Hockey Headlines: Taylor Hall Trade Looming?

Oilers Trade Talk

Why would the Edmonton Oilers consider trading a player of Taylor Hall’s caliber, you ask? 1. He will fetch the best return, mainly the top-pairing defenceman they desperately need. 2. They just drafted a skilled winger in Jesse Puljujarvi, who is ready to step in right away. 3. If they are intent on signing Milan Lucic, they need the cap space and he fills the hole on left wing. (Side note: I wouldn’t say that the Oilers prefer Lucic over Hall, but money-wise it would be hard to have both, and Hall easily has the best trade value).

Those are the logical reasons. But the question is, does moving Hall make your team better? Hall is better than Lucic in terms of skill. He scores more goals, he’s younger, and he’s just entering his prime, not moving out of it. But I understand the idea behind signing Lucic. He’s that veteran leader who will command respect in the room, he brings a lot of experience, and makes the Oilers tougher to play against. It makes sense. Unfortunately, he’s going to a ask for a lot of money and/or term, and the Oilers may end up soon regretting his contract.

There are a lot of moving pieces around the potential of moving Hall. Lucic would have to be as good as signed, and the blueliner coming back has to have term on his deal (not a rental). He’s also got to be really good, because trading a guy like Hall runs the risk of badly losing the deal, as we’ve seen many times in the past. But the Oilers need to get better, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. I think having Hall makes them a better team. Getting rid of him and signing Lucic doesn’t make them better unless a really really good defenceman is coming back. And that’s a big if.

In Other News…

The McDavid effect. [Today’s Slapshot]

Trevor Daley’s mom lost her battle with cancer, making it even more awesome that she was able to see her son lift the Cup. [Color of Hockey]

The Montreal Canadiens really struggled to score goals last season. In fact that’s been their problem for a while. Solution? Bring in a guy known for being an agitator, whose career high in points is 39, and sign him to a six-year deal. Makes sense. [CBS Sports], [Habs World]

Canucks GM Jim Benning has been fined $50,000 for tampering. [Yahoo Sports]

These are the best free agents available. [The Hockey News]. Are taxes really a factor in where they sign? [Leafs Nation]

How close were the Rangers to acquiring Steven Stamoks? [Full Tilt NYR]

Eric Lindros is finally in the Hall of Fame. He’s isn’t loved by everyone, but few players dominated the game like he did when he was in his prime. He created the power forward position. [The Ringer]

Is Cam Fowler still on the trading block? [NBC Sports]

And finally, which teams won the draft this year? [Dump n Chase]