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The Canadiens and Oilers just made two of the worst trades in recent NHL memory

And Oilers and Canadiens fans should be upset.

Steven Stamkos is staying in Tampa Bay!

Oh, wait. You didn't hear about that? Why not? That's the biggest free agent target in perhaps a decade. It's all anyone's talked about for weeks.

*looks out window with you*

Oh no. That aftermath can only mean one thing.

Taylor Hall and P.K. Subban got traded.

Yes, two of the most heavily rumored players on the trade block (who also happen to be two of the best players in the league) were traded on Wednesday. Within 20 minutes of each other.

Which is exciting! Two of the biggest names in the NHL get moved. Surely the haul for the pair was enormous.

Uh. Come again?

Okay, that can't possibly be the real tra--

Uh. Oh no.

Okay. So let's take a deep breath here. Let's step back. And let's figure out why these are the two most awful trades we've seen in the NHL in quite some time.

Because oh man, are they bad.


We all knew the Oilers were going to trade one of their former No. 1 overall picks this summer, especially after they selected winger Jesse Puljujarvi with the No. 4 overall pick last week. The question was: which one?

The obvious candidate was either Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Nail Yakupov. Both have under-performed and struggled with injuries. Yakupov could use some new scenery. Nugent-Hopkins is expendable with the rise of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Surely the Oilers could've gone out and acquired the right-handed defensemen they so coveted with one (or both, I guess) of those two.

But Hall? Behind Alex Ovechkin, and depending on where you fall on Jamie Benn, Hall is the best left winger in the game. Aside from McDavid, Hall is the best player on the Oilers. Back in December, I wrote how Hall was quietly among the league's best in producing points and shots on net while carrying heavy minutes. He finished with 65 points on the season. He's fantastic.

And the best that general manager Pete Chiarelli could get for him was Adam Larsson? And that's it?

As a former No. 4 overall pick, Larsson's career so far in New Jersey has been ... underwhelming? At best, he's a second-pairing guy. You don't trade a franchise player (a former No. 1 overall pick in 2010) in Taylor Hall for a second-pairing guy. Not straight-up.

And especially not after you just wined-and-dined unrestricted free agent defenseman Jason Demers this week. He's right-handed, in the prime of his career and decent enough to stabilize your blueline without trading Hall.

What makes this depressingly ironic is that Chiarelli once traded the No. 2 overall pick from 2010 as well. In 2013, Chiarelli traded Tyler Seguin to the Stars. Even then, Chiarelli got back Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and draft picks.

How he didn't learn his lesson is beyond me. It's just confounding and totally dispiriting for Oilers fans hoping for decent asset management from a management group that has run the franchise into the ground for the last decade.

But even this trade isn't as shocking as the other one-for-one swap on Wednesday.


On the surface, maybe you recognize Weber's name as a Habs fan and feel your team did better with their straight-up trade than the Oilers. Let's dispel that notion right now. You're wrong. Entirely wrong. And you should be angry.

Shea Weber is not what he used to be. He lays big hits. He has a hard shot. He is a good "leader," for whatever that's worth.

He's also on the wrong side of 30 and already declining. On The Forecheck took a look at this last year and discovered his basic and advanced stats (notably, point production and Corsi) have declined for the last six years. And now the Canadiens are on the hook for his massive contract for the next decade.

But if you're going to replace Subban with Weber, that's okay as long as you get some pieces along with him. The Predators drafted three of the best defensemen in the draft (Dante Fabbro, Samuel Girard and Frederic Allard) last weekend. If Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was willing to take Weber for Subban, he needed to demand at least one of those three in return. And if not, he should've hung up the phone.

That's because Subban is a once-in-a-lifetime talent in many ways. His play on the ice is consistently brilliant. His ability to connect with fans and the community is like no other NHL player in the game today. And he's only 27 years old.

Bergevin told the media days ago that no "realistic" offer for Subban had been made. If he considered Weber-for-Subban, straight up, a realistic offer then Habs fans should desperately want to know what he considered unrealistic. Because for a team that floundered as badly as the Canadiens did last season, this seems like a move from a front office not in touch with reality.

The Canadiens just signed Andrew Shaw to a six-year deal. Rumors abound that the Oilers want to sign Milan Lucic in a few days to a long-term deal.

But Taylor Hall and P.K. Subban were expendable. Backward they go, in 20 minutes or less.

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Las Vegas' new NHL franchise needs a name

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