NHL rumours: Flyers, Oilers talk Eberle trade
After the Philadelphia Flyers were shut out Thursday night, the fit has hit the shan. Not only did Philadelphia’s players hold a lengthy meeting after their 3-0 loss to the below-average New Jersey Devils, but captain Claude Giroux — goal-free for 21 games and counting — did not address the media afterward.
Friday, CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio reported that the Flyers are in discussions with the Edmonton Oilers regarding elite forward Jordan Eberle. Eberle is signed through 2018-19 and carries an annual cap hit of $6 million. The centre has three goals and 10 assists through 17 games this season.
It is no secret these teams are willing to deal: Edmonton Gm Craig MacTavish promised to make some bold moves, and Philly has never met a bold move it didn’t like. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is on the hot seat; he fired his coach three games into the season, and things haven’t gotten any better. Flyers owner Ed Snider ripped his team on Friday, saying, “I’ve been in the game for 47 years. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
We get why the suddenly anemic Flyers would want Eberle, but they’d have to part with a lot in return. Edmonton needs defencemen and a goaltender. Can’t see them too excited for Ray Emery or Steve Mason. Blueliner Luke Schenn has been a healthy scratch of late and could definitely be mobved. Forward Sean Couturier could also be part of a package Philly offers. And with the way Giroux has performed… well, it looks like no one is untouchable here.
As angry as Oilers fans are, MacTavish is not feeling the heat to the extent of Holmgren. And the Oilers have never appeared to lack confidence in Eberle the way they have with Nail Yakupov and Ales Hemsky. So if the Flyers and Oilers do settle on a trade, expect Edmonton to come out the better for it.