Oilers sign Eberle, Send him to Hell

The Edmonton Oilers signed their latest phenom (Jordan Eberle) and sent him to the black hole of Springfield today. The Falcons are the Oilers AHL team, a club so bad that everyone in the organization has apologized to everyone outside the organization for the horrible team that is the Springfield Falcons.

Last season’s worst AHL team was the Rochester Americans, who lost 46 of 80 games. The Americans are in the lead again this season with 39 losses, one worse than the Falcons. Each has played 71 games.

I’m not completely certain what the Oilers expect Eberle to do in this environment, but logic and common sense dictate that he’s going to be a minus player in the AHL for the 08-09 Falcons. Everyone else is (not technically true, but close). I think reasonable expectations for Eberle would be a couple of goals in the season’s final 9 games.

Fair?

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36 Responses to "Oilers sign Eberle, Send him to Hell"

  1. B.C.B. says:

    I would say 3-2-5, -2 would be a success for Eberle. Plus I think he gets sheltered minutes and good linemates. I would love to see him replace Hockey-Jesus on the first line. Love to see that.

  2. PDO says:

    Glad we signed him, and getting him a bit more hockey over what will be a long Summer of lifting, sprinting and plyometrics for the kid is certainly a good thing.

    Especially if he gets to watch some pro’s (wait, do we have any of those on our AHL team?) show him what it takes just to be an effective player in the AHL.

  3. Eskimo44 says:

    I thought they couldn’t sign any more players because they all ready had 50 contracts? does anybody know how they got around that?

  4. Schitzo says:

    I thought they couldn’t sign any more players because they all ready had 50 contracts? does anybody know how they got around that?

    I think the general consensus is that this season he’s on a pro tryout contract, with the entry level deal actually starting next year.

  5. mc79hockey says:

    I expect MacT to somehow ruin him.

  6. Icecastles says:

    Repost from my attempt to threadjack LT’s baseball post earlier today. Bear in mind that my tongue is planted firmly in cheek with this post. I’m not really this cynical, but I do like to ply the devil’s advocate. And yes, I know Eberle is highly unlikely to actually see any game time in the copper and blue this season.

    Eberle signed to an entry-level contract today! I bet he plays first unit PP against Detroit. Next game he’ll play third line centre betwee Moreau and, let’s say… Pouliot. Game after that they’ll try him on defense with Staois. Then, to make sure that leaves feeling defeated as well as confused, he’ll be ripped apart in the post-game interview with MacT. We’ll next see him in an Oilers Jersey in February… 2011.

    None of this is because I don’t like Eberle – I think he’s awesome. But awesomeness is not a rewarded trait on this team. Here, a successful rookie has to have little to no real skill, but play to their maximum potential whenever they are on the ice. If you are capable of two goals in a year and get two goals, right on – you’re a MacT kinda guy. But if you are capable of being a 50-goal scorer and only get 49, well screw you, hippy. There’s no room for passengers on this sinking ship. :P

  7. quain says:

    Quain – exceptions to the rule do not disprove the rule.

    Perhaps you could list the awesome skill guys that follow the rule. All I can think of is Captain America, and I think if you line him up against Hemsky, Gagner, and Cogliano that you’re confused on what the rule actually is.

  8. Lowetide says:

    In Schremp’s first 9 games, he went 2-6-8 +1. Eberle isn’t 20 and this isn’t the start of the season. I think 2-0-2, -2 is a reasonable line in the sand.

    3-2-5 -2 would be outstanding on this team.

  9. Phil says:

    They’re taking a 17 year, 5’10″, 170lb kid and throwing on a shit team that will be playing against lots of grown men. Big, strong, weightlifting men who play for non-shit teams, who are presumably playing for playoff spots and careers. The fact that this makes sense to Oilers’ management baffles me. If he gets through the nine games without injury, that’s good enough for me.

    Then again, the alternative to Springfield would probably be sending him to train with Chad Mandelbaum. So he’s probably safer in Springfield.

  10. Black Gold says:

    I’d like to see him on a line with Stone and Linglet. Size and talent.
    Eberle seems to be the kind of player that finds the open spaces and turns opportunities into goals.
    Players like that need the opportunities to be made before they can contribute much on the score sheet. I’m not saying he’s Lupul, I’m just saying when you’re not going to beat someone with speed or size, you better work well with your linemates. (Nilsson/Gagner recently)

    It’s too bad the Falcons aren’t playoff bound, that would make this a hell of a year for him. Still, a handful of games around men several years removed from juniors will hopefully show him how to be a successful pro.

