Jordan Eberle Revisited

Jonathan Willis
March 23 2010 07:35AM

New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers

When the Edmonton Oilers announced that they were going to send prospect Jordan Eberle to Springfield and likely keep him there for the rest of the season, I’ll admit that I was on-board with the proposal. I thought it demonstrated patience and a measured approach the Oilers have too long lacked with their prospects, and that it was probably the best place to get Eberle started, shielded from the expectations that come with being the shiniest new youngster on a last-place team.

Eberle’s performance in Springfield has caused me to rethink that stance.

In three games with the Falcons, Eberle has three goals, three assists, and a plus-3 rating. He’s scored one-third of the Falcons’ goals since he started playing for the team, and he’s recorded points on two-thirds of them. Those are incredible numbers, and combined with his performance last year give us a strong indication that he’s too good for the AHL.

Generally, I try not to let my opinion move too quickly on players; everyone has hot and cold streaks, and it’s only with time that we can get an accurate picture of where a player’s true talent level lies. Three games don’t give us that picture. Then again, we aren’t talking about penciling the kid in on the first line for the next four years either; all we’re talking about is a major league cup of coffee.

It’s an idea that has support from a lot of different people – Ben Massey at Copper & Blue raved about Eberle’s AHL performance, Lowetide thinks that he’s ready, and Dan Barnes is of the opinion that long-suffering Oilers fans deserve a chance to see him play. They all have good points, and those points all deserve consideration.

Balanced against that are the ideas I argued for when the Oilers first made the announcement, ideas that people like David Staples, possibly (like me) burned by seeing too many players in the NHL before they were ready, support. Taking time to allow players to succeed before they move up the depth chart is important, both for their development and for the NHL team.  Ladislav Smid, for instance, probably should have had at least one more year in the minors, something which might have been good for his development, would have been good for the team, and would have kept him on a cheap contract for an additional year.

Speaking of which, another point for consideration is that there’s no purpose to burning up a year of Eberle’s cheap entry level contract playing out the final minutes of a dying and irredeemable season. According to CapGeek, that’s no longer a concern; the Oilers have only 10 games left and Eberle’s contract will slide to next season as long as he plays fewer than 11 games in the NHL. There may be other concerns; I’m not a CBA expert and if there are that would provide a valid reason for keeping Eberle in the AHL.

But that’s the only reason at this point. Eberle’s play has been strong enough that he’s earned a call-up on merit, and as long as it won’t weaken the Oilers’ ability to negotiate with him in the future they should give him his first NHL experience.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Ambassador humantorch
March 23 2010, 07:49AM
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Agreed. Besides, it'll give Tambellini more time to assess him.

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#2 Semi moronic
March 23 2010, 07:50AM
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I say give the guy a go up here. It will give the fans a glimpse of the future...it will give Eberle more of an idea what his game needs to get up to for next season. I don't buy the whole rushing him in before he is ready thing. There are just a handful of games left. It would be a different story if this was December or January. There is nothing to lose.

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#3 Tracie
March 23 2010, 08:14AM
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Bah! They'll just come up with another excuse! Don't want to rush him, Don't want to put him in a losing environment...blah! blah! blah! I think this is the best time to bring him up! He gets a taste of the NHL level, We are winning right now so the locker room is a pretty positive place, and he'll be able to see what the game is like and prepare for that in the summer! If they don't bring him up, I just don't understand the logic behind that decision...It makes no sense to me! It doesn't seem like there is any political reasoning, and there is no common sense reason that i can see...To not bring him up is yet another mark on Tambo's already bad record! Sure it's only 10 games, but really, I can't see it hurting him and I can only see it helping him and the team!

If he stays down, bah! I will just shake my head!

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How are the schedules for the Falcons and Oilers looking? Is it possible to call him up for a few then send him back down?

From a marketing standpoint they should have him up for today's game, how many people are going to buy the PPV tonight?

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#5 dawgbone
March 23 2010, 08:28AM
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I was 100% on board with keeping him in the AHL for the rest of the year and even starting him there next year... but the kid is making it very hard to do that.

