New York Islanders: Pros and Cons To Trading Jordan Eberle
By Frank Molinari
With the New York Islanders currently first in the Metropolitan Division, fans look at what business they might make by the trade deadline. Many people believe Eberle is trade bait.
The New York Islanders have exceeded all expectations, undoubtedly. Unless they totally fall off the Earth, they will make the playoffs. That raises questions for management on how to make this team better for playoffs.
A vast majority of Islanders fans believed Jordan Eberle will become trade bait at some point this year. After the Islanders recent surge, I am no longer convinced. Looking at both scenarios, Eberle may be an Islander in April.
Not Trading Eberle
At the start of the season, the Islanders looked destined for the basement. But after three months of the season gone by the Islanders look destined for the playoffs. At first, I thought Eberle should be traded by the deadline, but it’s funny how time changes things.
If the Islanders were out of playoff contention and looking towards the draft lottery, It would make sense to trade Eberle to a team making a playoff push. The Islanders would get draft picks and other assets that would benefit us for the future. But the Islanders have made it evident that the future is now.
The Islanders should be buying, not selling at the deadline. With how this lineup is playing, it would be wise to add to it, not take away. And that could be vital to the Islanders.
After a slow start, Eberle is putting up some decent secondary scoring with 23 points across 44 games. Scoring outside the top line becomes vital during the playoffs. Eberle can provide that help, especially if pieces are added.
Islander fans have seen this before and too recently. A player that was on the last year of his contract, could have been traded, wasn’t, and left for nothing. We don’t want this to happen again.
Eberle is in the final year of a 6-year contract. It doesn’t seem that he will be extended as there hasn’t been a lot of negotiation talks. So why keep around if he will just leave later?
Lee, Nelson, and Eberle are all pending UFAs. Lee was just named captain making him likely to be re-signed. Nelson is having a solid year and seems to be well-liked by Barry Trotz.
The Islanders can’t keep all three and to me, it looks like Eberle is the odd man out. The Islanders could trade Eberle for a pick and maybe solid 15-20 goal scorer who has a low cap hit. If the Islanders were to trade Eberle they would have to make it worth their while.
Based on both scenarios, it makes more sense for the Islanders to keep Jordan Eberle. Eberle can provide that spark in the playoff push and can become a hidden gem during the playoffs.
I know Islander fans don’t want to see another big name walk for nothing but the Islanders will be very active during this summer’s free agency. Eberle should stay past the deadline, it could help us in a potential playoff run.