Dreger on Eberle/Isles

Yesterday over at Fan Rag Sports (Elliotte Friedman’s favourite blog), Chris Nichols had a little tidbit on Darren Dreger talking about how the Islanders were one of three teams “kicking the tires” on Jordan Eberle.

“I would say a month  or so – maybe six weeks ago – there was some tire-kicking. I know that there were three teams that were calling Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton, but no one really willing to jump and take the bait. I believe that the Islanders were one of those teams. But obviously it didn’t go anywhere.” (Source)

Well, this is nothing new. Anybody who watched their magic at the World Junior’s back in Ottawa circa ’09 and has followed them during their NHL careers would want to re-visit this combination as well. And it makes sense. The Islanders have been trying RWers all year on Tavares’ line concluding with minimal luck. Okposo was the man there last year and they let him walk…

A lot of people online say that Eberle has no value right now. He’s in the middle of his worst season as a pro hockey player and fans are lead to believe that that is the utmost important factor with which NHL GMs take into consideration when dealing for a player. And to that I say,

And to that, I say, Ni! (here’s the reference if you don’t get it.)

More seriously now, GMs will be looking at a player’s entire career. Not just a small portion. Of course it works in their favor if said player is having an off year but GMs aren’t stupid and they know that players go through tough years, players sometimes have trouble fitting into a new coach’s systems, and they know that a change of scenery can occasionally be just the remedy for a player who is down on his luck.

So if you’re a fan that is saying the Oilers should:

  • leave Eberle exposed for the expansion draft
  • trade him for picks
  • sit him in the pressbox for an evening

All of these things do more to handicap the Oilers ability to win games and we know, for a fact, that players eventually bust out of these slumps and despite what you believe as a fan, there’s definitely a market for Eberle.

“So when you start seeing signs like this, then – look, I’ve been around the league long enough to know how most (teams’ executives) think, and I’d be surprised if Chiarelli doesn’t get calls in the days ahead here just inquiring about Eberle.”

“The ask for Jordan Eberle has always been high, understandably so, because he’s been one of the Edmonton Oilers’ players that is a big part of the core. But if he’s no longer that, even on a short-term basis, that’s going to ignite some kind of short-term market.”

“But that doesn’t mean the Oilers are any more willing to trade him, unless the value is there.” – Elliotte Friedman (Source)

Now, I do believe that the Oilers will trade Eberle this summer because I’m of the belief that he doesn’t fit into McLellan’s system and when I think back to San Jose’s rosters of past, I’m not finding any Eberle-types. He’s had two seasons (about) under Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli and when he’s not scoring, he doesn’t do the other things on the ice well enough to make a difference there. That’s not saying he’s not doing those other things though. He is. Very much so. And I reckon that his attention to the 200ft game is partially to blame for this dry year on the scoresheet.

Chiarelli and McLellan are going to want someone who can be more of a “presence” if they’re not going short-side cheddar. A name that comes to mind… TJ Oshie.

Now before you jump all over me, consider that a good GM adds good players first and deals with the consequences (cap hit) later. I’m aware of the RFAs that need to be re-signed…

So if the Oilers can find a way to move Jordan Eberle for a package with a minimal cap hit, that would alleviate some of the pressure on the cap that signing TJ Oshie would bring. Another thing that would help is if Darnell Nurse signs long-term for Adam Larsson/Oscar Klefbom money.

Let’s bring this conversation back full circle and get back to Eberle and the Islanders.

In the summer, could Chiarelli get the Islanders to send him Ryan Strome and a pick or prospect for Jordan Eberle?Is there a deal there where Halak gets tossed in if the Islanders agree to take one of Mark Fayne or Benoit Pouliot?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below but first you should head over our Teepublic shop and take part in our T-SHIRT SALE!!!

Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!