While some may view the Taylor Hall trade as one of the biggest moves of the offseason, others regard the transaction as nothing more than a stepping stone.
When Hall was moved to the New Jersey Devils for for Adam Larsson earlier this summer, most believed the Devils had acquired a franchise player for a seemingly small cost. According to Martin Lunden of Swedish Oil, one member of the 'Oil' seems more than happy to see his teammate dealt away. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom hs some less-than flattering comments regarding Hall.
"I believe the team as whole is better. We've got plenty of promising forwards and we desperately needed a top-right defender. I also believe Larsson is due for his real breakthrough and hopefully I'll get the chance to form a defensive pairing with him and get the chemistry going.
I also understand the strong (negative) reactions (to trading Hall) (especially as) Hall has been our best player for the last couple of years. But at the same time, it's also somewhat tricky to pinpoint exactly what he has been able to accomplish for us.
Unfortunately, he rarely had his best games when we played the toughest teams - when we might've needed it the most - while he always played amazingly well when we were up towards the somewhat (lesser) teams."
While Klefbom does refer to Hall as the team's 'best' player, the rest of his comments seem to contradict that initial flattery. He seems unfazed by the loss of an undoubtedly talented forward, and any praise he gives seems backhanded.
Unfortunately for Klefbom, the statistics do not support his claim of 'not showing up' in regards to Hall. In Fact, 18 of Taylor Hall's 26 goals last season came against playoff teams, and ultimately he was dealt as a result of necessity over lack of production.
It should be interesting to see Hall face his former squad when the Devils host the Oilers on Jan. 7.