BUBBLING UNDER

eberle rob ferguson

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.

EBERLE FOR?

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:

  1. Brock Nelson 2.73
  2. John Tavares 2.40
  3. Kyle Okposo 2.14
  4. Nikolai Kulemin 2.03
  5. Frans Nielson 1.84
  6. Casey Cizikas 1.75
  7. Anders Lee 1.50
  8. Mikhal Grabovski 1.24
  9. Cal Clutterbuck 1.22
  10. 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

islanders lineup

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?

  • fran huckzky

    I would seriously question any trade involving a first line player for an Eastern Conferenare dman. There are two or three exceptions and none play for the Islanders. There is a big quality difference between the two conferences and I believe if the Oil played in the east, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • BlazingSaitls

    The only way I’m trading Ebs is if there’s a three way deal between Islanders, Jets, and Oilers and the Oilers end up with a re-signed Dustin Byfuglien.

    • BlazingSaitls

      Only D men that would make sense to the NYI are Nurse and Klefbom and Oilers won’t trade him for Hamonic. SO i agree they would need a 3way trade probably with a team that wants a forward and have good D already

  • WeirdG

    I would offer Schultz, a 2nd round pick and Ethan Bear. That is it. Meets the Islanders need for a defenseman also giving them a future pick and a decent prospect. Snow could flip the pick for more help at the dead line, or use it to restock the cupboards. I wouldn’t trade Eberle straight up for Hamonic. If he played in a western market I don’t believe we would have even heard of him. He’s in the range of Perry and Sekera Not Doughty, Subban or Webber. Hamonic asked for this trade in the summer, I think he’s been pumped to be dumped

      • WeirdG

        Yes. So if Schultz is paired with a Boychuk or Leddy he would be fine.

        Hamonic isn’t an elite defenseman himself. He has had a good 1/4 season and requested a trade. We are not talking a long track record of success.

        The year previous,this one he was among the worst regular Islander defenders in Corsi for percentage. His numbers were very Schultz like. It’s amazing how a stretch of 20 games can change the way a player is viewed. Nothing about Hamonics previous 3 NHL seasons Screams elite top pairing defenseman. He’s just average. The pick and prospect make up for the difference in value.

        • WeirdG

          Hamonic is playing top minutes for Dmen on the NYI, he plays against top competition .

          Schultz is playing sheltered minutes and last year there was talk of letting him walk

          • nuge2drai

            There was only talk amongst Oilers fans of letting him walk. The same people who thought Perry was a bottom pairing guy on a good team. Mean while he did a fine job on Montreals top pairing during the play offs. And earned a great contract for himself that Canadian fans are still thrilled about.

            Take the time to compare Schultz and Hamonics numbers. Not much of a difference. Schultz has played over 20 minutes a night every year in the league. (The Oilers have played him far too much.) Hamonic and Schultz are a lot closer then your giving Schultz credit for.

            Besides the last 20 games Hamonic hasn’t been anything special. The Islanders have had much better defensive depth. There is a reason he has such a cap friendly contract, he was only worth 3.8 million a year. He would be a welcome upgrade to the Oilers Defense, but he’s not worth Jordan Eberle straight across. One is a consistent point producer on the worst team in yhe league. who is on resonible contract.

            Oilers fans over valuing other teams players and undervaluing our own again.

        • usetobewise

          There’s really two separate things to keep in mind:

          1) Hamonic will not be a top-6 defender for Team Canada in next year’s World Cup. So I think you’re right; he is not an elite top pairing defender.

          2) Based on his TOI and usage, he is a legit top pairing defender for a playoff team, and as such, he is a better defenceman than anyone the Oilers have this season.

          But really, I’m sure if Schultz and a second-rounder was good enough, they would have made the trade already.

  • Rem99

    LT, What everyone needs to know here is the dollars exchange in the trade will be a big part of any trade wrt Hamonics cap friendly contract. The Islanders have a unique business deal with Barclays in the Brooklyn arena deal. Wang has a guaranteed revenue deal only one in the NHL in exchange Barclays get all revenue from seat sales other sales. For every extra dollar the Isles take on in player salaries Barclays -the corporation losses money, that means if you want to trade an insanely good contract as Hamonics and get the simular player back that player has to be on a insanely great contract as well, Ebs is not that player, No way Barclay will sign off on that. ON you want to write an interesting article write on how the unique business arrangement of the islanders ties the hockey operations hands in this situation.

  • Stack Pad Save

    I would only deal Eberle if the deal went something like this:

    Okposo and Harmonic for Eberle and Schultz

    This is a fair trade in my eyes as both teams get a FA at the end of the year (Schutlz (RFA) and Okposo(UFA)). The Oilers get the better D-man the Isles get the more productive forward. I think Harmonic and Okposo are a better set but the Oilers take on more risk as Okposo is a UFA at the end of the season.

  • Johnnydapunk

    I’m in the minority here it seems but Ebs and Jultz for Harmonic seems to be an overpay by a decent margin. Jultz and something else would be ok-ish but it would have to be a draft pick or a minor leaguer but not Ebs as well. I am leery of Eastern Conference players in general and think that the fact they play in the east seems to inflate their numbers a bit, there have been a lot of players that have struggled moving from the east to the west (Sekera, Nikitin, Talbot, Fayne, and Hamilton in Calgary) and have done well going the other way (Petry, Perron) to name a few.