    I think for him to be effective in the NHL, he’s always going to need a Cody Hodgson to take care of things not on the scoresheet.

    I’m saying 1-4-5, -3.
    (mostly pp points)

  11. Black Gold says:

    I agree with Phil.
    Don’t let him too far away from Stone or the PP.

  12. Bill Needle says:

    They drafted him in the first round to play professional hockey, not sit around the television watching the playoffs and munching cheese doodles.
    For Eberle, next year’s training camp begins now.

  13. Mr DeBakey says:

    do we have any of those on our AHL team?

    Potulney is vey good
    Mcdonald appears to have made real strides – 10 points [5 goals] in the past 6 week-ends.
    Chorney has too
    So, there are a few guys

    But, yes, they should rename the Sprinfield Arena
    The Abyss

  14. bookie says:

    I would just like to appologise to the citizens of Springfeild for the Falcons on behalf of the comments section of LT’s Blog…

  15. Doogie2K says:

    He might as well start in the AHL now: the Pats missed the playoffs and it’s not like he’s going back to junior as a 20-year-old next year. I think a goal or two is reasonable.

    Less of a threadjack because it’s at least junior hockey related: announced attendance at Northlands Coliseum was 3,501 for the city’s first WHL playoff game since 1979. What the hell, Edmonton?

  16. Bruce says:

    Then again, the alternative to Springfield would probably be sending him to train with Chad Mandelbaum. So he’s probably safer in Springfield.

    Phil: You make me laugh. Not to mention your avatar-I-think-that’s-what-it’s-called.

    I don’t suppose the Falcons suck any worse than the Pats. Eberle should be fully prepared.

  17. HBomb says:

    Ok, so Eberle is signed. This is good.

    Question is, what to do about one Alex Plante? Was at the Hitmen/Oil Kings game tonight (bought an OK’s jersey for eighty bucks, sweetness), and I guess you could say I saw Plante…decent?

    Moves fairly well for a big man. Decent passer, but not a shooter. Probably worth an entry level deal as opposed to a compensatory pick.

  18. Icecastles says:

    Quain:
    Shremp, Nillson, Pouliot, Nash, Potulny, OMarra, Deslauriers, Dubnyk, Hemsky, Lupul, Winchester, Bonsignore, Torres, Peterson, etc etc etc.

    All young guys who have either floundered here/in our system, failed to reach their full potential, or done better elsewhere. And those names are just off the top of my head.

    I appreciate that you want to defend the team, but given how we have failed to properly utilize or develop players, I think you can only go so far with the revisionist history. Gagner is success story (mostly) Cogliano is a success story. And what distinguishes them? They bypassed the Oilers “development system” and jumped straight into the big league.

    Hemsky is a great player, but I just fail to see how someone can have that kind of potential upside, play pure top line and first unit PP and barely get 20 goals a year, and be considered a success. What he is accomplishing is good only by the standards of a very low-scoring (despite being an ‘offense-first’ team).

    There are very, very few forwards and no goalies who have come through the Oilers development system in recent years and improved on a predictable, even basis. There are none who have exceeded expectations, save for those whom the expectation was relatively low coming in. And there has been a parade of young guys who have come to Edmonton and either floundered here or moved on before finding success.

    For a youth-oriented, offense-first team, there is something profoundly wrong with that picture.

    I appreciate you wanting to defend the team and the development system Quain, but results and history speak volumes. And pointing to three guys who were skilled enough to jump straight into the league from the draft or university play doesn’t really help your point. It proves that if you want to succeed, you’d better be good enough out of the gates to be Oilers-proof.

  19. Phil says:

    @Bill N They drafted him in the first round to play professional hockey, not sit around the television watching the playoffs and munching cheese doodles.

    So you’re saying there’s no such thing as starting a kid too early?

    I’m not convinced that it’s a great idea to take a kid who’s been racing go-carts all year, throw him in an Indy car, and say ‘go get ‘em, tiger’. Why not put him on weights and a skating program for the next 5 months, let him come to rookie camp, and bring him up to speed responsibly? You can put on a lot of muscle in 5 months.

    Best case scenario is he proves that he’s a legit first round pick, which we are pretty sure of anyway. Worst case scenario – an injury that delays his development for a season, or worse. All for 9 games of learning how to lose professionally?

    How do you think Detroit would bring this kid along?

