Eberle Signs – Oilers Surpass Contract Limit?

Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009 10:19AM

Eberle

Jordan Eberle signed an entry-level deal today, clearing the way for him to join Springfield for the remainder of the season. It’s a signing that may have some ramifications for players on the bubble.

The NHL imposes a 50-contract limit on NHL teams, meaning that any team can have no more than 50 players signed to contracts with an NHL component in any given year. The official website of the Nashville Predators did a very good breakdown of the rules governing rosters and contracts, and it’s well worth a read for anyone interested.

In any case, this issue has come up a couple of times with the Oilers; as an example, last summer Grant Potulny was allowed to leave for Europe because he wanted a contract with an NHL component and the team was too close to the 50-man limit.

As far as I can tell, this is the list of players currently under contract to the Oilers (much of the information courtesy of nhlscap.com). Contracts that expire this summer are in bold, and players are ranked by position and then NHL cap hit (the exception being Jordan Eberle, who signed for an undisclosed amount):

Forwards

Dustin Penner Ales Hemsky Shawn Horcoff Patrick O’Sullivan Fernando Pisani Ales Kotalik Ethan Moreau Robert Nilsson Sam Gagner Gilbert Brule Ryan O’Marra Andrew Cogliano Bryan Lerg Marc Pouliot Rob Schremp Zack Stortini Colin McDonald Slava Trukhno David Rohlfs Ryan Potulny Geoff Paukovich Ryan Stone Stephane Goulet Steve MacIntyre J-F Jacques Liam Reddox Tyler Spurgeon Carl Corazzini Kyle Brodziak Tim Sestito *Jordan Eberle

Total: 30

Defensemen

Lubomir Visnovsky Sheldon Souray Tom Gilbert Steve Staios Denis Grebeshkov Taylor Chorney Ladislav Smid Cody Wild Josef Hrabal Jason Strudwick Theo Peckham Bryan Young Jordan Bendfeld Sebastien Bisaillon Mathieu Roy

Total: 15

Goaltenders

Dwayne Roloson Devan Dubnyk Jeff Deslauriers Bryan Pitton Dany Sabourin

Total: 5

Total Players Under Contract: 51

The Oilers now have fifty-one players under contract, but because Jordan Eberle’s entry-level deal doesn’t kick in until next season, they have not surpassed the 50-man limit for this year. One would suspect that some of the deadwood is going to be cleared out of the system; David Rohlfs, Carl Corazzini and Stephane Goulet will certainly be let go while some of the other names in bold (McDonald, Roy, Young, Bisaillon, Sabourin in particular, but others as well) are on the edge.

The Oilers could stand to be a little more discriminating when they offer contracts; Bryan Pitton, who is signed for three more years has been eclipsed by the undrafted Andrew Perugini this season. Perugini was signed to an AHL-ECHL deal out of training camp because there was no room for him in the NHL system. Names like Tim Sestito and Geoff Paukovich stand out in a similar manner.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
Avatar
#1 Eberle Signed « The Oilverse
March 23 2009, 10:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

[...] The Oilers have signed Eberle and if they continue all contracts next year will have 51 on the books as pointed out by OilersNation. [...]

Avatar
#2 MJ
March 23 2009, 10:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

We're over the limit, but the explanation is incorrect. There's nothing in the CBA about this year / next year with 50 contracts. 50 contracts is 50 contracts and has no time-frame as you imply.

Straight from the good book: A) Not more than 50 Players signed to an SPC and not less than 24 Players and 3 goalkeepers under an SPC. Age 18 and age 19 Players who were returned to Juniors, and have not played 11 NHL games in one season, shall be exempt from inclusion to the 50 Player limit.

Avatar
#3 MJ
March 23 2009, 10:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Kinda missed an item -- where's that edit function

"A Club may have on its Reserve List, at any one time, not more than 90 Players"

And when the question arises as it did over at OilFans, will this year count as a year of RFA?

Answer: Absolutely not.

This year doesn't count as an Accrued Season.

"Accrued Season" means any League Year which a Player was on a Club's Active Roster for 40 (30 if the Player is a goalie) or more Regular Season Games.

Active Roster shall include all Players on a Club's Reserve List who are signed to an approved and registered SPC.

Avatar
#4 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 10:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ MJ:

From the Predators web site:

The 50-contract limit has an interesting distinction in that the limit pertains to the season(s) for which a contract is valid. All NHL player contracts expire on June 30. The year varies from contract to contract, but the day remains the same (as we’ll discuss more when we look at player contracts in later editions of the feature). Knowing it has expiring contracts coming off its 50-contract maximum, a team can sign players to contracts for the following season. By doing so a team may have more than 50 different players signed to valid SPCs, as long as 50 or fewer are signed to valid SPCs for that current season AND fewer than 50 SPCs on tap for the upcoming season.

