November 08 2013 01:19PM
According to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia, the Flyers talked to the Oilers today about the possibility of acquiring Jordan Eberle.
Told today Flyers are talking with EDM about Eberle— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
at this point, callups from Phantoms or small trades wont turn #Flyers around. has to be an impact deal— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
i think it is safe to say #Flyers have shown no one is untouchable. ask jeff carter and mike richards— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
Just because Flyers call about Eberle doesnt mean it happens. EDM may say NO but Flyers said "NO" to dealing Carter/Richards until ...— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
It's Holmgren's job to seek out anyone he thinks can be an impact player, even if clubs say NO. Snider said Flyers effort "pathetic" ...— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
When you're owner says that game was pathetic, your GM leaves NO pucks unturned in making a deal, even if that player seems unattainable— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) November 8, 2013
Is Eberle Tradable?
The short answer in my view: yes.
Nobody would deny the Oilers have significant problems. Those problems are so significant that it might be necessary to trade high-end talent from one position to add help at another position. It doesn’t make sense to so that with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, because he’s the only hope the team has as a first-line centre. It doesn’t make sense to do that with Taylor Hall, the best player on the team and the only elite talent at left wing.
That leaves right wing, where Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov both play. In the right deal, either of those guys is moveable – regardless of what the team says. That’s not to say that the team should shop either guy, or that they’re looking to move either of them, but a trade that makes the team better without robbing Peter to pay Paul is plausible, if the guy getting traded plays right wing.
Is Eberle Tradable to Philadelphia?
Again, the short answer in my view: yes.
But there’s a caveat attached. The player has to be a high-end talent right now. That means that no package of Braydon Coburn and/or Wayne Simmonds and/or Scott Hartnell and/or Luke Schenn and/or draft picks and prospects or whatever. Trading down to address immediate need is a good way to kneecap the Oilers long-term. So no third defencemen or big second-line wingers can form the core of a decent Eberle trade.
Does Philadelphia have the high-end talent? I think you can make a case for three players. I don’t think either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier gets the job done right now. I have a lot of time for Couturier but I’m skeptical about his finishing ability and I think you can get more for Eberle on the open market. Schenn’s only a year younger than Eberle and significantly behind the same career curve.
That leaves Claude Giroux. Giroux is one of the best players in the game today, and for my money he’s a better player than Eberle by a nontrivial margin. He can play centre or wing. He doesn’t address the Oilers’ positional needs, but when an opportunity exists to trade in a very good player for a great player, it’s an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of. For the Oilers, the possibility of having one line built on Giroux/Hall and another on Nugent-Hopkins/Yakupov long-term would have to be extremely tempting.
Does the opportunity exist? With any other team, I’d say ‘no’; with the Flyers it’s just ‘probably not.’ Giroux is getting killed by the percentages this year (his line is shooting at just over 5 percent and Philadelphia has a 0.875 save percentage with him on the ice at even-strength). The 11.5 percent career shooter has zero goals on 31 shots, as well as a minus-11 rating in 15 games. Most teams would rightly dismiss that as an aberration, but the Flyers are under tremendous pressure and have a history of making quick, franchise-altering moves.
If there’s an opportunity to acquire Claude Giroux, Eberle’s a justifiable cost. Otherwise, it’s hard to see a defensible deal here.