August 14 2012 03:57PM
It's not a question of if the Edmonton Oilers sign new deals with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle with a season remaining on their entry level contracts, but when. Indications are it'll be sooner rather than later.
Speculation about new contracts for Hall and Eberle, and what kind of term and money it would take so sign them, has been rampant since the Carolina Hurricanes set the bar with a seven-year pact worth $34.35 million for Jeff Skinner.
Ryan Rishaug, TSN's reporter in Edmonton, added some fuel to the fire today with a short entry on Twitter: "Oilers have resumed preliminary talks with Taylor Hall's camp on a contract extension."
Not exactly stop-the-presses stuff, seeing as 630 CHED's Bob Stauffer indicated on Twitter on Aug. 9 he expected contract talks to heat up: "It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Oilers signed Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to long-term deals in the next couple of weeks."
Most noteworthy about today's update from Rishaug is there's no mention of any contract discussions with Eberle. What gives? What's up? Is GM Steve Tambellini talking to Hall and agent Bobby Orr but not with Eberle's rep?
Relax. They'll both get done.
NOT A PACKAGE DEAL
While there's no mention of Eberle, that doesn't mean his camp isn’t engaged in the same "preliminary" discussions Rishaug is reporting between the Oilers and Orr. Just because Rishaug, or Bob McKenzie or Darren Dreger, for that matter, haven't confirmed talks with Eberle, doesn't mean they aren't on.
The other possibility, obviously, is that Tambellini is taking one negotiation at a time and that he's starting with Hall. It's not like Hall and Eberle are Daniel and Henrik Sedin, a package deal. Hall is repped by Orr's agency and Eberle is represented by Don Meehan's Newport Sports, based in Toronto.
As Stauffer suggested, don’t be surprised if the Oilers kickstart the dog days of the off-season by announcing a new contract for Hall. Likewise, that a new deal with Eberle is done. Despite the exclusion of any mention of Eberle today by Rishaug, there's every possibility when an announcement does come, news of both deals will be made at the same time, even if negotiations are distinctly separate entities.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.