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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

Crossing Jordan: If only you believed in miracles

If Jordan Eberle is heading out of town (and Zach Laing wrote about the smoke earlier today) what’s coming back to Edmonton? Well, it’s complicated. Among the possible shopping items Edmonton would value are:

  1. Cap room. If PC trades Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome (as an example), a big part of the appeal would be the $3.5 million in cap relief. That might allow the Oilers to sign Patrick Marleau in free agency on July 1.
  2. Righty defenseman for second pair. If Edmonton trades Eberle to the Islanders for Travis Hamonic, the club is going to go a long way to shoring up the blue line for 2017-18. Although Hamonic struggled this past season, the veteran would be a solid addition to the team.
  3. Less expensive Jordan Eberle. In the grand tradition of Billy Guerin-for-Anson Carter, the Oilers might trade for a $3 million version of Eberle. Back in the old hippie days this happened quite a lot.
  4. Draft picks. Edmonton doesn’t have a second-round pick, so maybe the grab a replacement forward and a pick in a deal.
  5. RH center who can also play wing. This is tough to find, and the fix is unlikely to be perfect. I can give you a list but the options are either very expensive, very unproven, suck at faceoffs or are Mika Zibanejad. If the same fever that hit Ottawa last summer finds Manhattan tomorrow, maybe it happens.

Now it could be any combination of things, but the list above seems right. I don’t expect a goalie to be coming back, nor a prospect who isn’t NHL-ready. With my luck, expect Eberle to be dealt to Washington for prospect goalie Ilya Samsonov later tonight.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    if anyone thinks we’re going to get the same value for Eberle that the Bolts just got for Drouin then dream on, but to me Ebs and Drouin have a lot of similarities and there’s no reason why we can’t get at least similar value but this is PC we’re talking about here!

    • I am Batman

      Are you on drugs? Drouin is younger, cheaper, he is electric and he CAN score in the play-offs. Eberle would not get us anything similar than what Drouin is worth….. If we get a second round for lazy ebs, WE DID IT! We go organize a parade

      • Freddie the fog

        Step away from the bong if you think all were getting back for a proven 20-30 goal a season player thats 27 yrs old is a 2nd round pick. Yak got us a 3rd, coulda been a second if he scored 15 in St. Loo. That should give u a little perspective

      • Rock11

        Younger yes but look at the contract he just signed 5.5m per year. I guess that is technically cheaper but certainly not by much. Drouin has a much shorter track record of success as well. He does have more upside but i would think a reasonable match in talent could come back in an deal for 14 but likely with a more significant cap hit.

  • btrain

    McKenzie’s reports of plenty of offers on the table doesn’t improve the odds of an actual deal getting done. The quality of offer does but there is no way of knowing what quality they are getting. I am sure offers are being thrown out all over the place and a guy like Eberle will get much attention but it doesn’t take Bob McKenzie to figure that one out. I am no more convinced now then I was when the season ended of the odds this will happen. If it does happen I think it’s got to be at least fair as Chia does not need to make a deal. Here’s hoping he can take advantage of another team.

    • Xtnct

      btrain, are you on drugs? Drouin is $5.5 for the next 6 years. Eberle is $6 for the next 2 years. Who’s actually cheaper?

      Drouin has had one “good” season of 73gp, 21g, 32a for 53p. Eberle just came off a “bad” year with 82gp, 20g, 31a for 51p. Eberle has an excellent track record of being a 50 to 60 point player. Drouin has a track record of one “good” year.

      It’s a big mistake to judge any player off one playoff year whether it be Drouin with his 14points in 17games or Eberle with his 2points in 13games. Case in point, Datsyuk had 6 points in his first 25 playoff games. Fernando Pisani had 19 points in his first 30 playoff games. After his first 42 playoff games Datsyuk had all of 15 points. I assume you would rather have had Pisani than Datsyuk?

      • btrain

        Wait, am I missing something? I think you meant to reply to the Batman because I said nothing about Drouin. Though you are preaching to the Choir with your comments. I am firmly on the keep Eberle side of things but can stomach a fair deal should there even be one, which I am less certain of then the media heads who need to keep ratings up by having things to talk about.

