If Jeff Skinner is worth $34.35 million to the Carolina Hurricanes two years into his NHL entry level contract, what are Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle worth to the Edmonton Oilers?

With Carolina and Skinner, who is represented by agent Bobby Orr, having put the finishing touches on a six-year contract extension that will take him through the 2018-19 season, Hall and Eberle are about to become very wealthy young men. The only question, really, is when that happens.

With a new CBA yet to be negotiated between NHL teams and the NHLPA, should the Oilers put pen to paper with Hall and Eberle two years into their entry level deals and take care of business now, or should they wait? Pay them now or pay them later? How much? Over to you, Steve Tambellini.

Side by side in big boy beds, they’re both rich, it’s Hall and Ebs.


What makes the discussion about Skinner’s deal as it relates to Hall and Eberle is the three players are absolute comparables in terms of draft pedigree, age and performance since entering the NHL.

Skinner, 20, drafted seventh overall by Carolina in 2010, has scored 51-56-107 in 146 games, which puts him at .73 PPG. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. That’s worth $4.350 million to GM Jim Rutherford for 2013-14 and $6 million a season for the rest of the term.

Hall, 20, selected first overall by the Oilers in 2010, has scored 49-46-95 in 126 games with the Oilers, which puts the dynamic left winger at .75 PPG despite considerable time missed in his first two seasons.

Eberle, 22, taken 22nd overall by the Oilers in the 2008 Entry Draft, has the best numbers of the trio. The former Regina Pat is coming off a 76-point season and has tallied 52-67-119 in 147 games, or .81 PPG.


While you can debate the merits of each player on a number of levels and try to predict how their careers will unfold – I happen to believe Eberle will be the best of the bunch in terms of offensive production – there is one certainty and that is the minimum price point for Hall and Eberle was set today.

Might Tambellini already be on the phone with Orr, who also represents Hall, and Eberle’s agent looking to do business now? Might we be in for some real news in what’s been a decidedly slow several weeks?

Bidding opens at $34.35 million. When it opens is the question.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.


      I think he is not in control-just a lame duck GM . Others seem to making the major decisions while he is relagated to those aspects he can do well at ? He seems more like a Vp than a full fledged GM . I could be wrong ,but his position seems limited .

  • @DMan 09

    I like the number you have used and the term.

    I would have no trouble telling the boys they are going to get very rich in their careers and if they want to have the most competive team possible they need to take the amount we will have left over to pay the supporting cast into consideration while negotiating their contracts.

    Hell, even tell them you have no doubt that in the long run playing with the talent we have amassed to date and the supporting cast we will continue to develop they will all be worth well over 6. In order to keep the team together long term we want to sign matching 10 yr 5 million per contracts.

    Any contract they are willing to sign without being insulted that locks them up for 5+ years between 5 and 6 million each would be a huge win for the Oilers.

  • RexLibris

    Someone brought up the Colorado example the other day when Pierre Lacroix brought guys like Sakic, Forsberg, Blake and Roy into the dressing room a few months after they had won the Cup and basically told everybody what he’d be offering each player. By appealing to their camaraderie and their chances of success he was able to retain all of his talent.

    I’m not sure if any agent today would let that happen, but it might be a good idea for Tambellini, Lowe and MacTavish to get all the guys together and try to negotiate as a group. It would be tricky to manage given that Hugent-Hopkins and Yakupov aren’t in the same contract situation yet, but the thought of building something special as a group might have some cache with these players. Especially when it comes from two guys who experienced first-hand what a young talented core can do.

  • I am not opposed to signing them now if they would agree to a discounted 5-6 million deal.

    That being said there has already been much written of the chance/likelyhood that Eberle’s points will go down. Couple that with the fact that Hall is recovering from shoulder surgery and has had to signifigantly alter his off season training, and the up coming CBA changes.

    I think it would be prudent to call a meeting and suggest matching contracts of $5 million each for 5-10 years with the preference being the longer term. If they say no then say you want to see the outcome of the CBA talks before negotiating further on the contracts.


    As JW wisely notes, signing them now would be a huge gamble on how the CBA turns out, although Oil management has the advantage of knowing far more about how far the owners are willing to bend on these issues and hence how they are likely to turn out.

    As things stand some posters seem to be living in lala land. If you do sign Hall and Ebs long-term it should be well into their free agent years, 8 to 10, and anything less than $6.5 million per year average is fantasy. As things stand. Perhaps under a new CBA you can get less, or maybe have to pay more. On the other hand you might be limited to a five year max as well. The NYI were very smart and lucky with the Taveras deal, which is now at least $1 million per year under what they would have to pay him now. Expecting Taveras money for Hall and Eberle now is like expecting Gordie Howe money. Ain’t happening.

    Waiting for January or until the end of next season is also a gamble of course. The Skinner signing indicates the Canes do not see a changing market coming as the deal is perfectly in line with immediately previous ones.

  • MessyEH!

    I guess it depends on what motivates these guys. Cash or championships. They could be on the cusp of a dynasty, or islanders west. A couple of these could turn into rick dipietro.


    It would be nice to lock at least one of them in right now. As far as value goes, I would like to see Hall locked up now. I just get the feeling that if he stays healthy, he is in for a big season. I don’t think that Eberle’s point totals will drop dramatically but I don’t see his value going up as much as Hall’s could.

  • NewfoundlandOil

    It’s obvious that Hall and Eberle, injuries, singular hot seasons respected, should be signed to this type of deal. In my opinion Eberle and Hall > Skinner (love the kid nothing personal). Its obvious sign these guys. Yep, you can play it prudent, and in business, as in life, that will limit your downside, but will do absolutely nothing for your upside.

    We all have this question for management. Where are your balls? With these 1st rounders, do you really believe, or are you still playing around below he belt?

    Two choices, and I hope they don’t out think themselves, 1) get on with business, believe in this team or 2) be paralized with fear.