So I’d say the biggest wheel turning at the rumor mill is Jordan Eberle to the Isles at the moment. A lot of folks don’t like the idea of sending a perennial 20-goal scorer away for pennies on the dollar but I don’t see it in that manner.
One of the names that has been out on the grapevine (thanks to Bob Stauffer) has been that of Ryan Strome. Now, I imagine you’ve read all about his underwhelming stats with the Islanders, so I’m not going to regurgitate those to you. I will throw out a couple of points though:
- Ryan Strome is the brother of Connor McDavid’s best friend. What better way to earn brownie points with the best player in the world than to trade for a close friend who is playing for a team that is known for being terrible at player development and could use a “fresh start”?
- I don’t really see a 1-for-1 deal here but IF it were just that, it would be Peter Chiarelli moving one piece in order to make room for another. Refer to last summer’s trade that sent Taylor Hall out in order to bring in Milan Lucic if you’re not sure what I mean.
- Who would the Oilers be making room for? Possibly Justin Williams. Or what about a centre who could play 3C thus moving RNH to 2C and Leon Draisaitl to McDavid’s RW for another season? Nick Bonino, Patrick Marleau (not sure when the last time he play centre full time was though), Brian Boyle?
- What about dealing for Vladimir Sobotka?
- One of the most irritating questions that came out of the Larsson/Hall trade was, who will replace Hall’s production? Today we know who replaced it, right? It wasn’t just a single man who did it, it was a handful. Pat Maroon being one of them, Milan Lucic being another, and even Leon Draisaitl might be considered in that breath as well.
So, who would replace Jordan Eberle’s 20 goals?
- Anton Slepyshev
- Jesse Puljujarvi
- Zack Kassian
- Tyler Pitlick
- Ryan Strome
- Justin Williams
- Drake Caggiula
- All of those players, if signed or re-signed, could very well contribute enough to make up the production Jordan Eberle would take to his new home. I mean honestly, this isn’t Alex Ovechkin we’re talking about here.
But, to me at least, Eberle to the Islanders seems too easy. Especially if the return is Hamonic. I’ve been told that the Isles have to decide between Calvin De Haan and Hamonic. So that’s why we’re hearing the Manitoba native’s name come up so much but the Isles aren’t commenting on De Haan’s status at the moment. That tells me that he might be up for trade as well.
Do you reckon there might be better players available for the Islanders to trade for if they are interested in moving Hamonic though? (*Cough* Matt Duchene *Cough*)
I asked my source who else was in on Eberle apart from the Islanders and I was told Dallas and Los Angeles were two of many teams.
Hearing that the Stars were interested didn’t surprise me. We’d covered that before but the Kings being in on him is intriguing. They just re-signed Tyler Toffoli to a 3-yr deal worth $4.6? per year, a deal more akin to what Eberle SHOULD be making.
I don’t really know what the Oilers would want from LA. They’ve got a lot of unsavory contracts and seem pretty set on the RW with Carter, Gaborik, Toffoli, and Brown taking up their current roster spots.
I’d love if they could wrangle Jake Muzzin away from them or perhaps $2M right-handed pivot Trevor Lewis but I just don’t see LA as a fit for Eberle.
In the end, it sounds like Eberle has instructed his agent to get the ball moving on a trade. This week on Oilers Now! the host Bob Stauffer and guest Mark Spector dug into a quote from TSN insider Darren Dreger that used some vernacular typically spoken by agents. You can read up on that discussion here at the Cult of Hockey.
Dreger: “Sometimes change for the sake of change is good and that might be the case for Jordan Eberle to get out of Edmonton.”
If the agent works on behalf of the player’s wishes, then can we not deduce from the above quote that Eberle now wants out? Can you blame him either? Edmonton is not an easy place to have a bad season in the NHL and you’d have to think that he still talks to his old roommate Taylor Hall and he’s probably told him how much easier life and playing hockey is when you’re not in the fishbowl that is Edmonton.
It’s unfair to judge a player after one bad year but when all is said and done, will the Oilers get better by keeping or dealing Jordan Eberle? Let us know in the comments below!