41
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

REMEMEBERLE

We’ve had about six weeks to contemplate the Jordan Eberle trade and the implications of losing the second of the Steve Austins. It was fairly easy to see coming since:

  • Eberle did not have a no-movement clause in his contract
  • Eberle’s deal was coming to a close in 2019 summer (two more years)
  • Eberle was making $6 million a year
  • Eberle was not a center.

I think there were other factors (think PC did want Ryan Strome as a possible shooter on 97’s wing and as a mirror man for Leon Draisaitl’s moves from C to R and back again) but those are the main ones. It goes without saying that any player not procured under the watch of the current general manager is something of an orphan.

WHAT WILL THE OILERS MISS?

  • What one thing made him unique? Jordan Eberle was a consistent offensive player upon arrival in Edmonton fall 2010. Per 82gp, Eberle had scored 64 points, and he had played 80+ games in two of his last three seasons. That kind of consistency has tremendous value.
  • Was he productive last season? Yes. His shooting percentage (9.6) was below career average  and may have contributed to his exit, but he should rebound in Brooklyn. His shooting percentage was 14.1 entering 2016-17.
  • Was he more of a scorer or playmaker? Eberle, in Edmonton, was a productive scorer, 28 goals per 82 games. He was also an excellent passer but the goal total always ranked high among Oilers players.
  • Are his skills eroding? I always like to look at 5×5/60 scoring numbers, for me it’s the Hockey God’s flashlight. Since 2011-12, Eberle’s 5×5/60’s were 3.08, 2.31, 2.03, 1.97, 1.85 and then 1.76 in 2016-17. That’s fairly consistent erosion, although he remained Edmonton’s most productive RW throughout the piece.
  • Who are his comparables? Good names, like James Neal and Logan Couture. There are a few, like Derek Roy, who faded after reaching this point, but suggesting Eberle would be especially vulnerable to a steep drop in production would be folly.
  • Are his best years ahead of him? Scorers peak earlier than most of us would estimate, with players of Eberle’s quality sliding very slowly downward after age 25 or 26. I wouldn’t be surprised if he scored 18 goals next season, or 30 goals with the Islanders. I imagine the trade lit a fire and that may benefit the Islanders in a big way.
  • Is it possible he returns? One thing I noticed was the verbal by player and organization when the trade was completed. You never know, and the Oilers won’t have much walking around money in 2019, but stranger things have happened.
  • What is your one enduring memory of Eberle as a player? His first NHL goal, it might be the best one ever. My goodness it was beautiful.

How about you? What is your best Eberle memory?

  • OriginalPouzar

    The Oilers lost offence in this trade – plain and simple – Eberle is a superior offensive player than Ryan Strome – that can’t really be denied

    What did the Oilers gain? Cap space, balance, options (Strome can play C if needed).

    At the end of the day, given the cap structure, the Oilers cannot afford to many high priced pure wingers and that’s what Eberle is. As the Penguins have shown us, if managed correctly, a team can succeed with plug and play wingers in the top 6 as long as they draft well and develop properly to have a steady stream of young wingers on their ELCs and 2nd contracts that can provide value vis-a-vis their cap hit.

    This is where the Oilers are going.

    I wish Eberle the best – he seems like a good guy and I fully expect him to approach 30 goals on the Island.

    I’ll be at the game in Brooklyn on Nov 7 (wife is running the NYC marathon on the 5th).

  • JimmyV1965

    queue the Eberle hate. I think I can sum this up concisely
    1. He’s gutless
    2. He’s lazy
    3. He only scores empty netters
    4. He never got into a single fight since joining the OIlers
    5. His breath stinks
    6. He’s a Stamps fan
    7. His commercials suck
    8. He beats little puppies

    This should be good. I’m expecting some well reasoned arguments here.

  • madjam

    Eberle was usually a treat to watch in the offensive zone scoring and as a play maker – from Junior on up to NHL . Due to his stature , he did not fare to well in puck battles , and often would end up on the seat of his pants . Due to injuries and stature , he will not likely get any better in coming years . A 6M contract for a rather soft and slowly eroding talent made him expendable . Injuries to Eberle seem to have made him more gun shy of physical play , and thus I doubt he will do any better with the Isle’s .

  • Spydyr

    My favorite Eberle memory? When he had the puck along the boards in his own end. He gave the puck away to avoid getting hit. Soft move in the regular season a trading offence in the he playoffs. Don’t think for a second his teammates never saw that play.