  • DieHard

    We would have to protect Hamonic and go the 4-4-1 route. We need a winger that is ineligible for expansion and a draft pick. This is a cap issue for the future. I also believe that Puljujarvi will make the team as will Slepy.

    • Samesame

      We ain’t in cap hell yet. Even if he had another 45- 50 point season next year , he’d only have 1 year left. We could prob still move him for a loss but a couple mil in savings. this isn’t some 33 year old asset that it’s deal now of never. If he does in fact get dealt before the freeze it better be for a quality defender as we’d essentially be exposing /
      Losing one of kass or letestu as well just to make the deal. And no, a throw in middling puck doesn’t make up for that loss in value either. Big fan of slepyshev and recognize pujus potential obviously. But don’t force them into it. The band hasn’t even really played yet and we’re already selling off assets for cap savings …

  • Freddie the fog

    Love you Lowetide, listen to your show every day …i defend u to the boys at work who long for the jim Rome show that used to b in your current time slot. But signing Patrick Marleau ? I read Scott Cullens Oiler projection for 17-18 and he had Marleau penciled in on Connors line !!! Please LT your not buying into that( are you ?) Marleau doesn’t show up nightly …just ask Jeremy Roenick ! And PM is going to fall off a cliff anytime now statistically. Id rather we take a flyer on Ales Hemsky for a mill. He looked great when he came back from a near season long injury in the last 10-12 games of the season. Hemmer can still wheel. I was surprised. Anyways keep up the good work Lowetide ..i really hope we dont have to listen to Marleau to Edm rumors on your show…but it is your show

    • btrain

      Marleau would likely have mixed reviews in Edmonton as a portion of this fan base thinks every player needs to fit the same mold of physical play, emotional on the ice, fights for teammates, gets in the dirty areas, skates hard regardless of actual impact on the game, etc. Similar to Eberle, Marleau could be riding a 5 game pointless streak or just scored a hat trick and you couldn’t tell by the emotion he shows, except for maybe immediately after scoring. It a mistake to attribute too much into physicality and overlook those more cerebral type guys who accomplish the most difficult task in hockey, putting up points. No they don’t always show up but outside of NHL superstars not many show up night in night out. That said for not showing up that often putting up 1082 points (62nd all time) and counting in your career is not to shabby. Not to mention he put up 27 goals just last year. At the right price point and on a short deal, Marleau would be a great addition. Man can still skate which is usually the problem with aging players and he can play both wing and center. Not sure what the problem is.

  • Freddie the fog

    Love you Lowetide, listen to your show every day …i defend u to the boys at work who long for the jim Rome show that used to b in your current time slot. But signing Patrick Marleau ? I read Scott Cullens Oiler projection for 17-18 and he had Marleau penciled in on Connors line !!! Please LT your not buying into that( are you ?) Marleau doesn’t show up nightly …just ask Jeremy Roenick ! And PM is going to fall off a cliff anytime now statistically. Id rather we take a flyer on Ales Hemsky for a mill. He looked great when he came back from a near season long injury in the last 10-12 games of the season. Hemmer can still wheel. I was surprised. Anyways keep up the good work Lowetide ..i really hope we dont have to listen to Marleau to Edm rumors on your show…but it is your show . P.s. we miss you this week.

  • fisherprice

    One thing I’ve noticed lately is that people seem to be willfully unaware of the value of flawed, imperfect hockey players. There are holes in Eberle’s game, to be sure, and he probably makes too much money for what he’s done the last couple of seasons, but you have to keep in mind the value of what goes out versus what comes in. Sure, be upset that Eberle had “only” 51 points this year and was ineffective in the playoffs, but there’s only so many players that can produce offensively at all in the NHL, because it is an insanely hard league.

    By virtue of the fact that there were 30 teams this past season and presumably at least 3 forwards from each team are “top line” forward, this presupposes the existence of at least 90 “top line” forwards in the NHL. Jordan Eberle was 88th in scoring for forwards with 51 points. I know it almost seems insane that 50+ points can be considered first line production, but well… that’s how it is in the modern NHL. Also consider that Eberle clearly had a down year mixed with a bit of bad luck – he’s actually been closer to a 60-65 point producer his entire career. Less than 30 players in the entire NHL hit 65 points this season.