The one concern is that his shooting % seems a bit high (22.2%), but maybe that's just his thing.

The more and more he plays well down there the harder it's going to be to justify putting him down there at the start of next season. Giving him a handful of games this year (call him up, pressbox him his first game then put him for the last 5) is basically a given at this point.

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#6 Red Tide
March 23 2010, 08:48AM
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I do not think they should bring him up for any reason. He needs to be kept away from the losing culture and the poison in the current room. He cant help us do anything this year since we are out of the playoffs so I say keep him away, purge the bad seeds from the room and then bring him along. Exposing him to this horrendous situation would be detrimental to his development at this point, IMO.

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#7 The Towel Boy
March 23 2010, 08:50AM
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Let's DOOOOOoooooo THIS!!!1!

I watched some of the highlights of his goals from the weekend. The kid certainly has a nose for the net.

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#8 ekcut
March 23 2010, 08:51AM
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Right now there is great debate and questions as to whether or not Eberle will be able to crack the NHL roster next year. The answer to that question will have a direct effect on whether players like POS and Robert Nilson are bought out, if Comrie is resigned, if Cogliano is traded etc etc.

If only there was someway to see before the offseason if Jordan Eberle is NHL ready, some crystal ball that lets us peer into the future and see him play against NHL competition. Maybe we could ask that crazy old lady living on the street just off of Jasper Ave to look at her tea leaves, or hold a seance and ask the ghost of Rocket Richard if Eberle is big enough and fast enough to play next year... There has to be SOMEWAY to get at least a glimpse of whether or not Eberle is ready to play top 6 minutes...Oh wait, call me crazy, I am going WAY on on a limb here, but why don't we PLAY him in the NHL now and then we will have a 9 game look at him which will allow Tambo to do his favorite thing and evaluate players! Or I suppose we could shake the magic 8 ball...I'm sure that will be just as informative....

Oh...and just a little side comment. If a players confidence can be shaken so badly in a 9 game stint that his development is stunted....he was never destined for the NHL anyways (i don't know if you are aware of this, but playing in the NHL is fairly stressful)...It's better to learn that now.

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#9 madjam
March 23 2010, 08:51AM
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Assessment on Eberle has already been done by keeping him in the minors for rest of season . Easier to sell hype for next season on Eberle than risk him playing up here like he did at camp , and got sent back to Juniors . In reality , they are afraid he might prove not ready again, like camp did in their eyes, and they don't want to take that risk .

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#10 madjam
March 23 2010, 09:02AM
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Lots of talk about Oilers going after the 1 and 2 picks this draft . Hemsky's name keeps coming up . Any chance Oilers give up first choice for some big names like Chara, Lecavalier , St. Louie and some tweaking ? Tampa has some intriguing options if we were to give up first round pick ,and i'm sure with Stamkos and Hedman already they would want to deal .

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#11 MrCondor
March 23 2010, 09:05AM
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He's ripping it up in the A. Is he going to have the same motiviation to train in the offseason if he dominates AHL games or gets put in his place for NHL games?

Where are the comments about the losing environment coming from? The oilers just beat 2 play off teams!! They've been losing because they are a bad hockey team right now, not because of the team attitude (though I'm sure there are a couple of caustic players in the room)

Plus, don't you think he is going to be a touch bitter if he doesn't get the call up? If someone performs well, you should reward them.

I say bring him up for the last 5. Give him a taste of where he needs to be without too much exposure to potential negatives.

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#12 Bucknuck
March 23 2010, 09:09AM
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@ekcut

"Oh...and just a little side comment. If a players confidence can be shaken so badly in a 9 game stint that his development is stunted....he was never destined for the NHL anyways (i don't know if you are aware of this, but playing in the NHL is fairly stressful)...It's better to learn that now."

I agree on this note. Had they put him in the lineup after camp this year he may have competed but that would have been stunting his development. I don't understand why you wouldn't, unless it is to provide relief to Daum and company.