In other words, since Eberle's contract doesn't kick in until next season, that explanation works equally well - especially since we can't guarantee that Eberle will be sent back to junior next year.

Still, thanks for the insight - where is that paragraph, exactly?

Avatar
#5 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 10:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ MJ:

Although before Eberle signed his contract, my understanding was that he was still on the 90-player list by virtue of the Oilers owning his draft rights, yes?

Avatar
#6 MJ
March 23 2009, 10:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Once we send him back to junior next season, he still won't be part of the 50 player limit either. He will be part of the 90 player Active Roster as an exemption by being 19 years old.

If you have the PDF, just search for a phrase I pasted. It is word for word.

Avatar
#7 MJ
March 23 2009, 11:05AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

He was still part of the 90 player active roster by being an unsigned draft pick.

As far as the semantics go, I'm a bit confused as to which rule we should observe first here.

Is he on the Reserve List because of the "this year/next year" paradigm explained by the Predators site (I cannot find this citation in the CBA but may be looking in the wrong places)

or

Does he continue to be on the reserve list because he was 18 and returned to Junior back in October?

His contract is not post-dated for July 1, 2009. He has a valid SPC with the Oilers today. We just know that it is impossible for him to earn an Accrued Season. I think his RFA years / status and the knowledge of this being pushed up a year because of the 40-game rule is not dependent on his placement within the 50 Contract rule.

But, I've wasted enough board space with my ideas this morning. Any further clarification is welcomed :)

Avatar
#8 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ MJ:

Please, feel free to "waste" board space whenever you like. The CBA and NHL rulebook are not terribly easy to navigate, and I'm a long ways from infallible.

I do tend to think that your explanation is a better one than mine, on further review. Thanks for sharing it. Your one paragraph (His contract is not post-dated for July 1, 2009. He has a valid SPC with the Oilers today. We just know that it is impossible for him to earn an Accrued Season. I think his RFA years / status and the knowledge of this being pushed up a year because of the 40-game rule is not dependent on his placement within the 50 Contract rule.) helps clear things up, although since Eberle can't play in the NHL this year I still wonder if he'd fall on the 50-contract limit without the exemption to junior players (my educated but not completely reliable guess: no).

Regardless, these are semantics, since he clearly doesn't count against the limit for this season.

Avatar
#9 Chris
March 23 2009, 11:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jonathan Willis:

Hi Willis. You follow the Falcons closer than most of us... Care to speculate with whom Daum will play Eberle?

Avatar
#10 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Chris:

Honestly Chris I haven't kept as close an eye on them as I should have over the last month or two (normally I at least read every game report). Between them dropping out of contention and the activity here in Edmonton they've sort of dropped off my radar.

That said, I'd imagine that Eberle gets slotted on a soft-minutes line to start with, probably centering Schremp and either Trukhno or Willis. Based on how Daum has rolled his lines the last few games (the Springfield website has game recaps which show the combinations), I'd guess that Eberle will step into Ryan O'Marra's spot in the lineup.

Of course, Daum's lines rotate far more frequently than even MacTavish's, so that's by no means certain.

Avatar
#11 OilW30
March 23 2009, 11:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Is Roy just done as far as an NHL career goes? It seemed like they expected him to make the jump a year or two ago.

Avatar
#12 Chris
March 23 2009, 11:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jonathan Willis: I just hope Daum gives Eberle a good long look at center.

Avatar
#13 Jason Gregor
March 23 2009, 11:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathan Willis wrote:

That said, I’d imagine that Eberle gets slotted on a soft-minutes line to start with, probably centering Schremp and either Trukhno or Willis. Based on how Daum has rolled his lines the last few games (the Springfield website has game recaps which show the combinations), I’d guess that Eberle will step into Ryan O’Marra’s spot in the lineup.

Eberle is a RW not a center. He will play with Potulny and the left winger will either be Stone, Schremp or Willis. I spoke with Rob Daum 20 minutes ago. He is a RW boys, so I'm not sure you would expect him to play centre.

As for his contract status. He signed a three-year entry level deal that kicks in next year if he makes the team.

He is playing the remainder of this season on a "Futures" contract. It allows a player to play a maximum of 25 games. These types of contracts are common in the AHL and ECHL. They don't count under the 50 team contracts. Rick Olczyk filled me in on the exacts a few moments ago.

While the Oilers didn't confirm this, I would suspect that Eberle's agent wanted a three-year deal in place before his client played on the "futures" contract in the AHL.

Avatar
#14 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

OilW30 wrote:

Is Roy just done as far as an NHL career goes? It seemed like they expected him to make the jump a year or two ago.

