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New York Islanders: Jordan Eberle Not Talking Contract Is A Problem

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders reacts in the third period against the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on March 26, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders reacts in the third period against the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on March 26, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders forward Jordan Eberle isn’t concerned about signing a contract. We’ve heard this story before.

Rewind to a year ago. The New York Islanders were heading into the 2017-2018 season with their captain, John Tavares, on the last year of his deal. John wasn’t interested in talking contracts. Instead, he gave out the cliche answers.

“I want to work on my game”, “I’m just looking forward to the season,” he said, as we were all blissfully unaware of the gutwrenching June and July we’d soon endure. Now, Jordan Eberle is saying all the same things.

According to NHL.com, Jordan Eberle has not yet discussed a contract. Although July 2019 seems like a distant thought, the Islanders can’t get burned by the cliches once again.

"“To be honest, I haven’t had any conversations with anybody,” Eberle said after an informal skate at the Islanders practice facility Tuesday. “Going into the summer, I was trying to focus on me and being the best I can be, and come into the camp the best I can be. Once that happens, you start trying to fill a role and try to make this team as good as it can be.”"

Heard it. It was shoved down our throats all last year, and then what happened? The Islanders sat on their hands and waited to the very last moment. Hoping and praying that John Tavares would forget his boyhood dream, that he ironically just remembered he had in June, and stay with the Islanders. It didn’t happen.

If you don’t want to lose a player that has value for nothing you have two options. You can either sign him, the ideal choice, or trade him.

Lou Lamoriello should start the negotiating process soon. The sooner the better. You can iron out the kinks and if you reach an agreement before the trade deadline that’s fantastic. If you can’t get Eberle to commit before the trade deadline you’re left with only one logical choice, a trade.

Make no mistake, losing Tavares for nothing is much worse than losing Eberle for nothing, but you can’t let something like that happen two years in a row. Eberle can yield a first rounder and a semi-quality prospect with ease.

Look at what a rental of Rick Nash got last year. You get a contender who needs some scoring help on the phone and you’re walking away with a 2019 first and a top-five prospect from their system.

Or, you can use the 2017-2018 approach. You wait it out all year long, finish with about 78-82 points, miss the playoffs and Eberle signs a new $40-$42 million contract somewhere else and you’re left twiddling your thumbs on July 1, picking up depth forwards from the scrap heap.

Next. Operation Artemi Panarin

It’s not time to panic and trade him right this moment. You just want to avoid another catastrophe come July. With Lou Lamoriello in charge, I’m fairly confident there’s a more stable plan in place.

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