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#13 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 09:10AM
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@madjam

Any GM that trades for Vincent Lecavalier should be fired on the spot; and the Bruins arent trading their Captain for Hemsky. Ever.

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#14 SirFozz
March 23 2010, 09:17AM
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madjam wrote:

Lots of talk about Oilers going after the 1 and 2 picks this draft . Hemsky's name keeps coming up . Any chance Oilers give up first choice for some big names like Chara, Lecavalier , St. Louie and some tweaking ? Tampa has some intriguing options if we were to give up first round pick ,and i'm sure with Stamkos and Hedman already they would want to deal .

Ok, time for you to sit in the corner with the cylinder hat on for 10 minutes and think about what you just said.

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#15 Jason Gregor
March 23 2010, 09:24AM
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According to CapGeek, that’s no longer a concern; the Oilers have only 10 games left and Eberle’s contract will slide to next season as long as he plays fewer than 11 games in the NHL. There may be other concerns; I’m not a CBA expert and if there are that would provide a valid reason for keeping Eberle in the AHL.

JW, he can play nine games, but if he plays ten then the contract kicks in. Similar to the start of a season for any rookie player that isn't eligible to play in the AHL.

And they could have called him up once the WHL season was over, and he could practice, and as long as he played only nine games his contract wouldn't have kicked in.

They are shielding him plain and simple. I've argued from beginning that the best situation for him is to get a few games in the AHL and then play a few in the NHL.

His long term future won't be ruined either way if he doesn't play this year, but I have yet to have anyone tell me what the obvious negatives would be if he played a few games in the Show this season. Sure the dressing room atmosphere isn't great, but if they can win even six of their final ten, the attitude in the room shouldn't have a negative impact on him.

He should be recalled, and I will be stunned if he isn't up here, and most importantly for the paying fans that they get to see him in a few home games v. Colorado and Minnesota in April.

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#16 SirFozz
March 23 2010, 09:26AM
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As for Eberle, he should be brought up. Where's the harm? It's not like the environment in Springfield can be that much more positive then Edmonton. DO IT!

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madjam wrote:

Lots of talk about Oilers going after the 1 and 2 picks this draft . Hemsky's name keeps coming up . Any chance Oilers give up first choice for some big names like Chara, Lecavalier , St. Louie and some tweaking ? Tampa has some intriguing options if we were to give up first round pick ,and i'm sure with Stamkos and Hedman already they would want to deal .

Chara, Lecavalier and St.Louis for our pick is just horrible. Now if you are going to make a package of our roster players fine, but St.Louis is 34 and a UFA after next season and Chara is 32 and a UFA after next season. Lecavalier seems to have lots of ups and downs.

Shouldn't target and big names unless they are in their 20's and if it doesn't cost us our 1st rounder. Those big names should be targeted once we see that we are close to being competitive again.

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#18 iamcdn13
March 23 2010, 09:28AM
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The garbage of keeping him out of a losing environment is bunk ... Springfield's record isn't much better than the Oilers ... given what the paying fan has had to put up with over this season - and faced with an increase in ticket prices next year (due to business reasons) ... the least that we deserve is a chance to see the future play now ...

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#19 BigE91
March 23 2010, 09:29AM
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I heard in conversation earlier this week in the hockey dressing room that Eberle is being considered as a possibility for Team Canada at the World Championships. Anybody know if this is true?

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#20 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 09:30AM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Oh man, I read it wrong the first time. I thought he meant trade Hemsky for Lecavalier. THAT is a bad deal. Now, trade one of the top 2 picks for Lecavalier, THAT is the worst deal in the history of the NHL. Plain and simple.

Yikes.

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#21 Milli
March 23 2010, 09:34AM
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I'd sure like to see him play, and have no idea how it can possibly hurt. Losing enviroment, well, isn't it the same in Springfield? The money I spent this year on ticket, driving to Etown, center ice package, it's the least the team could do. It also may entice me to spend a little money on them next year!

