Trade Taylor Hall? Is it April 1 already, Oilers?

Adam Proteau
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall (Getty Images)

A TSN report that suggested Oilers star left winger Taylor Hall will be on the trade block should alarm Edmonton’s long-tortured fan base.

Trade Hall? Is it April 1 already?

There should be no sacred cows with a team this incapable of competing, but the idea the franchise could retain the services of president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe and trade away its most talented player is galling and will rightfully raise ulcer rates across the city. There’s nothing wrong with breaking up the core of talent the Oilers have assembled – in fact, that’s exactly what should happen – but if Edmonton management is going to retain one or two of their current young talents to move forward with a new roster, it’s probably a good idea if they held on to the best one they’ve got.

Now, you can argue Hall has the most value of anyone currently in an Edmonton jersey, and you’d be right. But if he’s the most proven talent of all Oilers youngsters, why not deal Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov and/or Jordan Eberle instead? Surely any competent GM could use any combination of those three players (or at least two of them in separate deals) to address the depth and talent issues the organization clearly faces, right? Even if they draft Connor McDavid this summer, they’ll need to fix their defense and goaltending or it will all be for naught again. Surely MacTavish can acquire some blue-chip prospects and/or experienced defensemen able to contribute, right? Garth Snow did so in the form of Johnny Boychuk for a far cheaper return. It’s just about doing it right, and that brings me to the most important point.

In the same report, TSN’s Darren Dreger said Hall “at least from a culture standpoint – in the room, not on the ice – hasn’t been what they hoped he would be”. The same was undoubtedly true for former Oilers coach Dallas Eakins, who was fired Monday morning after blowing away MacTavish two summers ago in a job interview. But after so many of these decisions have failed to work out, when does it become fair to point the finger of blame at management’s concept of a winning culture and the people who are continuously choosing the wrong people for the jobs? Read more

How the Boston Bruins blew the Thornton, Kessel, Wheeler, Seguin trades…and lost out on T.J. Brodie, too

459854570-Seguin-Kessel

Let’s play a little hindsight gymnastics.

Quick question: would you make this trade?

Joe Thornton, Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin for Matt Bartkowski, Loui Eriksson, Alexander Fallstrom, Matt Fraser, Dougie Hamilton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Joe Morrow, Dennis Seidenberg and Reilly Smith.

Because that’s what the Boston Bruins are left with after trading three future superstars and one well above average player before their primes in four separate trades.

If Thornton, Kessel, Wheeler or Seguin were still with Boston today, each would be the team’s top scorer. Seguin, of course, leads the NHL in goals and points.

One dumb deal is a mistake. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. Four is…WTF is going on?

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Forget Mike Babcock speculation: Focus on Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers  (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mike Babcock is vehemently denying rumors he’s on the verge of re-upping with the Detroit Red Wings as the highest-paid coach in the NHL and GM Ken Holland isn’t saying much of anything one way or the other. So where does that leave us? Well, your trusty correspondent is inclined to believe that before long, Babcock will sign in Detroit and continue his outstanding coaching career in Detroit.

From what I’ve been told, the one factor more than anything that was important to Babcock was whether or not the Red Wings have an opportunity to be a contending team for the long-term. During the Red Wings prospect tournament in Traverse City, I had a long talk with Holland after we picked the Red Wings to miss the playoffs and even he acknowledged the fans were beginning to ask questions.

“Has he lost his touch?” Holland asked rhetorically. “Is he a doofus?” Read more

Reimer steals win for Leafs; where does he rank on list of goalies available via trade?

James Reimer (Getty Images)

Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer has lost the starter’s job to Jonathan Bernier, but despite not starting since Nov. 18, he stopped 41 of 42 shots Wednesday to steal two points in a 2-1 shootout win over Detroit:

That won’t change his status with the Buds, who are committed to Bernier for now and the future, and Reimer is well-aware his best chance to start on a regular basis again lies outside Toronto. But where does Reimer rank among goalies who are or might be available on the market between now and the March 2 trade deadline? Let’s have a look at who else is out there:

– Carolina’s Cam Ward has a winning pedigree, but the 30-year-old’s stock has plummeted in recent years and he still has another season left on his contract at a $6.3 million salary cap hit. He’s played decently at times, but that salary alone will make teams in need of netminding hesitant to take a chance on him when there are cheaper options available.

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Eastern Conference GMs revealed: Who trades with whom?

Josh Elliott
New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello

Fantasy hockey makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that the real NHL is a people business, and personal relationships can influence how a team’s GM shapes his roster. Some guys have favourite trade partners, others hate trading within their conference and a few guys simply don’t like each other.

So who are the big traders in the NHL, and who are their favourite trade partners?
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Western Conference GMs revealed: Who trades with whom?

Josh Elliott
Colorado Avalanche Greg Sherman, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy

Fantasy hockey makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that the real NHL is a people business, and personal relationships can influence how a team’s GM shapes his roster. Some guys have favourite trade partners, others hate trading within their conference and a few guys simply don’t like each other.

So who are the big traders in the NHL, and who do they trade with most?
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Forget Toronto. It’s time to troll Boston for the Tyler Seguin trade

Matt Larkin
Tyler Seguin, left, is dominating the league just like he was projected to do when picked second overall in 2010. (Getty Images)

It’s funny how the Phil Kessel trade produces the same cycle of debate, year after year.

Tyler Seguin gets hot, Bruins fans taunt Maple Leafs fans for the trade that sent Boston the pick that became Seguin No. 2 overall in 2010.

Phil Kessel gets hot, Leafs fans smugly remind Bruins fans Kessel is among the game’s pre-eminent goal scorers and thus was worth every asset surrendered.

Bruins fans remind Leaf fans to include Dougie Hamilton in the discussion. Leaf fans fall awkwardly silent.

Enough already. There’s nothing more to say. Kessel is a truly elite sniper, albeit an inconsistent one, and the Leafs paid dearly to get him. In the end they got a player who may end up their all-time leading goal scorer in exchange for what were unknown commodities – draft picks – at the time. Seguin is every bit the star he was supposed to be on draft day, and Hamilton has the makings of a franchise defenseman. Every major player in the trade is excellent at hockey. We get it.

And besides, there’s one significant detail that makes the entire “THANK YOU KESSEL!” debate moot: Tyler Seguin doesn’t play for Boston anymore. It’s time we turned our attention to the trade that made him a Dallas Star. And it’s time for Stars fans to rachet up their “THANK YOU ERIKSSON!” chants.

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