Kukla's Korner Hockey
“Last year for us was about laying a foundation and playing the game the right way. We didn’t finish where we wanted to finish, but we felt there was some good work done. This year we’re looking to take a step.”
-Jay Woodcroft, assistant coach for the Edmonton Oilers. More on the Oilers at Sportsnet.
from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli looked like one man at his press conference on Thursday when he carefully explained his thinking behind trading away fan favourite Taylor Hall, then like quite another man when he addressed the topic of the newest addition to the Edmonton Oilers’, Milan Lucic.
His vibe was entirely different.
In the first case, the normally calm Chiarelli seemed a uncertain as he dealt with assertions that he had lost the Hall-for-Adam Larsson trade. In the second, Chiarelli seemed almost giddy as he talked about a new attitude and new leadership on the team, and how things were going to be different now.
On Thursday the Chiarelli quote that will be remembered by Oilers fans was the general manager’s grim assessment of the necessity of moving Hall: “This is the price you have to pay.”
The money quote on Saturday? “We improved our team significantly.”
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,
The Edmonton Oilers had skill. Now they have snarl.
They will have it for a good, long time after signing Milan Lucic to a seven-year contract that ESPN reported was worth $42 million when the NHL free-agent market opened Friday, and that's the obvious concern. Seven years is a lot of term for a power forward who is 28 and locked up through age 34.
But you have to take risk if you're going to win bidding wars in unrestricted free agency, especially if you're a team like the Oilers, who have missed the playoffs for 10 straight seasons and play in one of the coldest of the cold-weather markets.
And general manager Peter Chiarelli was willing to take this risk because he knows what Lucic can do on the left wing with elite centers.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
They traded Taylor Hall for whom?
After reading 1,475,942 blogs that began “Should the Oilers trade Taylor Hall for,” how come the name Adam Larsson wasn’t mentioned in any of them?
After 10 straight seasons out of the playoffs, Edmonton hockey fans probably feel like lining up like a herd of buffalo ready to jump off the cliffs of the North Saskatchewan River and smash their heads in.
It’s imperative that a 48-hour timeout be called here.
Taylor Hall represents the first skate to drop.
The game is still afoot.
The day before, left winger Milan Lucic and defenceman Jason Demers both visited the out-of-this-world Rogers Place Arena that Taylor Hall now won’t play in but once a year — Jan. 12 this coming season.
If both sign as free agents, that would mean the Oilers will go into next season adding Lucic, Larsson, Demers and Jesse Puljujarvi, while subtracting Hall.
from Scott Stinson of the National Post,
Where the Subban trade becomes sad is that he was beloved in Montreal and donated $10-million to the local children’s hospital. Better get rid of that guy because he doesn’t play the boring style preferred by the coach.
Over in Edmonton, the trade of Hall was at least sort of understandable if you squinted at it a certain way. Yes, Hall was the Oilers’ leading scorer last season, though he would not have been if Connor McDavid had stayed healthy, and yes, Edmonton has for years now needed to improve its defence even as they kept adding forwards at the top of the NHL draft. So the trade of Hall for New Jersey Devils defenceman Adam Larsson at least addresses a key need. But Hall is also under contract for another four years at the fantastic price of $6-million per season, and he is just 23. In theory, he was a very valuable trade chip, one that should have acquired a better haul in return.
more on both trades
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Devils pulled off a heist of notable proportions in acquiring young marquee left winger Taylor Hall from the Oilers in exchange for promising young defenseman Adam Larsson.
The Devils entered the offseason with a top-five goaltender in Cory Schneider, a young and relatively deep defense and an admirable work ethic but also facing a huge talent gap at forward between themselves and the best teams in the East.
This deal in which general manager Ray Shero — who when at Pittsburgh acquired Chris Kunitz from Anaheim for Ryan Whitney and James Neal and Matt Niskanen from Dallas for Alex Goligoski — added the 24-year-old Hall from Edmonton goes a long way to addressing that gap.
Hall, the first overall selection of the 2010 entry draft, is a speed-and-skill winger who plays with an edge and can put the puck in the net, getting 26 goals with 39 assists last season. Of all those high-end lottery picks that came before Conor McDavid a year ago, Hall owns the most formidable game.
via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, where to begin with one of the most dramatic half hours in NHL transaction history?
A head-swirling span that saw a swap of two premier defensemen in Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and included the trade of a No. 1 overall draft pick in Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils that was followed by the news that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos re-signed with the team for the next eight years.
Let's just say the collective hockey heart rate is still beating in the red line, even as we begin to consider all that transpired in that magical 30 minutes.
Let's dive in with a swap of Norris Trophy-worthy defenders and marquee players in Weber and Subban, whose names were not once connected in the ever-swirling trade rumor mill leading up to Wednesday's blockbuster but whose swapping of teams will have repercussions in both cities for years to come.
Subban is 27 and under contract through 2021-22 with a $9 million cap hit. So much for Nashville being a small-market team.
Possible more details coming.
added 3:55pm, New Jersey release is below...
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
So, who is No. 1 on the TSN Trade Bait board du jour? That would be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but it depends on the Oilers’ plans in free agency.
For now, Nugent-Hopkins remains a valuable luxury at centre with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
But if the Oilers do indeed land left winger Milan Lucic, who visited Edmonton on Tuesday and got reacquainted with his old GM Chiarelli, then Taylor Hall will rocket to the top of the list.
Hall, 24, is Chiarelli's premier trade chip up front — aside from McDavid and Draisaitl. He presents the best opportunity to bring back a top-pairing defenceman the Oilers so desperately crave on the right side.
more and the top 15 trade bait players listed too...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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