It was one of the most controversial moves of the summer, but so far the Adam Larsson–Taylor Hall trade isn’t looking as bad as many in Edmonton expected, writes David Staples of the Edmonton Journal.
Staples notes Devils GM Ray Shero is one of the strongest proponents of the trade, and why wouldn’t he be? His Devils are in a playoff spot and Hall is tied for the Devils scoring lead. But he also believes the Oilers got what they needed, according to Kevin Allen of USA Today.
“The Oilers have taken a lot of grief over this, but has anybody sat down and watched Larsson? He’s actually pretty good.”
Shero pointed to Edmonton’s desperate need for a good, young defenseman to go with their young offensive forwards, while the Devils desperately needed an offensive catalyst like Hall.
“You have to make a team, and that is challenging in a salary cap world… They are off to a great start this season. That says something.”
Staples take on the trade is that he likes Larsson’s game, but doesn’t love it yet. He’s had the occasional struggle, but he’s also playing incredibly tough minutes with a skilled but inexperienced parter in Oscar Klefbom. Staples gives the trade a passing grade, with the note that Hall is clearly the better player but the Oilers got what they needed.
- Meanwhile, only one defense core in the NHL has yet to score a goal this season. Despite having weapons like Rasmus Ristolainen and Cody Franson, none of the Buffalo Sabres defensemen have scored. They have contributed 14 assists, however eight of those belong to Ristolainen. Franson told Bill Hoppe that he couldn’t “care less if I scored one goal in a season,” saying he prefers to get assists. Coach Dan Bylsma isn’t concerned with the lack of production, but would like his defensemen to be more aggressive.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled LW Markus Hannikainen from the Cleveland Monsters. The undrafted Hannikainen has seven points in 11 games for the Monsters so far.
- The Philadelphia Flyers have recalled LW Roman Lyubimov from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He was sent down to the AHL on Wednesday; Sam Carchidi reported it was simply a paper transaction made for salary cap reasons. Lyubimov has one goal in 11 NHL games so far this season. Carchidi also noted that it appears Chris Vande Velde will be a healthy scratch, despite scoring twice in the last four games.
- Rookie center Noel Acciari did not take part in Boston Bruins practice on Thursday morning, according to Joe Haggerty. He hasn’t skated since suffering a lower-body injury on Monday night versus the Sabres.