This post is part of Oilers Day on PHT…
Peter Chiarelli had to do something, and every other general manager in the NHL knew it. In order for the Edmonton Oilers to upgrade their defense, they were going to have to pay a very big price.
Still, it came as a shock when Taylor Hall was traded to New Jersey for Adam Larsson on June 29. The former was the first overall draft pick in 2010, a dynamic young winger who’s averaged almost a point per game in the NHL. The latter is a 23-year-old defenseman who’d been quietly developing with the Devils since going fourth overall in 2011.
“It’s a need-based trade. I feel very strongly about [Larsson],” Chiarelli told reporters. “I think he’s only scratched the surface. He was really excited when I talked to him. He felt the same thing.
“The bottom line is you’re going to have to pay a good price to get a good player, and that’s really what happened. It was a need I felt was significant. That’s the bottom line on this transaction.”
It helped that the Oilers had been able to draft winger Jesse Puljujarvi, after the Blue Jackets had gone against the consensus and selected Pierre-Luc Dubois. Chiarelli was also hoping to land winger Milan Lucic in free agency, a signing that was announced a couple of days after Hall was traded.
But Chiarelli was criticized all the same. From TSN’s Travis Yost:
The problem with this trade is that I’m not sure Adam Larsson is the player that Edmonton thinks he is, and the Oilers are thus assuming significant risk in this deal. The piece moving from the organization is one of the best scorers in the game, a top-10 5-on-5 point producer on a team that’s struggled mightily to do much of anything in recent years.
In return, the Oilers have acquired a steady, defensively talented blueliner who has all of nine goals in 274 games played. Larsson can certainly play, but is a seemingly one-dimensional player worth the cost of a Taylor Hall?
And that leads us to the poll:
(Click here if the poll doesn’t show up for you.)