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#23 Hemmercules
March 23 2010, 09:48AM
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Management is probably worried he will get slammed and injured. This team is cursed.

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#24 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 09:51AM
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Hemmercules wrote:

Management is probably worried he will get slammed and injured. This team is cursed.

Ha Ha Ha. I totally got this image in my head of Steve Tambellini running over a gypsy this past offseason and getting a hex put on him.

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#25 MattL
March 23 2010, 09:52AM
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There's a difference between slotting the guy in the NHL lineup from opening day without giving him 10-20 games in the AHL next year, and giving him ONE OR TWO GAMES in the show at the end of this year.

I'm all about slow development too, but a handful of games isn't going to ruin anything for the guy. Give him a couple of NHL paycheques to spend over the summer, give him a taste of regular season play so he knows what he's training for in the off-season.

Most of all, show him the carrot that you're dangling for him.

I mean, Stephan Bisaillon got to play in the NHL, why can't Eberle play a couple?

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#26 Ducey
March 23 2010, 09:54AM
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I am worried that the Oilers don't turn Eberle into the next Gilbert Brule. He was rushed right into the NHL and is on his second organization after having to go down to the minors a few times.

Cogliano has gone from .55 pts per game three years ago, to .46 pts/g last year to .31 pts/g this year. Recently he spoke about concentrating on defence. He has had to learn to play D in the NHL and its clear that for much of the season his confidence was way down. He could have learned D and what it takes to be a professional in the minors.

Ryan O'Marra got 5 pts in 8 games in the AHL after his junior season and then went back to junior the next. Was this AHL audition indicative of his ability?

I'd prefer the Oilers save Eberle's 10 games for next year. He could get hurt, he could suck, he could be hot for 4 games and then suck. If the Oilers only play him in 10 NHL games then his entry level deal will slide for another year.

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#27 Randy
March 23 2010, 09:56AM
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I'm not sure I understand the fever pitch to get this kid on the Oilers roster. What could it possibly hurt to give him the remainder of the season in the AHL? I think this might be more about the fans than about the player. If he proves himself in the AHL this year that is one more step behind him, all he will need to do is get ready for training camp in the fall. If he comes up here and struggles, the AHL will still be hanging over his head next year.

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#28 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 23 2010, 09:56AM
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madjam wrote:

Assessment on Eberle has already been done by keeping him in the minors for rest of season . Easier to sell hype for next season on Eberle than risk him playing up here like he did at camp , and got sent back to Juniors . In reality , they are afraid he might prove not ready again, like camp did in their eyes, and they don't want to take that risk .

Are you serious? Eberle was one of the best players at camp in 2009. He put most of the roster players to shame.

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#29 Jodes
March 23 2010, 09:58AM
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Jon, have you heard anything about any other Oilers making the cut for the World Championships?

You'd think Penner would be a lock, and depending on injuries, Gagner and Horcoff too..

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#30 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 10:05AM
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Ducey wrote:

I am worried that the Oilers don't turn Eberle into the next Gilbert Brule. He was rushed right into the NHL and is on his second organization after having to go down to the minors a few times.

Cogliano has gone from .55 pts per game three years ago, to .46 pts/g last year to .31 pts/g this year. Recently he spoke about concentrating on defence. He has had to learn to play D in the NHL and its clear that for much of the season his confidence was way down. He could have learned D and what it takes to be a professional in the minors.

Ryan O'Marra got 5 pts in 8 games in the AHL after his junior season and then went back to junior the next. Was this AHL audition indicative of his ability?

I'd prefer the Oilers save Eberle's 10 games for next year. He could get hurt, he could suck, he could be hot for 4 games and then suck. If the Oilers only play him in 10 NHL games then his entry level deal will slide for another year.

Eberle has already spent 2 more years in development leagues than Brule did. He hasnt been rushed. They've already practiced patience on him. Now it's time to let him earn his spot on the Oil like a real pro. He's lighting up the AHL, let him do it for a couple more games and if the pace doesnt fall off too bad then he's earned a look for the rest of the year. Ryan O'Marra's 5 points in 8 games was pretty far off the 6 points in 3 games so far and the 9 points in 9 games the kid earned last year. Almost not comparable.