  20. Lord Bob says:

    Throw him on a line with Potulny and Schremp and let’s see what happens.

    (Goals against, that’s what happens. But if you’re going to bring the kid into the AHL, give him a taste of what we’re going to expect from him in his twenty-year-old season.)

  21. Lowetide says:

    Just a quick note to mention that prospects as a group don’t develop along a predictable track.

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    Playing with Potulny and Schremp against soft opp, I’d like to see Eberle show something.

    Regardless, it’s small sample size again, so I’m not going to be overjoyed by a point per game or sweat no production at all.

    Production would be nice though ;)

  23. B.C.B. says:

    IC: I don think your list shows players that the Oilers have ruined but ones that have not developed . . .

    Shremp: Crappy, lazy, and a complainer
    Nillson: unconsistent,
    Pouliot: I can’t see how Edmonton ruined him, explain?
    Nash: is in the NCAA
    Potulny: this is a reasonable case, but wait the Oilers’ didn’t draft or developed him, just gave him the short end of the shaft
    OMarra: shit the bed, nothing Edmonton did affected this
    Deslauriers: his NHL # are better then his AHL #’s
    Dubnyk: hasn’t hit the pros, doing reasonable on a shiity team
    Hemsky: he is talented and reasonable successful
    Lupul: Lazy, plus I remeber him playing with Hemsky for long stretches
    Winchester: years of chances, a lot of players are better once they realize they may lose their NHL dream
    Bonsignore: Lazy, not wasted
    Torres: was given alot of oppertunity, a different player after Williams hit
    Peterson: a MacT palyer, doesn’t fit your MO

    . . . the problem is every team has more players not develop then develop, so I don’t think choose a long list of players (in different temporal periods: aka Nash and Bonsignore) proves your point.

  24. Ribs says:

    With how things have been going down in Springfield this season, a couple of goals might even be pushing it. I’ll give him 2 Assists and some kind of injury.

    Then again, maybe he’s the shooter Jesus has been waiting for all this time and they will click instantly creating a powerhouse tandem that finds their way onto the Oilers lineup next season. We can dream?

  25. Black Gold says:

    Outside the top two picks in 2001, Hemsky is the best player taken that year. Let’s not give him too rough a ride ’cause he has 1 point in 5 games.

    I don’t think we can look at Hemsky as anything other than a massive massive success.

  26. bookie says:

    Best case scenario is he proves that he’s a legit first round pick, which we are pretty sure of anyway. Worst case scenario – an injury that delays his development for a season, or worse. All for 9 games of learning how to lose professionally?

    The exact same thing could be said about the first 9 games of next year.

  27. quain says:

    Shremp, Nillson, Pouliot, Nash, Potulny, OMarra, Deslauriers, Dubnyk, Hemsky, Lupul, Winchester, Bonsignore, Torres, Peterson, etc etc etc.

    I think BCB covered a lot of the points I’d make on that particular list, but you specifically made reference to AWESOME SKILL GUYS and took pot shots at MacT. Half those guys are grinders and a good portion never came within pissing distance of Edmonton in their rookie seasons.

    I get that you want to take shots at the team, but don’t move the goalposts and act like you were critiquing the entire developmental system. Your point I made issue with was that MacT doesn’t give rookies shots unless they’re low skill, high effort guys. I gave you three high skill guys who are taking major minutes on this team. You came back with a platter of guys that had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Also, until about 15 GP ago…. either due to injury or his love of Penner… Hemsky was performing at an elite level. I doubt highly that MacT suddenly caused him to personally regress. And, if you think elite players can’t put up the low end of 20 goals and still be elite, then I’ve got a centre in San Jose you won’t believe!

  28. Paper Designer says:

    I think reasonable expectation would be for Eberle not to get blindsided by the competition level of the pro game before exiting junior, like local folk hero Robert Schremp.

  29. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Paper Designer said…
    I think reasonable expectation would be for Eberle not to get blindsided by the competition level of the pro game before exiting junior, like local folk hero Robert Schremp.

    The more I hear about Eberle, the more I see Shremp parallels.

  30. Bill Needle says:

    Phil said: “How do you think Detroit would bring this kid along?”

