The internet is wild and crazy with trade rumors since the Hamonic distortion was leaked earlier this week. For Oilers fans, it means rumors about significant pieces like Jordan Eberle (photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) are being thrown around. One way for us to follow along at home is by asking pertinent questions, like: Do the Islanders need Eberle? Those answers shine a light on whether or not these ideas are reasonable.
One never really knows where these things begin, I sometimes suspect baggedmilk for starting all Eberle rumors (he is also responsible for the lack of bagged milk in the ON fridge btw), but the earliest sighting I have found recently is this:
Jeff Simmons: Ideally, the Islanders would
love to acquire ascending young defenceman Darnell Nurse in a trade but a
more realistic scenario could involve a package including forward
Jordan Eberle and defenceman Justin Schultz. Source
So, with Mr. Simmons credited, we can discuss the quote. If the Oilers are trading Jordan Eberle, one imagines there must be some trouble on the top lines in NYC. Fair? Let’s look closely at the Islanders top 5×5 scorers (among forwards) this season:
- Brock Nelson 2.73
- John Tavares 2.40
- Kyle Okposo 2.14
- Nikolai Kulemin 2.03
- Frans Nielson 1.84
- Casey Cizikas 1.75
- Anders Lee 1.50
- Mikhal Grabovski 1.24
- Cal Clutterbuck 1.22
- Josh Bailey 1.20
First of all, well done Islanders! That’s an impressive list of offensive numbers at even strength this year (Edmonton’s No. 10 man is Rob Klinkhammer, 0.87). Second, Ryan Strome (0.77) might be available if you’re looking for something coming the other way.
Let’s look at the lineup using Dailyfaceoff.com
So, if we’re looking at the current Islanders lineup, the weak spot on the top two lines is Josh Bailey. We also know that NY is getting really good scoring from their bottom six and they’re mixing lines like demons. We know this because Nelson has played most often this season with Grabovski and Okposo. Source.
So, and it’s difficult with 30 teams because there are some things I could be missing (injuries, Taylor Beck may be related to the owner, etc), the things we can say with authority are:
- Despite the rumors about needing a defenseman, Garth Snow may well be looking for a substantial solution to the Strome-now-Bailey issue. We would do well to remind ourselves that GM lie like sidewalks.
- Among those players who are not wildly productive and MAY be available are Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome.
- The dollars for an Eberle trade don’t really work, so we should probably assume some dead weight is coming back.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Hell if I know. The Islanders, like all 30 teams, could use Jordan Eberle. They have a defenseman who wants to come home and there’s a lot of chatter. The SN rumor makes sense based on sound reason and could have come up in conversation.
Would YOU approve an Eberle—Schultz for Hamonic—Bailey or Strome trade?