I think so. He fell down an elevator shaft this year; I don't know what happened but my best guess would be that his injuries have finally caught up with him.

He's taken a lot of abuse for such a young player.

Avatar
#15 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jason Gregor wrote:

Eberle is a RW not a center. He will play with Potulny and the left winger will either be Stone, Schremp or Willis. I spoke with Rob Daum 20 minutes ago. He is a RW boys, so I’m not sure you would expect him to play centre. As for his contract status. He signed a three-year entry level deal that kicks in next year if he makes the team. He is playing the remainder of this season on a “Futures” contract. It allows a player to play a maximum of 25 games. These types of contracts are common in the AHL and ECHL. They don’t count under the 50 team contracts. Rick Olczyk filled me in on the exacts a few moments ago. While the Oilers didn’t confirm this, I would suspect that Eberle’s agent wanted a three-year deal in place before his client played on the “futures” contract in the AHL.

Thanks, Jason. I don't know why I was thinking Eberle would play centre; a real brain cramp on my part, but the lines you suggest make a ton of sense.

As for the contract, that's more or less what I figured, and fits with what's been filtering out through the print media over the last couple of days.

I appreciate the insights.

Avatar
#16 Jason Gregor
March 23 2009, 11:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

OilW30 wrote:

Is Roy just done as far as an NHL career goes? It seemed like they expected him to make the jump a year or two ago.

He has been passed by Peckham on the depth chart. The Oilers would like to have him back next year, but I doubt Roy will re-sign here because their is little chance he will get a one-way contract from the Oilers.

They love his willingness to play tough, and he moves the puck okay, but injuries have hurt him, and now with Peckham and Smid ahead of him on the depth chart I don't see any room for him in Edmonton.

Avatar
#17 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jason Gregor:

It's too bad about Roy - there was a time where he looked like a nice bet for a long career ala Jason Strudwick; in a depth role adding toughness and willingness.

It isn't easy to get past the kind of injuries he has sustained, though. I take it you think he won't accept an AHL/ECHL deal?

Avatar
#18 Fiveandagame
March 23 2009, 11:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathan Willis wrote:

He fell down an elevator shaft this year; I don’t know what happened but my best guess would be that his injuries have finally caught up with him.

He should really watch where he's going...

Avatar
#19 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 11:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

One thing I will say for the Oilers - they're well balanced in terms of contracts to position.

12 NHL forwards can play on any night; they have 30 forwards signed (2.5 forwards per spot).

6 NHL defensemen can play on any given night; they have 15 defensemen signed (2.5 defensemen per spot).

2 NHL goaltenders can play on any given night; they have 5 goaltenders signed (2.5 goaltenders per spot).

Avatar
#20 Andrew W
March 23 2009, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Jonathan

I thought that players under the age of 20 weren't allowed to suit up in the AHL. Wasn't this part of the reasoning as to why Gagner skipped through to the NHL, and why so many top end prospects end up playing an extra year of junior hockey (at the age of 19) after being drafted but before turning pro? This would have bearing on the options for Eberle next year, of course.

Am I remembering wrong and the minimum age requirement for the AHL is 19? or are there simply no such restrictions?

Avatar
#21 Librarian Mike
March 23 2009, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

That's great that Eberle's signed. Now MacT and co. can get an early start on beating all the offensive instincts out of him.

Avatar
#22 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 12:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Andrew W:

They're allowed to suit up in the AHL on a professional tryout (I think that's the same as the "futures" contract Jason refers to) one their CHL season has ended.

Avatar
#23 Archaeologuy
March 23 2009, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Librarian Mike wrote:

That’s great that Eberle’s signed. Now MacT and co. can get an early start on beating all the offensive instincts out of him.

But if you enter the offensive zone you might give up an odd man rush the other way.

"But coach, Hemsky just beat 3 guys and is streaking towards the net"

"I know, its the perfect time to change the lines"

Avatar
#24 freeze
March 23 2009, 01:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Librarian Mike wrote:

That’s great that Eberle’s signed. Now MacT and co. can get an early start on beating all the offensive instincts out of him.

God that makes me sad...

FMNF

Avatar
#25 Andrew W
March 23 2009, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Jonathan,

I understand now that Eberle is only up with the Falcons until the end of this season on a pro try-out, but next year has to be either back in juniors or in the NHL to start the year because he won't be 20 yet.

This rule doesn't make much sense to me, by the way. Why is it that an 18 or 19 year old player is allowed to play in the NHL but not the AHL? I understand that the powers that be want to protect young players from getting in over their heads in the AHL, but if this is the case, shouldn't the same logic apply to the bigger, faster, and tougher NHL?

Do you think that there's any chance that this rule will change at some point in the future to allow top junior talent to go the AHL earlier?

