Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Eberle spits fire about life in Edmonton

Over at Sportsnet, Tim Pannaccio posted an article about Jordan Eberle’s emergence in New York and it included some pretty scathing quotes from former winger about what life can be like in Edmonton. 

Firstly, I have to say that reading this article the day after being dummied by Buffalo was like a kick to the pills that I just didn’t need right now. The last thing I wanted to do today was to write about how much better off Jordan Eberle is in New York and how the pressure of being in Edmonton sucks and blah blah blah, but here we are.

Pannaccio’s article started off with how things ended in Edmonton for the former winger and offers a look at what the rollercoaster was like to ride in his last season as an Oiler.

“Definitely didn’t play up to my standards, especially in the playoffs. It has to do with points. I had a really good first series and it didn’t show on the scoresheet. Those are times you have to score and I got demoted in the lineup and beaten up a bit, too.”

Beaten up? What do you mean? You weren’t a fighter. And demoted? You played on the second line with Nuge. What’s going on here?

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“The Edmonton media can be pretty brutal and your confidence goes and this is a game you can’t play if you don’t have confidence. It’s that simple.”

Oh, you mean getting shit on and blamed for losses for more than half a decade started to wear on you? That’s weird. I can’t imagine why you’d feel that way. You could be one of the best players on the team (or on earth) but the media will still write articles that blame you for losses.

“It’s the Edmonton Oilers and everything around it. When you read articles every day about how much you suck, it’s tough.”

Fist, meet testicles.

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When asked if you can just ignore the constant pressure, Eberle explained life in the fishbowl.

“You can’t (ignore it). It affects you and I lost my confidence. The biggest thing for me since I got here with the Islanders, is trying to get that back.”

This is the part where I get lost. So many people shredded Eberle last season, the worst of his career, and he still had 20 goals and 51 points. He was part of the reason the Oilers made the playoffs, something that doesn’t look like it will happen this year. What is it about this city and needing a specific scapegoat? That said, dude gets paid a shit tonne of money to play hockey so criticism kinda comes with the territory, no? I take heat in the comments section all the time and I’m broke af.

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I’m not saying I’m any better, I throw the guys in management under the bus on a daily basis. I blame a lot of this horrible season on Chiarelli for trading guys like Eberle away for pennies on the dollar and his overpays even though I know there are many factors (like confidence) that are contributing to it. But then again, I’m not the guy that blames the furniture if the roof caves in.

“We don’t get as much media coverage and don’t have to deal with that sort of element and maybe can play looser and freer and it helps our game. Doug lets us play. I feel I have lots to give them here.”

Confidence is one of those things that doesn’t have a stat to track it. I think it’s tough to remember that these guys need to be feeling good in order to play well. Clearly, Eberle knows he didn’t have a good last year in this city but it’s amazing to see how he has blossomed away from it. Frankly, it is disheartening to see how guys that Chiarelli has traded away are thriving in other cities right now especially because the Oilers are losing. That said, this scenario is a tough one. I think players should be criticized if they’re not playing well, it comes with the job of being a pro athlete, but maybe the line gets drawn before they’re blamed for absolutely everything. So where’s the happy medium on this?

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What do you guys think? Is the criticism part of the job or is there something to what Jordan is talking about? Should players man up on these types of things? One thing is for sure, if Edmonton is winning right now then we’re probably not even talking about this.

    • Oilerchild77

      Jordan Eberle has been criticized for being a bit of a casual and lazy player ever since his draft year. In fact, his draft report mentioned those very things. He’s not the type of player that responds well to criticism because in order to overcome criticism, a strong will and complete dedication to your craft is required. Eberle never exhibited either of those things at any point in his entire tenure in Edmonton and is why he’s saying those things now.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    I have such mixed feelings about this league. Players like Canadian market money…but want it “shared” with the have-not teams down south that can only offer a relaxed atmosphere, beaches, moderate taxes, sun and a cushy travel schedule.

    I have zero problem with players looking for this. Hell, I’d want that over Canadian market scrutiny.

    But why should Canadian fans have to pay for it?

  • Clayton

    Game Winning Goal by Ebs for the Islanders tonight…assisted by Barzal! Slow night compared to Hall’s goal and assist for two points! But they were clearly the problem! I wonder how many points Nuge will rack up for the Rangers next year?