Cogliano has struggled this year while playing on the 3rd and 4th lines with players who have been dogs all year. He's showing now what he can do with regular minutes along side better players.

Eberle could play 40 games next year, it doesnt matter. Time starts ticking on his contract no matter what. The 9 game window only really matters this year. The only thing that is affected by how many games he plays from next season on out will be waiver eligibility and such.

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#31 madjam
March 23 2010, 10:05AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Oh man, I read it wrong the first time. I thought he meant trade Hemsky for Lecavalier. THAT is a bad deal. Now, trade one of the top 2 picks for Lecavalier, THAT is the worst deal in the history of the NHL. Plain and simple.

Yikes.

Deal was to show how unlikely Hemsky deal for for 2nd pick is not going to happen . Tweaking might have been, we get Malone and 2nd round draft pick , and they take Horcoff off our hands provided St.Louie would sign on . Simply , i am sceptical as to which way Oilers are attempting to even go as yet with this years draft .

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#32 jeanshorts
March 23 2010, 10:11AM
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BigE91 wrote:

I heard in conversation earlier this week in the hockey dressing room that Eberle is being considered as a possibility for Team Canada at the World Championships. Anybody know if this is true?

That's the rumor that's been floating around for the last couple weeks. I'm still not sure how true it is, or if it's the greatest idea, but he's at least on the radar.

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#33 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 10:11AM
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@madjam

I agree that dealing Hemsky for Toronto's (Boston) pick isnt going to happen. Hemsky is the only asset that could even make Boston think about it, but how could they turn down the opportunity for a possible 80-90 point forward (Hall or Seguin) for the next 7-8 years?

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#34 GSC
March 23 2010, 10:15AM
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Back and forth we go...what happened to all these arguments about "small sample size" and "let the player dominate one league at a time"?

As much as I'd love to see Eberle in Oiler blue (believe me, it's a great thought), what good does it do to have him playing 4th line minutes when he could be getting valuable time in Springfield's top 6 and on the PP? Like Tom Renney said on Stauffer's show yesterday, there's no reason to hurry this kid and to bring him up just for the hell of it. He went on to say, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the fans would be better served to have Jordan brought along properly than to have him rushed into the show just for a few games to achieve instant gratification.

Do what Ottawa did with Jason Spezza: let the player skate half an AHL season, get comfortable with the system and gradually dominate against better opposition, and then bring him up and see what he can do. This short-sighted, "cup of coffee" approach isn't the way to go about things. One minute there's praise for keeping him in the AHL, the next there's advocacy for calling him up to the show. Pick an argument and stick with it.

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Jonathan Willis wrote:

The "losing environment" excuse is ridiculous. Last I checked, the Falcons rivaled the Oilers for ineptitude.

Only difference is those guys in the AHL are happy to be there because they were in the ECHL most of the year. Instead the NHL club has guys that think they don't have to try on a nightly basis because they know they can't be moved. AHL players have something to prove, half our NHL roster could careless aobout proving anything.

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#36 Crackenbury
March 23 2010, 10:38AM
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It's Schremp all over again! The huddled masses are demanding our saviour be delivered upon us and his name is Eberle.

Give the kid a break and just let him play where he's asked. Judging by the fevered pitch already in place over this 18 year-old, I think the Oilers are right in letting him finish up the year on a strong note in the AHL.

Pyschotic Oiler fans will have to wait an entire 6 more months to see him. By the way, how's Schremp doing these days?

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#37 VK63
March 23 2010, 10:39AM
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He is likely to be showcased at years end as Gregor suggests, a last ditch marketing campaign to get rid of some swag, a bit of an introduction to the community where he will have a high profile this summer and that fan appeasement thing.

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#38 dunnonuttin
March 23 2010, 10:42AM
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It's funny that there is so much of the fundamentalist talk still. It's either "bringing players up so they can shine is the best way" or (seemingly more commonly) "leaving them in the minors for as long as possible is always best".