    Is Eberle soft in the corners? Yeah. His defensive game got better this year but it’s still… not great. He over-dekes and over-handles the puck constantly – I swear he could pot 30 every year if he just learned to shoot a proper one-timer. He’s not a perfect player, and this last season was one of his most frustrating to watch, but remember that scoring talent is the hardest thing to replace in this league and we shouldn’t be ready to run him out of town because he had a down year. What are we going to get to replace him? If it something that makes sense, like a young, top 4 RHD I’m all ears. If we’re talking anything less than that, I don’t see the point. Give him a chance to bounce back unless you’re getting proper value in return.

    • Randaman

      Very sensible post. Let’s not push any panic buttons. The cap crunch begins after next season. Eberle will have a bounce back season (hopefully). He’ll be easier to trade with only one year left if need be

    • oilerjed

      I get what you are saying but my take on your post boils down to this, using your math, Jordan Eberle is 88th out of 90 top 6 players in the NHL. That is not what we should be shooting for, even supposing that he “shoots” up to 60 points, that still puts him in the mid – bottom half. Also not good.
      Oilers didn’t get it done this year because our 2nd line brought zilch to the table offensively. Looch is locked up and Nuge gives badly needed depth at center. Eberle is the only realistic place to upgrade that line.

      • Dobbler

        You have to work on you’re math oilerjed. He’s actually 88th out of nearly 600 forwards that scored in the NHL last season. That makes him a legit top 3. If I wanted to put your pessimistic spin on it, then I’d say this season he’s been one of the worst legit top 3 forwards in the league by points. And on top of that… he’s doing it on the second line. He’s playing second line minutes.

        I’m not saying you have to like him or that it’s wrong to trade him. I’m just saying that it’s crazy to pretend like he’s only a so-so player with crappy value. Luckily, Chiarelli knows more about player value than the average blog reading fan.

        • oilerjed

          lol. Yes much bad math on my part. And to be honest I have been cheering for Ebs since the beginning. I also used to cheer for Sam Gagner too……………..
          I think Eberle has a mid-high level of value depending on the team, which is good for the Oilers. Cuz if it comes down to having to trade Nuge or Ebs, I’m hoping that their is a good enough deal out there for Eberle.
          He has scoring which teams need but he has no other sides to his game.

          For a team that has to reduce it’s cap number eventually this seems like the most obvious place to do it.

    • RJ

      What’s proper value?

      You have Eberle fans in the media who love to include Eberle’s outlier season in discussing his average output.

      In 2011-12, he scored 76 points in 78 games (0.974 PPG). That would have put him tied for 9th in the NHL. But that was his outlier season.

      In the PC/McLellan era, Eberle’s stats are:

      151 GP, 45 G, 53 A, 98 P or a 0.649 PPG rate.

      It’s not one “bad” season. His scoring rate has been slowly declining since his outlier season.

      Say it’s NYI trading for him. They aren’t going to pay for the 0.974 PPG Eberle, they’re paying for the 0.649 PPG Eberle.

      if they traded his for a low draft pick I think everyone should be mad. But given PC is willing to lose a trade to improve the team’s balance, I wouldn’t be at all surprised it comes in at less than perceived value.

    • Anton CP

      Your assessment is quite spot on with Eberle, I don’t think that moving Eberle is actually a necessity but more of convinience. The Oilers has 3 big money contracts and they need to clear out some cap room by moving some of them. Lucic is out of the question with his NMC and he is not expected to produce on high volume (barely cracking 60 points twice in his career) and also he is filling the need of power forward of the Oilers. Nuge has never lived up to his potential and no one will take 6 mil per that cannot produce on top 2 lines, cannot win faceoffs on special teams, and cannot play physical on bottom 2 lines. If anyone has to be moved then it should be Nuge but no one will take him for 6 mil without some heavy incentives. That leaves Eberle who produce about as close to how much he is making. 5~6 mil range per is about the expectation of 50~60 points player. Eberle is a hot topic because that he is the one can be most easily moved from 3 big money contracts for the incoming cap hell.

