever seen.

*Jooris was signed by the Rangers today. Scratch him off the list…*

I don’t think the Oilers are going to pick up that RHD this off-season. Then again Chia has always struck when the crowd has been the quietest. I reckon it’s a four-man battle royale for that no.6 spot and possibly the second power play unit between Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart and Jordan Oesterle. None of them are right-handed however…

From my source, James Wisniewski was contacted and there was interest but the problem was term not money. The details weren’t disclosed.

With the expansion draft looming next summer, it could be a very interesting year. It’s possible that Chiarelli just bides his time and waits for both drafts (expansion and entry) to blow over and then makes a move to get that right-handed PP QB.

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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!

  • oprah sucks

    In regards to Hall I have brought those issues up in comments many other times dating back to the Krueger days. Speaking of, there was an issue with those two also. Versus the Canucks I believe and oilers were down 2 or 3 and Ralph pulled the goalie really early. Shortly came the empty net goal with hall on the ice that turned to the bench boss and had words for him from a distance. Common denomator…….Hall. Other teams, gms, SOME fans, and most importantly the coach and teammates see it. That was the first eye opener for me. Sure players argue, coaches and players will argue but when do you see a rookie, never mind player, a rookie yell at the coach from across the ice. Being the first incident you get a pass and mark it up as a learning experience. Well maybe he never learned. Also another example for me was after losing a Habs game couple seasons ago Hall replied to a tweet from a game earlier courtesy captain Ference. Ference publicly generalized some players on the team not appreciating being an NHL’er in his tweet earlier. Hall made the comment that it was such a great pleasure to play against Montreal and appreciated it. It was something like that anyways. Hard to read what poeple mean through tweets and texting but I took it as sarcastic coming after a loss and a tweet from Ference. Who knows who was right or wrong or both in the wrong, fact is its about who’s involved! The Bob Nicholson comments are bang on imo. Imo it was already decided hall would be the first to go before Chiarelli and McLellan even got hired. Did anyone not listen to or see Taylor Halls demeanour his first interview coming back from injury when Todd Nelson took over. You think Mac T come down to baby sit if there wasn’t internal issues. Like when does that ever happen with other teams. Ya gms used to fill in sometimes but after hiring an interm… wtf? It was odd nonetheless. I firmly believe the cat was out of the bag between Bob and Taylor already Bob just needed to find his crew to do it. Chia would have pulled a deal off during last season if there wasn’t so many injuries in top six fwrds But back to the interview part, it looked to me as if hall was put in his place. Come across as pouting almost, and do remember that upon his return he started on the third line. The first time in his NHL career that he ever played anything other than top two lines. One can almost get the impression that during Halls recovery that yr is when eberle and the nuge seperated themselves from Hall sorta. Then once oil won mc lottery writing was most definitely on the hall, I mean wall. Lol I almost wish for the season to start today just to see team chemistry without hall and with current roster before anymore changes. Imo this hockey club is now on the verge of really taking off and being competitive.

    • Beer League Hero

      Yeah, I can’t wait for the season to start. This is a completely brand new look for the Oilers. One we haven’t seen for a very long time, if ever. Did the ’06 Cup run Oilers have this look? It was a tough roster, that’s for sure.

      Your memory is way better than mine regarding Hall’s past. I tend to forget things on a season-by-season basis. All of those things you said are interesting and I’m surprised that nobody brought them up… Or maybe it’s not surprising at all given the amount of slack media and fans gave Hall.

      • oprah sucks

        Ya hard to say if oilers will have a similar look as they did in 06. That team had a definite swagger to them which I hope is gonna become the norm again in oil country. After getn Rollie the goalie and locked up that position the team really took off and looked to be the real deal.

        For sure excited to see what new look the Oilers will have this yr. Take no bullshit and tough to play against is all I’m asking for.

  • Monkey C Monkey Do

    People can never seem to make up their minds about how to fix the Oilers,here’s a newsflash,Bob,Pete and Todd were brought in to do just that.We may or may not like what they do,but they all are being paid good money to make these calls.If we all can agree that our opinions are just that,opinions,then you should be able step back and let the guys hired to do that job,do their job. I like the direction this team is trending and feel the Hall trade was inevitable, not because of Taylor’s shortcomings,but because you gut the team with any other trade to get a top pair defenceman.Just look at what Montreal wanted for PK Subban,that trade would have set us back years,for what may arguably be a cap killer contract for another nine years.I think time will tell who is right. But would you rather lose Conner to an offer sheet because all your money is tied up with PK and the Austins

    • Beer League Hero

      You make a stellar point and one I agree with. I think a lot of people are crying because the Oilers didn’t get that offensive dman back but why isn’t anyone keying in on Klefbom as the one who might be that dman who puts up the points?…

  • Marc Porter

    Wont miss Hall and his constant failed toe drag turn over no back checking ways.

    • Beer League Hero

      Hahaha. The hit Ellis laid on him last season (not sure) was the epitome of Hall-ness. The thing that pissed me off about Hall the most was the way he gave the puck away… infuriating.

      Thanks for commenting Mr.Porter!

  • superdutyfan

    I agree with you on LW being depth postion to trade from (I new hall would be traded and got blasted by some guys), but you always here rublings of cirtian players caracter issues I also read ben eagers tweets of issues with some players in the room but would not give names just said “what happens in the room stays in the room” but if you say that shit you should give the names or shut the **** up . I have always been a guy that would say whats on my mind if I can say it behind your back I would say it to your face.
    Anway Hall is a skilled LW but my issue is 6 yrs and only 1 full season everyone can say he is elite (im not one of them) but he plays with too much recklessness one mistake and he could be injured. That does not make you elite. Elite players play smart hockey and have a long carrer. Elite players have more than one 30 goal seasons hall has zero to date. I like watching Hall he is exciting but as of right now in my opinion he is not elite. (And I sure got blasted when I have said hall is not elite lol)
    where larsson is just coming into his own now. Things could go either way for lsrsson I hope he turns out good but I would not be to surprised if he has a slow start hamilton had a slow start in calgary last year it takes time to adjust to a new team coaches plsyers etc being traded for hall is going to put alot of pressure on him. I hope everyone helps his confidence and not run him out of town in the 1st month he is still just a young kid learning to play defense in the NHL.
    Everyone kmows what Lucic brings to the table (I will feel sorry for the oilers players that dont pull their own weight) other teams only play a few games against Lucic these young oilers will be practicing with him almost everyday .
    Wisniewski I was one who thinks they should get this guy but not if the term is stupid one yr maybe 2 but thats it.
    We cant trade our centers for the reasons you stated above to get a pp qb defenseman. Cant buy campionships just ask the rangers and my cowboys πŸ™ so we need to get some good development happening, I have read Ethan Bear sounds like a good prospect coming up but still a has a ways to go.
    Tyler Benson might be a steel and could replace hall in 2 or 3 yrs. That is a player im going to watch carfully the next 2 yrs.

    I think its time to do an expansion draft blog unless I missef it . But on general fanger you can do mock ones and it says we have to protect Draisaitl and I have herd that we don’t so im not sure which is right. But pouliot is my pick to goto Vegas.

    • Beer League Hero

      Pouliot eh… If we’re protecting Nuge, Eberle, Lucic, Draisaitl, larsson, Klefbom, Sekera, and Davidson… Then yeah, he could very well go in the expansion draft and that’s not a bad shout either… frees up $4M in cap space too.