Chiarelli: Get Thee To A Loony Bin

The NHL is in a state of chaos.

Not really, but as a fan, there’s a lot for me to be really fucking confused excited about. P.K. Subban to Nashville in exchange for fan-favorite and captain, Shea Weber. Hall gets shipped to Jersey. One hellhole to another. Pray for him. Stamkos signs eight more years with Tampa, dousing the final embers of hope I had of seeing him in black and gold.

Let’s start with P.K./Shea. We know how I feel about Nashville, but they made out with the better end of the deal here, and I think P.K.’s got a better shot at a cup on that roster–though the thought of the cup in Nashville triggers my gag reflex like the smell of Bacardi on a hungover Monday morning. Subban and Josi (assuming they’re a pair) will be really fun to watch. P.K. is young, and will put in some good years in Nashville but I hope (for his sake and for my sanity) that he doesn’t finish out his career there. Weber’s never been in my good graces but hopefully the change of scenery provides him with a little kick in the ass. Also, it’s nice to not feel an obligation to hate P.K. because of my allegiance to the floundering set of AHL call-up bums that I begrudgingly call my favorite team: the Boston Bruins. I always quietly liked P.K., and he’s just generally a good guy. Good for the sport. So it seems.

But the real story here is this Hall/Larsson trade. And no, I’m not talking about Oliver Ekman Larsson, I’m talking about Adam Larsson (what???) of the New Jersey Devils. Larsson is a top pair right-shot defenseman who notched a whopping 18 points in the 2015-16 season. He was selected fourth overall in the 2011 draft, and he’s only 23. Then there’s Taylor Hall. First overall in 2010, only 24 years of age. 65 points last season (26 goals, 39 assists). I get that the Oilers need defensemen, but the tipped scale re production is just inexcusable. Can’t trade away your biggest offensive asset for a back-end guy who nets 3 goals a season.

Where’s the logic, Pete?? You complete and utter LUNATIC! Can you see what you’re doing through those pedophile style glasses? Is the glare off your spit-shined cranium giving off too much of a glare? I’m tempted to estimate that Peter Chiarelli’s IQ is equivalent or less than the number on the sweater of the player he just traded away. For those of you in the dark, that’s the number four.

Is he in cahoots with these other teams? Did Dallas pay him off for the Seguin deal? Has he been promised an all expenses paid (including courtesans of exotic erotic pleasure) trip to the Jersey Shore? Does he want to meet Snooki? Is Snooki still a thing? Are he and Chris Christie going to sit on the boardwalk and eat funnel cake while they compare their flawed views on the world and the way it works? Did the actual Jersey Devil threaten to curse Chiarelli so he’d transmogrify into a cloven-footed mutant who chews Christie’s cud?

“Be a madman illogician and trade away all your most talented players while they’re young, Pete! (and Boychuk too, don’t forget about that.)” – The Jersey Devil.

Who knows. All I know is you don’t trade your top offensive producer for a Larsson that isn’t Oliver Ekman. I’d feel better about a Chara/Hall deal–particularly because then I’d have Taylor Hall on my team, but also because then there’d be a seasoned veteran to teach the youths how to be an all-star. I love Andy Ference as much as the next guy, but he’s an infinitesimal blip on the radar next to Chara.

Who is going to produce for Edmonton now? Nugent fucking Hopkins?¹ Nail Yakupov? Jordan Eberle? BUMS!

Oh, but James! What about Connor McDavid?

What about him?

That glass-boned dud belongs in an incubator with an IV drip of PediaSure. I’d just as soon trust a chickadee to carry my team. McDavid is going to be underwhelming (relatively, compared to his talent/potential) for his first three years in the NHL, that’s my prediction. He ain’t Gretzky. Wouldn’t even call him Crosby. Among the Calder candidates, he comes in dead last. Panarin is dazzling. Gostisbhere is beyond impressive. Disagree with me all you want (and I know many of you will), but of the Eichel/McDavid tandem, Eichel is going to be the star (I am prepared to eat these words).

In an ideal world, Taylor Hall goes to New Jersey and makes the most of it. Maybe Peter Chiarelli is like Dane Cooke in that movie (Good Luck Chuck? I think that’s it.) where you’ve gotta be dished at his hands before your career can really blossom. You’ve gotta endure his psychopathic wrath before you can find your true love. Look at how well Boychuk did with the Islanders. He sent Kessel to Toronto, and now he’s got a cup with Pittsburgh. Traded Versteeg: two time cup champion. Look at Seguin and how he’s blossomed since Pistol Pete Chiarelli pulled that fateful trigger and sent him to Dallas for Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson. Now he’s just living it up in the Lone Star State, finding twine and crushing ass with his bestie Jamie Benn.

Hall is gonna have to pick a new number, since Scott Stevens will forever be four in New Jersey, but maybe it’s symbolic of a new and better beginning. Edmonton is where careers go to die. With that line of thinking, Taylor Hall has yet to be born. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but he’s always been in fucking Edmonton. Edmonton. Maybe New Jersey is what he needs (never thought I’d type that sentence in my fucking life). They’ve got Corey Schneider. Corey Schneider is fucking good.  Palmieri gets no love. And I’ve always had a soft spot for Adam Henrique.

There’s no denying that the Devils suck–they’ve sucked for a while and their defense is about as hollow as bamboo (even more now without Larsson) and less durable or useful–but there’s also no denying it isn’t entirely outside the realm of possibility that a dude like Taylor Hall could be the impetus behind their resurgence into relevancy.

  1. At the 2016 Winter Classic there was a little shooting game in the Molson tent (synonymous with Heaven) where you could shoot the puck into the open part of a refrigerator and win some Molson swag. I played and completely embarrassed myself. I do not blame the $9 Molsons that I was drinking, I do not blame the fact that I hadn’t shot a puck in years and was never that good at it in the first place. I blame the fact that the stick I was using was a CCM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stick. Give me a fucking Bartkowski stick and a second chance–I would’ve sniped that shit and walked away with armfuls of free Molson koozies and bottle-openers (which I did anyway).

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