    • Rock11

      Some more perspective. This is a list of players with big contracts, big names, big expectations, or perceived high trade value, or all of the above who scored less than Eberle this year: Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Spezza, Thornton, Marleau, Silfverberg, James Neal, Duchesne(41 points),Statsny, Nash, Galchenyuk, and Backes. The list goes on by the way. Many of these guys are making more money and a couple of them are supposedly worth the moon in a trade and none of them could match Eberle’s production in Ebs worst year.

    • Derian Hatcher

      My concern re: Eberle is not his regular season goals / points. I think the Oilers would make the playoffs without Eberle (could be wrong on this, but I would risk it). My concern with him is in the playoffs, where I think he would continue to be as soft and weak as he demonstrated this season. He played with little desire and little heart and could not be counted on for offense. I do not think this is changing with him whether he is with the Oilers or another team. Oilers desperately needed him to step up in the playoffs and he was irrelevant. Agree? Disagree?

  • rivid

    I think it is a big mistake to trade Ebs. Yes, by his standards he had a down year but he is a good point producer and l think this team will truley miss his goal scoring.

      • rivid

        Ebs was far from the only one that “cost us” the western conference. Any team that blows a 3 goal lead in 3 minutes can not be blamed on one person. The entire 6 million line was ineffective, pour was invisible, and out of drip and Connor secondary scoring was not to be found. I find it hard to place all blame on one individual.

        • You mean the three goal lead that was stolen from us by the officials? Three of the four goals allowed to stand were blatant infractions. Maybe if Jordan scored a couple the discussion would not be necessary. He is timid in regular season play and worse when the going gets tough, just like most predicted. There is nothing for him to bounce back to. The sooner he is gone the better.

          • rivid

            Sure let’s blame the officials, point is the Oilers sat back and let the ducks take it to them. Bottom line this does fall on one player. Sure if he scored it would have helped, but you could say the same thing about half of the team. Just curious would predicted he was soft, because prior to being an oiler, this guy was a game changer and a winner. That just doesn’t go away… just saying be careful what you wish for because there are people on here that wish Justin Shultz was an oiler again..

  • Slipknot 8

    Eberle might get you Duchene, if it’s on the table I do that trade yesterday.

    If Hamonic for Eberle is on the table I would also do that deal yesterday.

    The Eberle talk is fun and all, but the real story is does PC have the stones to pull Doughty out of L.A!!!
    That my friends would be THE trade we all want!

    • Reg Dunlop

      Duchene on a line with McDavid would be warp factor 9. The two fastest players in the league on one line, crazy. Have to think it would take more than Eberle though, maybe Eberle and a 1st in the draft. To get Doughty? Three assets that don’t require protection like Nurse, Puljujarvi and a draft pick. Well worth it though.

  • Dobbler

    Right now, if the Oilers stand pat, they’re in pretty good shape for the expansion draft. Trading for a defenseman or multiple unprotected players screws that. They’re also good for cap this coming season, but will have challenges next season. Any trade will have to account for that reality. Edmonton doesn’t have any proven goal scoring talent on RW. Slepyshev looked promising, and Puljujärvi has good draft pedigree, but it’s not a given that either of them (never mind both of them) will be a legit top 6 NHLer next year. That means the only way I see a trade working is:

    1) Getting back a player you don’t have to protect (and maybe a pick or prospect on top).

    2) Getting a forward (preferably a RW) with a better value contract that can still play top 6.

    3) Getting a forward better than Eberle with only 1 year remaining in his contract, that can be higher than 6M.

  • WeirdG

    The only way Marleau and Thornton leave SJ, is if they’re still close to home. Otherwise, they’ll probably just retire. The Sharks core seem to love it in SJ.

  • madjam

    There may be a deal in place for Eberle that could not be bought forth until after Vegas has finished taking their players off teams first . That way , Oilers and club they might deal with , do not have to expose anyone from that trade or expansion needlessly .

  • 24% body fat

    I was all for trading Ebele, but unless it is for Hamonic, Barrie or Dumba (number 2 right sided D) than I am now against it. And the reason is, I no longer want the cap space until the following year. And this is the reason why. It frees them up the money (unless big contract coming out) to take the lazy way out and sign Russel 4×4, which ultimately makes our cap situation worse.