    I rate Harmonic high, but looking at his numbers compared to Jultz, they are pretty similar and Snow mentioned he wanted a comparable player in return, Jultz would be that player, they are the same age, similar size, both shoot right and the primary difference is the contract and that would be worth a early draft pick ish like a 2nd rounder. I don’t think Snow is in a huge position of strength and if he can get more for him from someone else in the west, then fair play to him, but It’s unknown how Harmonic would do in the West so he is a bit of a risk so I wouldn’t want the Oil to give up that much for him.

  • neojanus

    If Eberle is involved, I would ask for their 1st round pick to sweeten it for the Oilers.

    What other team is going to offer that high of a player for Harmonic right now?

    The interest is not that high or else a deal would be done by now. Calgary, Winnipeg, Wild all have better defense to offer back in a trade. No doubt there. But that is why they are not that interested. They are all pretty set. Who is going to offer a true top 4 defense back? It is just not going to happen.

  • neojanus

    i would do Eberle for Hamonic in a heartbeat. If they offered to take Eberle-Schultz for Hamonic-Strome? I would literally sprint to the fax machine.

    Hamonic is a stud #2 D man and young. You guys are crazy to think otherwise.

    • PlayDirty

      I would do this trade all day. Ive followed Hamonic since he almost killer Taylor Hall in the memorial cup.

      His game is nice and efficient. He’s not huge but he’s very effective. I would suggest anyone who hasn’t seen him to watch the Islanders Habs game tonight and key in on him. Hes not a number one but he’s a very good defensive defenceman. Better than anyone we have.

      Get it done.

  • Rem99

    I reckon that if you get another month of Purcell producing then other teams will start to be very interested.

    The Islanders are in a playoff position, and will likely remain close in that time so they would be looking to separate themselves from. So they will tread cautiously.

    But a pumped Purcell + Schultz could possibly get the Hamonic + Strome return everyone wants. The Islanders have the cap space and because the cap is done daily the longer it takes to make the deal the easier it is on their cap space.

    This deal would likely put the Islanders in a better position now for the playoffs which they are desperate for in their first year in Brooklyn.

    I think this is the deal I am waiting for if I am Chia as I think it will be available with a bit of patience, once Snow has exhausted his options. And let’s be honest Purcell wasn’t of interest a month ago.

    Will the Islanders go for it? They would prefer Eberle but I think they aren’t going to have that luxury as I reckon if Chia had that deal on the table Snow would already have done it.

  • neojanus

    Lowetide,

    What do you think it would take to get Justin Faulk out of Carolina?

    Maybe a Jordan Eberle + Mark Fayne for Skinner and Faulk?

    Or a Taylor Hall + 1st round 2016 to Arizona for OEL + 2nd 2016 who is a bonefide number 1?
    Over payment for sure but in the near future we have cap concerns and OEL is making 4.5 and it gives Arizona a second shot at their saviour Austin Matthews?

  • Mooseroni

    Schultz/Fayne + pick = Hamonic

    Fayne + Schultz = Hamonic

    Sekera = Hamonic

    Eberle + Fayne/Schultz = Okposo + Hamonic

    Eberle + Fayne + Schultz + pick = Okposo + Hamonic + Strome

    Only fair trades that I see.

    This might also be a steal if only Schultz goes the other way because we’ll have Hamonic who is atleast a Top 4 D at 3.9M rather than Schultz’s 4M

    And don’t worry about saying how we’ll have cap problems in the future. Yak and Reinhart arent gonna cost us the bank. If Yak can develop well with McDavid and make 3M a year, that’s good enough. Finding chemistry with a superstar is hard enough (see Crosby). Davidson and Reinhart will probably be cheap too which is also good for our team as we need to save for Nurse, McDavid, and Draisaitl.

    Gotta get rid of contracts like Ference, Nikitin, Fayne, and Sekera. TBH I see the Oil trading Sekera’s contract at the deadline for Byfuglien.

    If we successfully do this, we’ll have acquired a top D man in Buff, a solid D core that includes Nurse, Klefbom, and Hamonic. Also we won’t have to touch the Forwards core. The only real problem we’ll have is a 1A goalie as Nilsson is proving to be a very strong 1B

  • neojanus

    Addition by addition.

    Put me down as a no for trading our present core. Remember we are presently the best last place team. Only 5 points out of a play off spot. This group is already different, they are emerging, building momentum. It has to be an almost guaranteed trade, we don’t need any trade and cross your fingers it works out. Stay the course.

  • passenger

    I hope that guy forever stops watching Oilers hockey. I love when people threaten to quit being a fan of any team. #1 cool move.

    He can also F himself in the M with a CP all over the B40 (hi mom!)

  • Petrolero

    When talking about the Oilers, the first question should be, what do they need the most? Then you can say, do they need Eberle more than they do Hamonic?, you can draw your own conclusions after that.

  • John Shannon's Evil Twin

    The Islander’s are not really in the drivers seat. Not long term anyway. When a player wants out, even when it’s amicable, you really shouldn’t expect to get everything one wants.
    I, for one, would like to know what the issue is. Why does he want to move and how would that effect the team and his play once he is here.
    While I understand the bloom is off the rose, I can’t see giving up more than a Schultz, a good potential prospect and maybe a pick, if one has to go that far.
    You have to make a trade to get better in a situation like this, not move sideways. Other teams might give up too much but this guy asked to be moved. At some point, when nothing happens, it could become a demand….