by Lisa McRitchie on 08/30/12 at 05:00 PM ET
Cross another name off of the list of young players that the Oilers need to ink up long term as Lady Byng candidate sophomore Jordan Eberle has signed his extension. While Eberle’s agent may have gone into negotiations with the intentions of signing Eberle to more money than Hall based on their current production to date, Eberle has in fact signed a deal quite similar to his roommate, teammate and friend Taylor Hall, 6 years $36 million.
The difference between Hall and Eberle’s deals come down to one year of free agency. In Eberle’s case this was likely to make up for the extra cash he, or his agency may have felt he was worth.
If you look at both deals and try to look 6 years into the future, and try to decide which deal is a better value, you may at this point think that that would be Eberle’s. After all, he has played more games, scored more goals and he did it with a smile, or at least a nomination for, and nearly a Lady Byng trophy.
In six years it won’t matter as much that Eberle was a hidden gem, taken as a late round draft pick of his year while Hall was selected first overall. It will come down to how they produced and how healthy they stayed in the league.
Hall plays the game with the quietness of a freight train. You can see him being far more vocal on the ice with the other players and with the officials. Everyone can see a captaincy in this guy’s future. But Eberle comes across more as another small town Saskatchewan boy who doesn’t want to upset anyone or anything. And that could be another reason so many fans adore him, and so many people believe that he could be the safer bet health wise.
But with the addition of Nail Yakupov, Hall’s production could increase. The team has been trying various combinations together to see who works well together, and on which lines those players will fit. From last season we saw that Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were a dynamic duo and were usually rounded out with a slightly more veteran player while Hall would play on the second line. Now, Hall could be matched up with Yakupov and while I had thought that the two may not get along at first, perhaps their competitive edges and strong feelings of confidence may complement each other.
But in either case, this signing is another sign that the Oilers are willing to overpay now the players that they feel will be playing for much less than they are worth by the end of the their contract, and they are not going to go higher than the $6 million mark. Regardless of what the next CBA looks like. But, that was something that we all knew; how could the Oilers even dream they could keep all of their players together if they hand out more money than that.
Overall, it’s a good deal for the Oilers to lock up another up and coming star, and one who has made a huge impact on the fanbase. But they still have another 2 first overall picks that will be looking for deals in the coming years. If they pay both Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov the same money, that is $24 million locked up into four players. It would take some expert negotiations with other players to fill up a team that way.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
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