Our favorite insider Elliotte Friedman did his usual spot on Oilers NOW! with Brendan Ullrich yesterday morning and hit on a number of topics regarding the Oilers and what they might be doing before the roster freeze later today.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES EBERLE GETS DEALT BEFORE THE ROSTER FREEZE?
EF: I think pretty decent. I don’t think there’s any doubt they’re going to try very hard. Peter is in the cone of silence about it. I tried to ask him a few questions about things that I was hearing and he was very polite about it and said, “Look, I’m just not going to talk to you about it right now.”
I think he’s really trying to get something done. I’m sure for Eberle too he’s sitting there saying, “I hope this ends sometime.” because he’s probably tired of the whole sage as well.
I think if it’s up to Peter Chiarelli to get something done, he will. I think he’s really going to try.
SOME OF THE OFFERS CHIARELLI IS LOOKING AT
EF: I don’t know about the offers. I can’t tell you exactly on that. I think also too, the league is really trying hard to get the salary cap sorted out today. There have been reports today and John Shannon is one of the ones reporting it, the players are voting on a $75M cap and that is something that could have a direct influence on what some of these teams are looking at and what they’re going to be able to do. So I think that’s a factor in just about everything that these teams are talking about.
I’m sure the Islanders are there, Colorado’s there, I always think there’s somebody there that maybe we don’t think about. That there’s a team there that we haven’t considered or you haven’t heard about. I would generally believe that that’s the case.
I’ve said a couple of times now, I don’t know what to make of the whole Islanders situation. That quite simply when Kelly Buchberger was with Jordan Eberle, I know they butted heads sometimes. I don’t know if that’s a big deal or not and that means the Islanders are or aren’t interested. But I know a lot of people around Edmonton, they really think that the Islanders are the team, I can’t tell you that’s true one way or another.
I’ve always wondered if a team like Carolina could be involved but I don’t think they are. In that particular situation, I always wonder because they’re looking for offense.
THE ISLANDERS AND EBERLE
EF: From what I hear on Hamonic, the price is really high. I wonder if it’s higher than Eberle to be perfectly honest…
(It should be, given Hall was offered for Hamonic last summer.)
I don’t know if Hamonic is going to get it done unless there’s more to it than that.
I mentioned a while ago that during the World Championships that Detroit was really looking at De Haan and he played pretty well there. And then someone said to me that after he played there, the Islanders might want to keep De Haan and maybe it’s Hamonic that Detroit goes for and I just heard that the price on Hamonic is really high. I think that’s more than what Eberle is and I think also, don’t forget, you talk about Edmonton and the choices you have to make with your cap with Draisaitl and McDavid, the Islanders have to do Tavares and I think everything that they do is going to be about Tavares. So, I just wonder if that’s a move they want to make. Hamonic’s on a great contract too.
Don’t forget last year one of the reasons that Hall for Larsson was 1-for-1 was Edmonton was saving, what, $1.8M on the cap. So I think everything gets done, Hamonic makes less than Eberle but is a more impactful player at this point in his career. I’m not sure that that’s going to do it. I think that if it’s Eberle going to the Islanders, either it’s going to be more than him or there’s going to be something else involved.
So I’m not convinced that that’s the deal that’s going to get made.
EF: I think there’s a lot in Colorado. I think there’s Tyson Barrie. Tyson Barrie is available in a pure hockey deal. That’s what I was told and I know Tyson Barrie, I’ve written about this before, he got injured at the World Championships, and I know teams were really disappointed because I know there were teams that wanted to watch him there.
I think that Colorado is willing to do that but it’s got to be a hockey deal.
Now, you know what? Maybe that’s Eberle but I don’t know. I can’t say yes or no but I do think there is something that could get done there too.
(That’s four insiders in a week, McKenzie, Stauffer, Rishaug, and Friedman; three in one day mind you, that have mentioned Barrie and the Oilers. Why is everyone focused on Hamonic still?)
HOW ABOUT THAT MATHESON TWEET?
EF: Are you talking about this Eakin for Eberle rumor? I kinda looked into it and I was kinda told it probably wasn’t going to happen. So my inclination is to say right now that’s a no. That particular deal.
(Friedman says “that particular deal” which tells me there’s another deal(s) on the table he’s away of… Wonder what that could be? Nichushkin?)
WOULD VEGAS OR ST.LOUIS BE AN OPTION FOR EBERLE?
EF: I think Vegas is going to have trouble finding scoring. I could see that and if I were a player, I’d want to go there. You know Fleury is going to be there. Initially, I think teams were hoping Fleury was going to get flipped out of Vegas but I don’t think that’s happening anymore. I think he’s staying. So, immediately you’ve got a player there that a lot of players would like to play with and a good goalie.
To me, if I was Vegas, I would take a long look at Eberle. Simply because I see a team there that is going to need scoring and you know what? Maybe he’s a perfect fit for that. I don’t have any problem with a Jordan Eberle in Vegas and you know I’ve always felt that St.Louis is a team that could use offense but I don’t know if they’re in on him or not.
I think the biggest question with Vegas is how many guys that are drafting and keeping?
Let’s say for argument’s sake they take Marc Methot from Ottawa, are they keeping that guy? Because I think there’d be a stampede from teams wanting him.
(Methot for Eberle?)
EF: I think one of two things are going to happen, either he’s going to get snapped up in the expansion draft or he’s going to be playing for Edmonton because that contract is a one-way. That says to me that he’s going to be playing in Edmonton next year if not picked up by Vegas.
DOUBLE DION COMING TO TOWN?
EF: I think he would go there (Edmonton). I think the tough thing is, even if you get Phaneuf at $5M as opposed to $7M, that’s going to be a tough squeeze for you guys.
Unless it makes sense from a point of view where Ottawa takes something off of Edmonton’s hands money-wise. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense.
It’ll be interesting though, Phaneuf is more of a grinder than a speedster, and you play in the one division where Anaheim’s a real grinding team, the Kings are a real grinding team, Calgary’s more of a speed team than a grinding team. If you look at the top teams in your division, you’ve got some real grinders there. Even San Jose, they can really grind with ya too.
Phaneuf actually could make some sense in the Pacific division. That would just have to be a deal that would make a lot of sense to me financially before I’d believe Edmonton was going to do it.
There are teams out there that worry more about term than they do about money and if you could get Russell for three years, would you take that over Phaneuf at four? I think you probably would.
(Phaneuf has always interested me since his days in Calgary and I like Friedman’s point about the grinding teams. See, Phaneuf is very much in the Kadri/Bieksa role in that he’ll annoy players physically but he won’t engage them. If he could be had for a lower price-point, I would support that move.)
HENDERSON’S FAVORITE PLAYER
EF: I’m going to guess that those two guys have a pretty good idea of what’s going on there, the Oilers and the agent, I’m sure they knew before he even signed last year.
(Russell is going to have some better offers this summer. He showed that he is a fine defenseman when played in his wheelhouse and with the right support. I wouldn’t be surprised if Calgary or Toronto took a run at him or if Boston wheeled back with another offer.)
If Travis Hamonic gets traded, and I think it’s possible he does, that’s a big trade. Whoever gets him is going to hurt a bit. They’re going to be happy to get Hamonic but they’re going to give up a lot.
Listen to the whole interview right below!