Report: Philadelphia Flyers inquire about Jordan Eberle

Jonathan Willis
November 08 2013 01:19PM

According to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia, the Flyers talked to the Oilers today about the possibility of acquiring Jordan Eberle.

The Tweets

Is Eberle Tradable?

The short answer in my view: yes.

Nobody would deny the Oilers have significant problems. Those problems are so significant that it might be necessary to trade high-end talent from one position to add help at another position. It doesn’t make sense to so that with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, because he’s the only hope the team has as a first-line centre. It doesn’t make sense to do that with Taylor Hall, the best player on the team and the only elite talent at left wing.

That leaves right wing, where Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov both play. In the right deal, either of those guys is moveable – regardless of what the team says. That’s not to say that the team should shop either guy, or that they’re looking to move either of them, but a trade that makes the team better without robbing Peter to pay Paul is plausible, if the guy getting traded plays right wing.

Is Eberle Tradable to Philadelphia?

Again, the short answer in my view: yes.

But there’s a caveat attached. The player has to be a high-end talent right now. That means that no package of Braydon Coburn and/or Wayne Simmonds and/or Scott Hartnell and/or Luke Schenn and/or draft picks and prospects or whatever. Trading down to address immediate need is a good way to kneecap the Oilers long-term. So no third defencemen or big second-line wingers can form the core of a decent Eberle trade.

Does Philadelphia have the high-end talent? I think you can make a case for three players. I don’t think either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier gets the job done right now. I have a lot of time for Couturier but I’m skeptical about his finishing ability and I think you can get more for Eberle on the open market. Schenn’s only a year younger than Eberle and significantly behind the same career curve.

That leaves Claude Giroux. Giroux is one of the best players in the game today, and for my money he’s a better player than Eberle by a nontrivial margin. He can play centre or wing. He doesn’t address the Oilers’ positional needs, but when an opportunity exists to trade in a very good player for a great player, it’s an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of. For the Oilers, the possibility of having one line built on Giroux/Hall and another on Nugent-Hopkins/Yakupov long-term would have to be extremely tempting.

Does the opportunity exist? With any other team, I’d say ‘no’; with the Flyers it’s just ‘probably not.’ Giroux is getting killed by the percentages this year (his line is shooting at just over 5 percent and Philadelphia has a 0.875 save percentage with him on the ice at even-strength). The 11.5 percent career shooter has zero goals on 31 shots, as well as a minus-11 rating in 15 games. Most teams would rightly dismiss that as an aberration, but the Flyers are under tremendous pressure and have a history of making quick, franchise-altering moves.

If there’s an opportunity to acquire Claude Giroux, Eberle’s a justifiable cost. Otherwise, it’s hard to see a defensible deal here.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#151 Slats
November 08 2013, 05:22PM
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If Mac T is prying loose parts out of Calgary and looking for Goalie help with talks to Bryz-man then try and get Kipper's agent on the phone with a promise he can get on Finnish Olympic Team!

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#152 james_dean
November 08 2013, 05:37PM
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In breeze we trust!

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#153 Alsker
November 08 2013, 05:50PM
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@Slats

I think we got the point the first time...sheeesh

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#154 michael
November 08 2013, 06:22PM
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@Slats. If this was on purpose Robin should ban you. Rude.

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#155 Jj
November 08 2013, 06:30PM
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Please don't do it! To big of cap hit, or else not enough return. IMO ebs is a great player who's only gonna get better.

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#156 Chris
November 08 2013, 06:56PM
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Would Eberle + Gagner be an overpay for giroux?

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#157 Mikey
November 08 2013, 07:23PM
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Chris wrote:

Would Eberle + Gagner be an overpay for giroux?

I think so. Partially because you are trading two for one, when we need actual nhl players

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#158 #ThereGoesTheOilers
November 08 2013, 07:27PM
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Chris wrote:

Would Eberle + Gagner be an overpay for giroux?

Would you like to see Wayne write after a psychotic break?

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