Avatar
#26 MJ
March 23 2009, 01:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

[quote]Do you think that there’s any chance that this rule will change at some point in the future to allow top junior talent to go the AHL earlier?[/quote]

This is an agreement between the CHL and AHL so the AHL does not poach the top talents from the CHL.

It has nothing to do with the "powers that be wanting to protect young players." The perspective is the CHL covering their own interests in providing the best junior hockey possible across Canada.

To answer your question -- I see zero reason this ever changes.

Avatar
#27 Chris
March 23 2009, 01:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jason Gregor: Thanks for the insight. I knew Eberle played on the wing for Canada at the world Jr's, but I assumed that was a depth thing... The Regina Pat's website, and nearly every scouting report I have ever read listed Eberle as a center, hence my confusion. Regretably, I have never seen Eberle play in person. My wife is goodly enough to tolerate 30+ Oiler games and another 50 on TV; so I don't push to hard to attend the pre-season, and rarely see more than a couple WHL games a year. This is just another example of how hard it can be to get good information about young players on the interweb... and why I love THIS site.

Avatar
#28 Oilers working on their power-play - FlamesNation.ca
March 23 2009, 01:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

[...] case you missed my post on JW’s article about Eberle’s contract and how the Oilers were allowed to sign [...]

Avatar
#29 CurtisS
March 23 2009, 02:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Thanks Gregor.

Excellent imformation!

Avatar
#30 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 02:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

MJ wrote:

It has nothing to do with the “powers that be wanting to protect young players.” The perspective is the CHL covering their own interests in providing the best junior hockey possible across Canada.

Some might argue that the CHL has more fundamental concerns than the good of the players, or providing the best possible hockey. Of course, it's cynical, but I've been reading enough Ken Campbell that I don't think much of the junior system as a whole in terms of what it does for the majority of its players (i.e. non-NHL talents).

Avatar
#31 TV
March 23 2009, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'd be quite interested to see/know who the remaining 40 players on that "90 Player Reserve List" are at the moment..?

Is there any way of finding this information out..?

x6

Avatar
#32 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 03:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ TV:

Everybody who the Oilers have drafted but not signed (i.e. guys like Philippe Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen, etc.). Where it gets sticky is with the Europeans; with the North American picks it's pretty easy to tell who they still have rights to and who they've let go.

Avatar
#33 TV
March 23 2009, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ TV: Everybody who the Oilers have drafted but not signed (i.e. guys like Philippe Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen, etc.). Where it gets sticky is with the Europeans; with the North American picks it’s pretty easy to tell who they still have rights to and who they’ve let go.

I assumed the unsigned draftee players part JW, I was wondering more along the lines of (I should have been more clear) if there was some older Euro's or college players who were not drafted who might also be on that list.

If you, or anyone here has any of that info, it would be great if they could pass it on to everyone here.

x6

Avatar
#34 B-Rad
March 23 2009, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Jonathan Willis:

Is there a website link where a guy can scroll through and have a look....kinda interested!

Avatar
#35 Oilersordeath
March 23 2009, 05:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Any body have any good info on prospect Phillipe Cornet? Curious to whether or not he's worth being exited about.

Avatar
#36 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 05:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

TV wrote:

I was wondering more along the lines of (I should have been more clear) if there was some older Euro’s or college players who were not drafted who might also be on that list.

I don't think there's anyone like that on their list; aside from the draft, the only way to get a player's rights without signing him to an NHL contract would be via trade, and I can't think of anyone who would fit.

There are guys like Andrew Perugini who are signed by the Oilers AHL affiliate, but their NHL rights are (as I understand it) fair game for anyone.

Avatar
#37 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 05:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

B-Rad wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: Is there a website link where a guy can scroll through and have a look….kinda interested!

<a href="http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00005632.html rel="nofollow">Try this out.

Avatar
#38 Jonathan Willis
March 23 2009, 05:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Oilersordeath wrote:

Any body have any good info on prospect Phillipe Cornet? Curious to whether or not he’s worth being exited about.

I can tell you that he scored at a very similar pace this year to Jordan Eberle. It's early, but he looks like a quality prospect, IMO.

Worth more than quite a few guys currently in the AHL.

Avatar
#39 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
March 23 2009, 06:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I posted this in the wrong blog thread.

How do teams have jerseys ready to go for the players they want to draft? Like if Eberle was 22nd overall, how did they have a jersey with his name on it?

Avatar
#40 roughneck
March 23 2009, 09:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

the eligible draftees names are preprinted on an iron on transfer, once the team is established they just press them onto the appropriate jersey. If you have watched the draft its slow and painful and that is one of the many holdups.... besides waiting for the phone to ring and offering you Datsyuk for JF Jacques straight up.

Comments are closed for this article.