    Why would we trade Eberle a top 6 forward in a down year at 6M with two years left, sell low 27 years old contract until 29, buyout option at 33%, yes i saw the playoffs

    and sign Russel at 4 years 4 million, bottom pairing D buy high, 30 contract until 34? buyout option at 66%
    Even with Sekera out we have enough left D. Tonnes of left D prospects. Signing Russel doe not upgrade your D.
    They need a righty.

    I am a heavy critic of Eberle and will understand trading him for a second pairing right handed D, but if trading him frees up room to sign Russel for 4 years (still not enough free room for 3rd pairing D).

    If russel is a one year stop gap even 2 years at 3.5 than ok.

    Trade a “B” prospect or a pick for Chara to fill in this year while Sekera is out, he has one year left at a 4 mill cap hit, and its out there that they would like to trade him.

    Russel had a good year last year, do not pay on career years. As well if we could find him at the end of free agency last year, why can we not do the same and find a one year replacement this year in free agency

    • Bagged Almond Milk

      Ya, 4 x 4 for Russell is way too much, and I like Russell. If Chia does that, I’ll start to worry that he’s going to get this team into cap trouble with Lucic, Russell and Reggie. Some said Doughty…. IS that actually a Rumour? Shoot for the moon CHIA PET, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars 🙂

  • BingBong

    At this point, I’m all in favour of trading Eberle and his $6 Million salary.
    Was he 100% to blame for the playoff loss to Anaheim? No, but he was definitely the most culpable.
    He provided literally zero offense, while making one too many mistake vs. the Ducks. His unwillingness to take a hit cost us, and while the goal shouldn’t of counted due to goaltender interference, I guarantee his teammates weren’t happy with him after that play.
    I don’t know how you can defend him by mentioning his 20 goals /50 points without also mentioning he provided nothing when it mattered the most.
    Luckily those point totals mean he has value around the league, so Chiarelli should be able to fill a hole somewhere in the lineup via trade.

      • that’s right. No team in the NHL right now is aware of Eberle’s struggles in the playoffs. They still remember his clutch goals in the WJHC’s a decade ago, and haven’t seem a minute of his time in Edmonton. I think we can fleece a professional NHL gm. Right?

        • Bagged Almond Milk

          I’m prepared to be underwhelmed by the return for Ebs, unfortunately. He always says the right thing, but never delivers, and got lucky in the WJs 10 years ago. He needs to tell his shooting coach to shove it. Or else his shooting coach should focus on someone who actually gives a damn and tell Ebs to go shove it for making him look bad.

  • Bagged Almond Milk

    Trade Ebs, Pouliot and Nuge. One goal in the Playoffs would have changed everything. O well its not like they make a combined 16 million. Chia needs to tell them to shove it.

  • ed from edmonton

    So the Bobfather is saying he expects Ebs to be dealt by Saturday and he mentions the likes of Barrie and Harmonic to be possible returns. If either Harmonic or Barrie are in Edmonton next year think about the impact PC would have on the Oilers. They will have gone from having zero RHD dmen (Fayne not being an NHL dman) to having Larssen, Barrie/Hamonic, Benning as RHD. As well if the OIl do land a Dman for Ebs there would be no room for Russel, I can already hear Hendo and Willis cheering.

  • Soccer Steve

    Wasn’t a big fan of Eberle until after Remenda said he was no good. Pretty much changed my mind on him simply because of that. Unless it’s a slam dunk, keep him.

  • Spoils

    Ebs was supposed to be clutch but he just looked like he wasn’t “meant” for the playoffs – small sample size, but fool me once shame on you etc.

    here’s my move – since the oilers make the playoffs this year on the back of mcjesus (ebs or no ebs) we can probably afford to play around with the lines during the reg season. but we will need more to win a cup. given the risk of an ebs fade in the playoffs – which would blow for the team AND really destroy his value (so bad for 2 reasons), I would play him with mcDavid in the reg season (within reason, he’d have to produce), max out his value and then trade him at the deadline to a team that is out of the playoffs.

    the suggested returns above are reasonable, but the key is maximizing asset value. i hate selling low (dubnyk). i hate not properly developing our players (schultz).