    Well, just last year, Justin Abdelkader finished university (now he was 20, not 18) and got in a couple of NHL regular season games and practiced during the playoffs with the Wings. This year, he’s been in Grand Rapids, but I’m sure he learned the rigors of the pros – what it takes to get there and stay there – shortly after leaving college.
    And while Bobby Ryan is a bigger guy than Eberle, he played 19 AHL playoff games the season after being drafted and once his junior season ended. The year later, back in junior for some reason, he got another taste of the AHL, 8 games, after his junior season ended.
    Sending Eberle to the AHL once his junior year is over is standard operating procedure. He’s gotta learn what it takes, and if it’s too much for him now, it will probably be too much for him in October.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    What development system?

    Do you mean sharing an AHL team with whichever REAL organisation happens to feel like sharing a few lower end roster spots with? Or simply not having any AHL affiliation at all? Or is it the one that has old boys learning how to coach?

    Or is it the 8 season tenured NHL coach who, unless you play like a grinder you simply don’t get to play?

    Maybe it’s the one where that selfsame coach takes great pains to publically insult an impressionable and typically developing player, who just scored at a .75 per game pace in the bigs but who he simply doesn’t give a flying monkey’s about in any way shape or form. From thousands of miles away.

    To quote Captain Willard “I don’t see any method at all.”

  32. Icecastles says:

    BCB – you’re right, it’s not a list of players who the Oilers have ruined, that would be foolish. And I never say anything foolish. :) It’s a list of players who have either underperformed or who have been somehow mismanaged by the organization. Guys being brought along too fast is a real risk and is often a good way to stunt a player’s development. I think decisions like bringing Deslauriers up into a three goalie system and not playing him even when it’s down to two goalies is bad for his development. Not giving Pouliot more faceoffs despite Cogliano’s struggles in that area is bad for both players.

    Hemsky – I know, social suicide to rip on our best forward. But Bruce has a great post about it on his blog and as good as he is, he’s just not where he should be at this point in his career. He had maybe a fifteen game stretch this season where he was playing at an elite level. Outside of that stretch, he was being outscored by our top defenseman. A great defenseman to be sure, but for a player of his calibre in his sixth season…

    Torres and Peterson – good point, I cede those guys for sure. Shouldn’t be on the list. MacT gave Torres a lot more opportunity to prove himself and get back on course than a lot of coaches would have, and defended him more than a few times. You’re right – he was never really the same player after that hit. Same with Stoll after his concussion, though it’s nice to see him having such a good year, even if it’s on another team. As to the rest and more on Hemsky, I’m working on a longer post at my hockeytecture blog – I’ll post the link when I’m done.

    Quain – Sorry dude, I’m just not drinking the same kool-aid. I’m glad you support the team, though.

    Hunter – I couldn’t have said it better. Nicely put. :)

  33. Icecastles says:

    Quain – I can only assume you are talking about Joe Thorton.

    You know, the eleven-season vet who had a 37-goal season, nine consecutive 20+ goal seasons, two 100+ point seasons? The guy who takes (and wins) faceoffs, is physical, has had a +/- between +12 and +31 since Hemsky joined the league and has an excellent defensive game? The third player in NHL history to post back to back 90+ assist seasons? The guy who in his 6th season was in 3rd place for the Art Ross Trophy (Hemsky also in his 6th season is in 50th place)?

    Yeah, good comparison to Hemsky. They’re like twins.

  34. Sean says:

    Gagner was mvp of the summit series and got 50 points as an 18 year old. Eberle was mvp of the WJC and we complain he’s not ready for the AHL? Eberle thinks the game at a different level than his WHL oppenents and a taste of pro hockey is exactly what he needs. While the attitude in Springfield is negative, the kid is gonna be so jacked to play the experience will be worthwhile.

    Look through LT’s archives, MacT plays kids…

  35. The Darkest One says:

    “Torres: was given alot of oppertunity, a different player after Williams hit”

    Tell that to Smid :)

  36. doritogrande says:

    There are two sides to this story of playing in the AHL after a season is over.

    A man once played AHL hockey for two seasons after his CHL team was done. One year he led the team to a Calder Cup championship. He just hit 40 goals in the NHL last night.

    Another man once played AHL hockey for two seasons after his CHL team was done. He’s now being bumped from his AHL team in favour of an 18 year old.

    Hey, which example is Jeff Carter, and which is Ryan O’Marra?

    Joking aside, my personal opinion is to get the kid as much hockey as he can possibly get at a higher level. If the Oilers make the playoffs, he’s in Edmonton to PB and practice with the guys, let him soak up everything associated with professional hockey. Come training camp next year, take a good look at him, but he should be back on his way to Regina and hopefully a more competitive team.

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