I would think that from Eberle's perspective, he has his sights set on making the show; if that's the case then shouldn't we be rewarding good behaviour?

There are obviously intangibles (such as effect on future cap, who gets pushed off the team for him to come up, etc.), that have to be considered, but I think that if Eberle shows that he should get his "cup of coffee" then he has to be allowed to earn it.

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#39 Pokey Reddock
March 23 2010, 10:42AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Oh man, I read it wrong the first time. I thought he meant trade Hemsky for Lecavalier. THAT is a bad deal. Now, trade one of the top 2 picks for Lecavalier, THAT is the worst deal in the history of the NHL. Plain and simple.

Yikes.

Yeah, wow wondering what you were thinking agreeing to what that guy was saying.

If that happend that would be the exact same thing as what the leafs have been doing for years prior to the Burke regime.

Wow, let's make sure Madjam doesn't get hired as the GM!

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#40 BigE91
March 23 2010, 10:43AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

That's the rumor that's been floating around for the last couple weeks. I'm still not sure how true it is, or if it's the greatest idea, but he's at least on the radar.

I don't mind the idea. He's got a ton of international experience with the junior team and if he could get some playing time with Penner or Gagner it's going to be good for him.

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#41 ekcut
March 23 2010, 10:48AM
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@GSC

Who says he will play 4th line minutes here? Give him 1st line minutes and PP time. See what he can do. Even if he struggles he will have a better idea of his shortcomings and have the summer to work on them.

The ONLY downside I can see is a roster spot. Do we have a forward that we can send down without having to clear waivers?

It's not like we are giving him an unwarented cup of coffee....he has done absolutley everything he could given the situations he's been put in.

Through all the troubles this season, I have not said one peep about management mismanaging players. But if Eberle does not play in the NHL this season I will seriously question their ability to run the hockey team. There is no risk!! Let's get some insight if Eberle will be in the NHL or AHL next year. So we have a better idea what to do with our bubble players. Knowledge is power!

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#42 Mike Krushelnyski
March 23 2010, 10:48AM
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@GSC

You think Eberle would come up and play 4th line minutes? I think the implication is that he would play top 6 and see PP time in Edmonton.

edit: yeah, what he said ^^^

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#43 Ender
March 23 2010, 10:57AM
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When deciding whether Eberle should be in the show this season, the interests of four groups need to be considered: Oilers Management, Oilers Players, Oilers fans, and Eberle himself.

Oilers Management
It's true that they'll need to assess Eberle's ability to play in the Show. They're either going to do that now against some top-end NHL talent who are fighting for playoff positions or do it in training camp next year. I'd argue that camp is a much more controlled environment.

Oilers Players
There are a lot of people playing for jobs next year. As it is, vets are sitting on the bench while management assesses who will exit the system this summer. Bringing Eberle up now means someone else sits down, making it that much harder to get a read on who to purge and who just might be redeemable. It's always competative for ice-time on any team, but do you think Eberle will be welcomed with open arms in a dressing room where every minute he plays might mean one less minute for a vet to prove he still belongs in the NHL?

Oilers Fans
Of course fans want to see Eberle. They've had precious little to cheer about this year and are short on reasons to go see the Oilers play out the string. The thing is, Eberle's presence isn't going to have a ton of financial impact on this season's books (how many extra tickets is he going to sell in nine games that aren't already sold anyway) and he's going to create excitement in September whether he plays now or not. Thus, while Joe Fan might enjoy seeing him more now than later, the part of Joe Fan that the Oilers care about isn't significant in hurrying him into games this season.

Eberle himself
Eberle does poorly in the NHL and this motivates him to try harder than he was already going to? I doubt it; he came to camp last season in fine form. Eberle does well in the NHL and this gives him confidence to know he can build further success? He's going to gain just as much or more confidence skating circles around people in the AHL than he is holding his own in the Show. He already knows he'll be an NHL talent; proving it now or in a few months isn't going to mean much to him. On the other hand, the risk of physical injury to someone unaccustomed to players this big and strong is very real (see: Brule, Gilbert) and the damage to his psyche if he gets dominated is a much bigger risk than the potential gain if he does well.

