Even prior to Jordan Eberle signing his six-year, 36 million dollar deal with the Edmonton Oilers yesterday, the blogosphere was abuzz discussing his value. He put up mammoth numbers last season, made the all-star team, and the team’s other young star (well, one of them – Taylor Hall) had already signed his long-term deal.
The reason for the buzz was this: Oilers fans blindly love their electric young talent (sign him!), but the advanced stat crowd was pushing back (it’s a bad time after a lucky season!), citing his shooting percentage.
And oh man did that crowd cite his shooting percentage.
Tyler Dellow wrote about it (multiple times, predicting 54-60 points over 82 games, down from 76). Jonathan Willis wrote about it (predicting 26 goals in 82 games, down from 34). Scott Reynolds wrote about it. David Staples wrote about it. Our own Cam Charron wrote about it this morning. Even the Edmonton Journal mentioned it. You get the point. Read the rest of this entry »
Perennial All-Star and 30-goal scorer, or a more common first-second line platoon player: Which is more likely?
The Edmonton Oilers are betting against the market when it comes to Jordan Eberle.
It’s not that Eberle is a one-hit wonder or he’s going to bust out of Edmonton, it’s that no player is as good as an outlier season early in their hockey career.
His new contract isn’t horrible. It’s a decent-enough term and you’ll guarantee that Eberle’s costs won’t raise as he goes through his prime years. It’s manageable, and the Oilers don’t already have any anchor contracts. Once 2015 rolls around, they’ve commit just $12M. Half of that to Taylor Hall, half of that to Eberle.
But they team will need to find some creative ways to use their resources. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner, Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry, all presumable key players on an Oilers club going forward, need to get paid between then. The NHL will have a lower salary cap next season, but that won’t be the test for the Oilers. It will be the years ahead when the Oilers have to fit those guys under a figure that will be lower than the $70.3M salary cap they face today.
This requires making the right bets.
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There’s always been something that bugged me about hockey.
No, it isn’t the appropriate split of hockey-related revenue between the NHL and NHLPA, it’s something far more general and less specific to the actual problems facing the National Hockey League.
It’s the assist. I never really “got” the assist. Sure, I’ve used assists, and by proxy, points, as a marker for a hockey player’s offensive talent, but it seems rather simplistic and arbitrary. Why “two” assists? At what point did the hockey establishment decide that “two” passes before a goal was a perfectly acceptable way of conveying participation in the play?
A lot of television analysts, a lot of whom would probably shy away from the use of modern analytical tools such as Corsi or TOIQualComp, use numbers quite often in their assessment of players. It was a big thing this week when Taylor Hall got his contract extension, analysts were using Jordan Eberle’s point totals to argue that he ought to get a similar deal.
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