I didn’t think that Jordan Eberle was the next Oiler in line to pick up so much heat, but here we are today. With 20 goals and 51 total points, the Oilers’ former 2008 first round pick finished third on the team in scoring behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl during the regular season. That’s a career low for a full season, and it’s got many people wondering what’s happened to the kid out of Regina affectionately known as ‘Ebs’.
Four years ago, this was a player that some fans thought was capable of an 80+ point season after a year that saw him hit 76 points on a near 19% shooting percentage. Since that season, he’s had full season point totals of 65, 63, 47 (69 games), and 51 this year. A lot of people have chalked up his decline over the past two seasons to a shoulder injury that he sustained prior to the 2015-16 season that took 13 regular season games off of his total, and they might be on to something.
I don’t think that Jordan Eberle gets you Jason Demers today. Or tomorrow. Or this season, unless you were able to retain salary or somehow sweeten the deal with the Panthers. The Oilers definitely need another RHD, and I’m not sure after seeing what it took to get Adam Larsson last June that this deal goes down today.
Eberle’s got two more years with a six million dollar cap hit. That’s the same number that Taylor Hall was working with, and Hall was a couple of years younger with an extra year on his deal. You’ll conveniently remember that Adam Larsson was the bounty fetched for Taylor Hall this past offseason. While Larsson is a genuine top four player for the Oilers, I’m a little concerned if that’s the watermark we’ve got to work with. You never want to sell low in a deal, and I’m afraid that after a 51 point season, that’s exactly what the Oilers would be doing with Jordan Eberle here. A four million dollar Jordan Eberle would probably be a little bit more palpable to Florida than two more years at six.
SOMETIMES, REGRESSION IS A GOOD THING
Let’s not undersell Jordan Eberle here. A year that sees Eberle play eighty games will also likely see Eberle score more than 51 points. Eberle shot just 9.6% on the season, which was nearly two full percentage points lower than his rookie season. If his shoulder isn’t fully recovered from nearly two years ago, then that’s definitely an issue. But if it is, then he’s almost certain to recover to Eberle’s average somewhere between twelve and fourteen percent next year.
I can see Eberle fetching a player like Mark Pysyk. I’ve often complained about the club being in love with former Oil Kings, but Pysyk is a player that I’d be happy to see join the Oilers. I have absolutely no belief that the Panthers are even interested in shopping Pysyk, but based on what it cost last season to get an RHD, Demers seems like a lofty dream. Especially one with four more years on a deal at 4.5MM.
Whether or not the Oilers go knocking on Florida’s door to look for help on defence, there’s a belief that the team has to improve the back end with another right hand shot. If the team moves on from Eberle, they’ve got to do their diligence and bring back not only a quality player, but they’ll need to find another RW through a trade or free agency to help replace the hole that will be left in Eberle’s absence. Chiarelli will need to be very careful in navigating this ship should he choose to set sail.
Should the team move on from Jordan Eberle?
This poll is closed
Yes, for defence
Yes, for a replacement winger