Report: Philadelphia Flyers inquire about Jordan Eberle

According to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia, the Flyers talked to the Oilers today about the possibility of acquiring Jordan Eberle.

The Tweets

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.

  • camdog

    Bold? Yes. Upgrade? Slightly. Addressing our needs? No.

    Seriously, can we start looking at trades that are going to be guys that we need? A big winger in Simmonds? Makes more sense…maybe we don’t get the best player, but it addresses a need. So let’s add to it…

    Or maybe this is just like the Rangers rumors.

    • How hard is it to find a big, second-line winger? Pretty difficult, right?

      Now: How hard is it to find a first line RW who isn’t even in the prime of his career yet?

      That’s why you don’t move Eberle for a package centered on Simmonds, no matter how it’s sweetened. Trading down, even to address need, hurts the team in the long-term.

      There’s a reason Chicago kept Patrick Kane and let Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien go. Because it’s easier to find Bryan Bicekll and Brandon Saad than it is to find a new Patrick Kane (and, to quickly clarify – Eberle isn’t Kane, but the point here is you keep the parts that really matter, not the ones that you can replace).

      • Serious Gord

        Let me just start this post by saying that Eberle is a guy I’d like to keep, and him and Nuge are the 2 I’d build around over other parts…

        Now that being said, if we have an abundance of the same thing, but need a different mix, then we have to trade pieces that are going to seem like we’re giving up the best player. I guess the debate is which guy of Hall/Nuge/Ebs/Gags/Yak/Schultz to we get rid of. Which ones are parts that really matter as you say? I’d say Ebs is as tradeable as any of them. What’s the return? Well it has to be of equal or greater value than what you’re giving up. Simmonds may be of lesser value…but if the combo of top 6 forward with size is so easy, why are we having so much trouble getting it? It seems we’re having an easier time getting guys like Ebs than guys like Simmonds. Why are guys like Clarkson getting so much in free trade? There’s a value that isn’t measureable in just offensive stats (or advanced stats), and that physical stats goes a bit further.

        Boston clearly lost the Joe Thornton trade. Who has had the better chance at winning the cup since then? Maybe there’s more to these bit pieces than we think. If we were to acquire enough of these bit pieces, that are going to be part of the team long enough, that end up fixing the 3rd and 4th lines or defensive pairings…wouldn’t it be worth it?

        Everything has a price, and while I wouldn’t target Eberle to ship out of town, if there was a deal around Simmonds + + + that had good value to the Oilers, and made them a better ‘team’ – then I’d do it.

      • Citizen David

        This makes a lot of sense but in the Oilers situation I don’t think it applies. The Oilers have three first overall forwards. If we believe in Yakupov, which I know you do, then we don’t need to hold on to Eberle for that “first line RW who hasn’t entered the prime of his career yet” because that’s Yak. Of course if Yakupov isn’t that then your statement is correct. The biggest problem with the oilers isn’t top end skill it’s the depth. I don’t think trading Eberle for upgrades in positions 4-7 is a bad idea.

      • Word to the Bird

        Normally I’d agree with you.

        Unfortunately, we are in a position where the only thing with value on our team/we actually can afford to give up are pieces that nobody wants. As bad as it sounds, we might have no choice but to trade Ebs or someone else for pieces that round out the team better. If Ebs is the piece needed to get a great third liner and a top 4 defenseman, so be it.

          • Spoils

            I remember OV going through a drought last year( I believe it was 13 games) and all the pundits were saying he is finished??

            I bet dollars to donuts Giroux is simply clutching his stick too hard ……….he got the “C”, at far too young an age. He just cant relax enough.

            I would give the Flyers all sorts of players to get him to our team……except Ebs, RNH, Hall.

            We have an abundance of forwards so let’s start culling.

  • Hemmercules

    No way that trade happens straight across. I could see a package deal involving both players maybe, but still a long shot.

    I don’t know if I could handle seeing Ebs in another jersey.

  • BLAKPOO

    If you think philly is trading giroux for eberle, you are crazy. That’s a massive miscalculation of eberles ability. Giroux is on par with stamkos, malkin, Nash, etc. if philly is looking at eberle it’s to play on a line with giroux to get him going. My take is cobourne would be the centre of the deal coming back

    • StHenriOilBomb

      Edmonton would have to add something to the deal, but it’s not nearly as large of a gap as it would be for Stamkos or Malkin.

      Neither Giroux or Nash (who I’d rate a tad below Giroux) are close to Stams or Geno.

  • Wohin gehst du?

    How good is Giroux without the puck in comparison to Eberle? Do you think maybe it could be something like:

    Eberle, Omark, and 2nd Rounder for
    Giroux and Simmonds?

    Obviously biased towards Oilers, but Paul Holmgren.

  • OMG–what a dilemma we have if there is substance to this. We all agree something has to be done. If we think of the player, we want Eberle with us; but if we think of the team, we need some improvements. Definitely can’t go wrong with Giroux in the lineup. Can’t decide if #14 is worth the sacrifice. If I had to make the decision, I have to give the team a chance to win and a goal tender would be coming here.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    There goes Jonathan Willis’ job…

    Unless the rumours are true and Wanye writes every article from his mom’s basement, under different pseudonyms