|(6/30/16) Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has faced criticism for acquiring Larsson at the expense of shipping star forward Taylor Hall to the Devils on Wednesday. "In the last four or five months I've been public in saying we have to shore up our defence," said Chiarelli in a report by the Edmonton Journal. "We pounded the pavement and this is the price you have to pay."|
This deal certainly took the hockey world by storm, given that it was a one-for-one swap with Hall, the first overall draft pick in 2010, widely considered the more talented player relative to the different positions. Still, as noted in the report, the Oilers desperately needed to acquire a right-shooting blueliner this offseason and they get that with Larsson, a 23-year-old whose contract has an average annual value of $4.16 million and lasts through 2020-21 -- in comparison, Hall has four years remaining with an AAV of $6 million, so the Oilers also saved some cap space in the deal ahead of the July 1 signing period.