    • Slipknot 8

      I use to think you just had a hate on for the kid……When he spun away from the hit and didn’t get the puck out against the Duck it felt like a total dick punch! I now blame him solely for the series loss against the Ducks and everyone seen it…

  • Hemi

    He was never really disliked here but the last year showed more warts than what was revealed in previous years. The contract (by fan standards) demanded much more than what he was capable of doing or at the least, what he was willing to do. Nobody should hold too much against him, he was part of the 6 million dollar gang that just did not get the job done. “Cap crunch, culture change, fan demands, the next Hockey God” are all contributing factors to his departure.

    Agreed that we gave up some offence but wihout bashing the guy, we gained everything else. He appeared to have a decent character outside of hockey so with that in mind, I suspect that most Oil fans wish him well.

    Go OIL!

  • ed from edmonton

    As the team’s performance level increased and the competition stiffened (i.e. playoffs) players weaknesses get exposed. In the case of Ebs, his single strength (i.e. point production) wasn’t there which made his weaknesses even more obvious. His absence of “strength on the puck” was always going to be a problem in PC’s eyes. It will be interesting to see how he fits in NY and if he meshes with Tavares. These things are difficult to predict as he and McD didn’t work nor did Kessel and Crosby. My favorite Ebs plays are from WJHCs.

  • Serious Gord

    I will remember him as a player who oil fans had high hopes for – that he would be the clutch money player for the oil in the playoffs like he was as a junior. A player who seemed to think the game faster than others.

    Sadly, he delivered precisely the opposite it was he who was slower than the pace of play.

    It took five seasons to find that out.

    I doubt I’ll miss him.

  • Jehu23

    @Lowetide… Super Mario had a pretty decent first goal – picked the pocket of a HoF defenseman and left him in the dust – finished with a wicked forehand backhand shelf deke.

  • tileguy

    Lowetide, I think you missed out on the mainest reason of them all, perhaps you are just being kind, but the number one reason he was shipped out, he was not a Chiarelli type of player.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    We will miss a classy guy. If I met him in public I would shake his hand and say thank you for being an Oiler and good luck in all your future endeavors.

  • Heschultzhescores

    He’ll be FORGETERBLY to me. One thing I do remembers, I always laughed how they made him a bouncer in those commercials he did in the early days. Almost like they thought if they made him a tough actor he might become a tough player. It was good comedy though.

    • Heschultzhescores

      Ya, ya, I should have put on E on the end instead of a Y…but I’m not the one who refuses to give us an edit feature…I’m the one that doesn’t proof read apparently
      😉

  • btrain

    Though Eberle is not as well rounded as I would have liked, I think the strong criticisms, at least in part, come from a massive bias towards a Blue Collar Canadian style of hockey. I believe corsi has many limitations but it is one means of tracking possession. A better option would be successful zone exits but I don’t know where to find these numbers or if they are even reliably tracked for forwards. In any case, Eberle has a career 50.1% corsi for and had his highest this past season at 52.8%. For caparison, Phil Kessel had a 47.4% despite having 63.2% offensive zone starts to Eberle’s 55.5%. The point is, Eberle is at least average and even superior to similar style players, with higher salary, at winning the possession battle against top 6 opposition. My thinking is that the act of shying away from a battle that is likely not going to be won anyway, is so unforgivable to our Canadian minds, that we fail to realize it makes little actual difference in terms of actual possession and shots against compared to more physical wingers like Lucic (51.5). Anyway, I am not sour about Eberle being traded, but I wouldn’t have minded another season with a known top 6 RW before we just roll the dice on potentials. I wish him the best and thank him for being a one of the few reasons to tune in for many of the recent days of darkness. A complimentary style player who found a way to lead the Oilers offense for many of his season’s with this team.

  • Samesame

    64 pts per 82 gp. Those are great numbers. Like one of the highest scoring right wingers in the league over a half decade. but yeah- the appearance of effort is more important.
    Or Regular season doesn’t matter — Jesus..

    • SaltNPeca

      It’s the same fanbase that chased Arnott, Schultz, Gagner, & Dubnyk. Oiler GM’s mustn’t overpay a grinder (e.g. Horcoff) nor a goalscorer (e.g. Eberle) or the fans will demand their trade. I’m not sure what’s worse an Oiler fans patience or memory?

      We spent 10 or 15 years without goal scoring saying “you need to draft your 30 goal scorers”. Then within a few years we trade the likes of Hall and Eberle with the blessing of the mob as if they’re bums.