Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

On The Taylor Hall Trade

Since free agency was likely upstaged a couple days ago by two major trades, I see no problem writing a post about one of those trades right as free agency is about to begin.

The Edmonton Oilers have been a bad team for several years.  During this time they have been able to acquire several forwards as top draft picks.  This year is no different is Jesse Puljujarvi fell into their lap.  One problem is that they lack any good defencemen.  In fact the only defencemen they had who was once considered a top prospect for the Oilers was Justin Schultz.  He didn't work out and found himself traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins last year.  The Oiler have been trying to turn some of their young forwards into a top flight defenceman in a trade for quite a while.  They hadn't been able to do so.

I think the move they finally made was out of desperation.  They traded their top established player in Taylor Hall (assuming Connor McDavid is not really established yet having only played half an NHL season) to the New Jersey Devils.  Hall is one of the top left wingers in the game and is a player I would have put on Team Canada for the World Cup.  The Oilers got Adam Larsson as their return from the New Jersey Devils.

Larsson is a solid defenceman who was a high draft pick.  He was selected 4th overall in 2011 - by comparison Hall was first overall in 2010.  Larsson is a solid top four defenceman who shows good puck possession stats.  Likely he can take on a bigger role in the future.  Larsson is a defenceman who will likely improve in the future.  Hall is also a player who will likely improve in the future.  The difference is Hall is already a top player and Larsson isn't.  Were he a Canadian (he is Swedish) and old enough, he would not have received any serious consideration for Team Canada in the World Cup.  If Larsson does improve as projected he likely won't be as good as Hall is now.  This is a bad trade for the Oilers.

The Oilers have downgraded the amount of talent that they have.  They gave away one of their top forwards and they do not have their top flight defenceman.  They may or may not ever have a number one defenceman in Adam Larsson.

New Jersey is a team in need of some scoring.  Taylor Hall will likely be their top scorer next year.  This helps the Devils.

Edmonton badly needed a defenceman and they were having trouble finding one.  Ironically at almost the same time as the Hall trade was announced a trade of two top defencemen was announced in PK Subban and Shea Weber.  Edmonton was unable to pry away either of those defencemen when they were clearly available.

Peter Chiarelli, the Oiler GM, will go down as the man who traded a young Phil Kessel, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall and didn't get an adequate return in any of these trades.  It isn't a good legacy for him. 

New Jersey made a strong trade in obtaining Taylor Hall and they did so because the Oilers were desperate to make a move.  That is how you make a good trade.  You wait until another team comes to you that wants to make a trade really badly and you make that trade in your favor.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com