  • Prairiechicken

    People can agree to disagree about what it says about “character” if a player can’t handle the pressure / criticism.

    But there can be no doubt that a lot of these character problems go on to other teams, and produce more for their new teams, often in late playoff or stanley cup winning teams.

    Confidence is huge in any profession / endeavour.

          • Big Nuggets

            That is not the point. The point is the pressure is a factor. Blaming the player for it affecting them doesn’t help the problem. Im not trying to defend Eberle’s play in Edmonton but I can only imagine that most players in Edmonton struggle to deal with the fishbowl, which causes places like Anaheim to sound like nicer options during free agency, resulting in Edmonton having a hard time finding free agents or having to overpay the ones they do find. So you can continue to say it’s his problem and he just doesnt have the character to deal, but ultimately there are consequences for your own team when everybody becomes beligerent and scapegoats players.

      • Oilerchild77

        That isn’t really anyone’s job. Christ, these spoiled, white suburbanite kids who become hockey players just can’t handle adversity at all. It’s called resiliency and there’s too many players without enough of it.

  • BlazerFan

    I would wager Eberle and Hall got recieved more negativity in public than Lowe or McTavish.
    Oilers fans need to get over Cups won decades ago.
    Your issues were and still are management and coaching.
    Call those guys out in public.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      “Doug lets us play” means Weight accepts his players’ warts and doesn’t push them to do the things they don’t like doing. Some coaches and teams can be successful with this philosophy, but what is does is takes the responsibility off the player, placing it on the coaches to use their “specialists” appropriately. For example, keeping Eberle away from d-zone starts, or other teams’ cycling lines, but using him more when playing softer teams or lines. I prefer the philosophy of placing the onus on the players to play hard/their best in all situations. Again, there are things that Eberle just doesn’t LIKE doing. This is what fans don’t like.

  • Ryan68

    Boo-f’n-hoo! Eberle couldn’t produce with the highest scoring centre in the league. He got 16 goals last year and got 4 against Vancouver’s farm team in the last 2 games. This city and its media never ceases to amaze. Couldn’t say enough bad things about Eberle and his disappearing act last year. Now he’s had 20 good games on the Islanders and he’s a world beaters? Sheesh!

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    Good gawd Jordan… Pressure? Media? Sucking because people say you suck? Get a hold of yourself man… You play in the best hockey league in the world and have all the skills to do so. The lack of work ethic you regularly display has plagued you your entire career. Guess what? People noticed. Furthermore, self-confidence doesn’t come from the media or fans; therefore, if the media/fans are able to ruin your self-confidence, you never had it in the first place. Confidence comes from doing your best every day. Try it.

  • Cjmac

    Anyone else think that this all started in 07 when an 8th seeded team came within a game of winning the cup? As a longtime fan it was the best thing at the time but I truly believe it’s become the worst thing. It bred a whole new type of fan base similar to the Toronto fan base years gone by.

  • btrain

    Absolutely no problem with these comments. Guy is just being honest and instead of being offended by it we should reflect upon it. Scrutiny comes with the territory but in Edmonton team sport gets lost quickly and individuals are targeted often based on small samples and over exposure biases. when it gets to the level of scape gloating guys like Schultz and Eberle experienced, I don’t know how that couldn’t effect you as a human. Be tough to know you are struggling and be reminded of it constantly. I think suck it up, you’re a pro athlete only applies to a point. Anyway, I see this as a large issue in this hockey market where we and the media are constantly chasing good players out of town after making it next to intolerable for them to play here.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      I don’t think anyone is offended by Jordan’s comments. Just annoyed. The media didn’t get him traded, his play on the ice did. The narrative that he is now better because he is out of Edmonton is hollow. He is the same player. Eberle had the opportunity to help his team in the playoffs and pulled his standard vanishing act when things got intense. This isn’t made up or exaggerated, it happened. His soft play was the genesis of the criticism, not the other way around.

  • daryl

    Sorry Jorden has a lot of skill but no heart and sorry he was lazy he ot 6 mill a year for very littlr effort and when he is finally in the playoffs he disappears soory not a fan just wished Peter would start getting more for the guys he wants to move.