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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Draft picks. Edmonton doesn’t have a second-round pick, so maybe the grab a replacement forward and a pick in a deal.
- 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.