Overall, I'd argue that keeping Eberle in Springfield for the balance of the season and bringing him to camp to meet the real Edmonton Oilers next season is a lot smarter that risking him now for very little gain. Yeah, a few games would be fun to watch for the fans, but would serve very little purpose otherwise.

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#44 Crash
March 23 2010, 10:57AM
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It's beginning to be quite clear that Eberle does not belong in the AHL...

I'd like to see him here to end out the year but if not I'm ok with that but what is all this talk already about leaving him in the AHL next year? That's crap.

If he is NHL ready then he should play in the NHL, enough of this put him in the AHL talk next year already.

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#45 ekcut
March 23 2010, 11:01AM
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@Crackenbury

We don't want Eberle up to be our saviour. We want Eberle up to see if he could be an NHLer next season and at NO RISK.

We didn't have the option of playing Schremp in meaningless games. Schremp was rightfully NOT played after his junior season ended...Did denying Schremp his 9 game cup of coffee aid or hurt his development? It certainly didn't aid it, as he never panned out. I doubt it hurt him either as 9 games will not make or player. This isn't a development issue...what we do or dont this season wont change things one bit...we will have a better idea of what we have next year though when it comes time to make a decision if he is in the AHL or NHl next season.

How is Schremp doing? He didn't pan out, thanks for asking...if anything that is an arguement for NOT handling Eberle the same way.

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#46 RossCreekNation
March 23 2010, 11:01AM
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Not sure if its been mentioned yet, but via Sportsnet's Dan Murphy (twitter)...

JDD starting for Oilers. Dubnyk won last two starts but it sick. Brule and Gagner both hoping for calls to play in World Champs in Germany

...and via Tencer...

Oilers trying to make arrangements to find another goalie so Dubnyk can stay home...they don't want him infecting the rest of the team.

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#47 Benhur
March 23 2010, 11:02AM
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ekcut wrote:

Right now there is great debate and questions as to whether or not Eberle will be able to crack the NHL roster next year. The answer to that question will have a direct effect on whether players like POS and Robert Nilson are bought out, if Comrie is resigned, if Cogliano is traded etc etc.

If only there was someway to see before the offseason if Jordan Eberle is NHL ready, some crystal ball that lets us peer into the future and see him play against NHL competition. Maybe we could ask that crazy old lady living on the street just off of Jasper Ave to look at her tea leaves, or hold a seance and ask the ghost of Rocket Richard if Eberle is big enough and fast enough to play next year... There has to be SOMEWAY to get at least a glimpse of whether or not Eberle is ready to play top 6 minutes...Oh wait, call me crazy, I am going WAY on on a limb here, but why don't we PLAY him in the NHL now and then we will have a 9 game look at him which will allow Tambo to do his favorite thing and evaluate players! Or I suppose we could shake the magic 8 ball...I'm sure that will be just as informative....

Oh...and just a little side comment. If a players confidence can be shaken so badly in a 9 game stint that his development is stunted....he was never destined for the NHL anyways (i don't know if you are aware of this, but playing in the NHL is fairly stressful)...It's better to learn that now.

Well said ....hilarious!

Yes bring him up now for these reaSONs: The competition will be intense as compared to next years training camp & preseason which will give Jordan and the Oilers a chance to evaluate his performance and areas of growth. Provide the fans with a realistic look at him with NHL level competition...this will get rid of the guessing game for both the Oilers and fans. Give the fans something to look forward to. And this could give Tambo a good look at what he has and what kind of moves he needs to make this summer on the trading front.

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ekcut wrote:

Who says he will play 4th line minutes here? Give him 1st line minutes and PP time. See what he can do. Even if he struggles he will have a better idea of his shortcomings and have the summer to work on them.

The ONLY downside I can see is a roster spot. Do we have a forward that we can send down without having to clear waivers?

