It’s the offseason for all but a few teams and with the offseason comes trade speculation – what seems to be a tradition by now are Jordan Eberle trade rumors. It seems that every year the Oilers find a new young forward that needs a spot in the Edmonton lineup and the first player kicked out the door (after Taylor Hall) would be the right handed winger. This was always pie in the sky speculation that would be fodder for half baked and wishful thinking trade proposals as the Oilers always seemed destined to be a bad team that couldn’t get out of it’s own way.
Then they fell into playoff spot due to the brilliant move of being bad and lucky enough to land Connor McDavid. Now there may be some actual fires around the Jordan Eberle trade smoke.
Eberle is coming off his worst regular season performance since his rookie season (he scored 20 goals this year, his lowest total since the 18 he scored in 2010-11), and had an abysmal playoff stretch where he put up 0-2-2 in 13 playoff games. Now it seems that the Edmonton media is planting the seeds for an Eberle trade this offseason to address the holes on the Oilers and shore the team up for a stronger playoff team.
If the Oilers are considering a Jordan Eberle trade, the Rangers front office should be calling Edmonton GM Peter “GM of the Year Finalist” Chiarelli’s office every second of every day to put a trade together. Eberle is the right handed high volume shooter the Rangers have been hurting for in recent years and would slot neatly into the top six and number one power play unit.
Eberle, for years, has always been a very good player buried on very, very bad Oilers team and it just so happens that he hit a bad shooting season (he shot 9.6% this season, compared to his career 13.4% shooting) – the one season that the Oilers finally put it somewhat together and get into the playoffs. Then came the two point playoff performance, in his first taste of playoff action of his career, and it looks like things are coming to a head with Eberle and the Oilers.
So, the Oilers might open to trading Jordan Eberle and the Rangers could use his talents to bolster players like Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and company. The question is what would the cost be to acquire a player like Eberle and what should the Rangers be willing to pay to get him. Luckily, “GM of the Year Finalist” Chiarelli might have given the Rangers a clue as to how he views certain aspects of his hockey team.
Not only does Peter “GM of the Year Finalist” Chiarelli value Kris Russel enough to sign him to a one year, $3.1 million contract this past offseason, but he’s also contemplating re-signing the defenseman to be the backbone of the Edmonton defense corps. What this should tell the Rangers is that the Oilers would be a team that not only sees value in defensemen like Marc Staal or Kevin Klein, but that they might also pay a premium to get a player with the veteran presence and playoff experience on the Edmonton blue line.
The Rangers could also look to offer a player like Rick Nash, a very good top six winger, that could complement and help guide younger players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as well as push lumbering wingers like Milan Lucic to the bottom six role that he fits into. Nash is on the last year of his contract and could see a young, up and coming team as the perfect opportunity to step in and guide them to further playoff success, while the Rangers get a player that is likely to rebound back into the 60 point player that he is expected to be with a better shooting season.
While the Rangers primary focus this offseason has to be fixing the blue line, it’s no secret that if a player of Jordan Eberle’s talent is on the market, the Rangers must do everything in their power to take advantage of the opportunity to add him to their roster.