It's not like we are giving him an unwarented cup of coffee....he has done absolutley everything he could given the situations he's been put in.

Through all the troubles this season, I have not said one peep about management mismanaging players. But if Eberle does not play in the NHL this season I will seriously question their ability to run the hockey team. There is no risk!! Let's get some insight if Eberle will be in the NHL or AHL next year. So we have a better idea what to do with our bubble players. Knowledge is power!

There is no waivers right now, teams are on their playoff rosters and had to submit a list of players.

I do question how many callups we have left as it seems everyone we callup is on an emergency basis.

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#49 Archaeologuy
March 23 2010, 11:06AM
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Crackenbury wrote:

It's Schremp all over again! The huddled masses are demanding our saviour be delivered upon us and his name is Eberle.

Give the kid a break and just let him play where he's asked. Judging by the fevered pitch already in place over this 18 year-old, I think the Oilers are right in letting him finish up the year on a strong note in the AHL.

Pyschotic Oiler fans will have to wait an entire 6 more months to see him. By the way, how's Schremp doing these days?

Eberle will be 20 in May, he's not 18.

Schremp has 25 points in 44 games. Stretched over an 82 game season that's 45 points, which means that he would likely have ended up 3rd in Oiler scoring. I'd say he's doing pretty well for a rookie.

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#50 GSC
March 23 2010, 11:07AM
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Ender wrote:

When deciding whether Eberle should be in the show this season, the interests of four groups need to be considered: Oilers Management, Oilers Players, Oilers fans, and Eberle himself.

Oilers Management
It's true that they'll need to assess Eberle's ability to play in the Show. They're either going to do that now against some top-end NHL talent who are fighting for playoff positions or do it in training camp next year. I'd argue that camp is a much more controlled environment.

Oilers Players
There are a lot of people playing for jobs next year. As it is, vets are sitting on the bench while management assesses who will exit the system this summer. Bringing Eberle up now means someone else sits down, making it that much harder to get a read on who to purge and who just might be redeemable. It's always competative for ice-time on any team, but do you think Eberle will be welcomed with open arms in a dressing room where every minute he plays might mean one less minute for a vet to prove he still belongs in the NHL?

Oilers Fans
Of course fans want to see Eberle. They've had precious little to cheer about this year and are short on reasons to go see the Oilers play out the string. The thing is, Eberle's presence isn't going to have a ton of financial impact on this season's books (how many extra tickets is he going to sell in nine games that aren't already sold anyway) and he's going to create excitement in September whether he plays now or not. Thus, while Joe Fan might enjoy seeing him more now than later, the part of Joe Fan that the Oilers care about isn't significant in hurrying him into games this season.

Eberle himself
Eberle does poorly in the NHL and this motivates him to try harder than he was already going to? I doubt it; he came to camp last season in fine form. Eberle does well in the NHL and this gives him confidence to know he can build further success? He's going to gain just as much or more confidence skating circles around people in the AHL than he is holding his own in the Show. He already knows he'll be an NHL talent; proving it now or in a few months isn't going to mean much to him. On the other hand, the risk of physical injury to someone unaccustomed to players this big and strong is very real (see: Brule, Gilbert) and the damage to his psyche if he gets dominated is a much bigger risk than the potential gain if he does well.

Overall, I'd argue that keeping Eberle in Springfield for the balance of the season and bringing him to camp to meet the real Edmonton Oilers next season is a lot smarter that risking him now for very little gain. Yeah, a few games would be fun to watch for the fans, but would serve very little purpose otherwise.

Fantastic points, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Let Ebs dominate the A for a bit longer, let him get comfortable and build that confidence to where he'll be ready to make the jump up. Rushing him along right now, again, isn't the proper way to develop the player. Why bother giving him a few NHL games when you can keep him in Springfield and let him blossom? Why jeopardize F'ing with his psyche when he can continue to gradually dominate one level at a time?

WHL? Check. WJC? Check. AHL? In progess.

One step at a time.

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