• Eberle signs for 6/$36MM

    by Tyler Dellow • August 30, 2012 • Hockey • 52 Comments

    I’ve been writing about Eberle’s contract off and on over the past few months and I kind of feel that I’ve already made my points with it. That’s one way to separate this from the Khabibulin deal, which was a stupid bolt from the blue: we saw this coming. I don’t think he’s anything close to an established 70+ point guy and I’m pretty sure that the Oilers just spent $6MM a year on a guy who, to date, has shown a true offensive talent somewhere in the 50-60 point range.

    This:

    In effect, by focusing on just the time in the NHL and discarding the information gathered prior to the player making the NHL, you’re discarding a lot of information. Eberle went 22nd overall for a reason. Hall went first overall for a reason. If you accept that Eberle’s had a season in which he hit at the far right end of his own personal bell curve – and I think this is inarguable, barring significant improvement in his possession numbers – it doesn’t really make sense to pay him along the same lines as you pay Hall. You’re paying for variance.

    And this:

    You add that all up and you come up with Eberle losing 14 points off his total last year. I think I’ve made a lot of favourable assumptions here – I’ve said elsewhere that I expect Eberle to get somewhere between 55 and 60 points and that still seems like a pretty decent projection to me. I wouldn’t be stunned if played a full year or close to it, and didn’t break 50 points though. I’d be a lot more surprised if he broke 70 points without a significant improvement in his Corsi or shot numbers.

    And this:

    Which leads to the real problem. The Oilers are selling a narrative, complete with slickly manufactured propaganda and Eberle’s part of the marketing plan. The narrative involves a bunch of young kids, who haven’t been jaded by exposure to life outside Edmonton and the loose women of places like St. Louis, coming to Edmonton, turning into hockey players and then committing to the city. I would suspect that there’s an organizational interest in locking up Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall for the long term, as soon as they possibly can.



    This is actually a sort of delicious test of whether or not management has learned anything from the past six years. It’s as if the hockey gods, having looked on Edmonton with distaste for so long are reconsidering whether we have management worthy of their blessing. Although it’s a bit hidden, Eberle presents them with basically the same situation that Shawn Horcoff did in the summer of 2008. Horcoff was signed coming off a season in which he had 50 points in 53 games, allegedly because he visited a Mexican stick factory, with a year left on his pact. He’d also had big years in on-ice shooting percentage (11.4%) and IPP (82%), although nowhere near what Eberle’s doing. The Oilers wanted to find a guy who’d commit to Edmonton, given the Smyth/Pronger fiascoes.

    Has management learned anything from the Horcoff contract? Have the fans? There’s no hubris like thinking that this time is different and the hockey gods have always tended to punish hubris severely.

    As of 2013-14, Eberle’s going to be getting paid like he’s one of the best players in the league by a team that’s shown no ability to identify when guys are having outlier seasons. If you listen to Bob Stauffer, who’s obviously plugged in to Oilers’ management, he’s talking about Eberle as a 70-90 point guy over the next five years and maybe scoring 80 points next year. Tambo said as much today when he was asked if he was confident Eberle could repeat his numbers: “I think he’s just beginning, I really do. I think he’s such an intelligent player, he’s so poised (ed. Drink!), he takes care of himself physically…I think we’re just starting to see what Jordan Eberle is going to become.”

    What option did the Oilers have to paying Eberle now? Well, there was nothing preventing them from letting him play out his contract and see what he does next year. It’s unfathomable to me that they were likely to end up with Eberle in a position to ask for more money than he’s getting. For one thing, if you’re paying attention to the CBA negotiations (good for you if you aren’t), the salary cap is coming down, at least in the short term. For another, for the reasons set out previously, it seems exceedingly unlikely to me that Eberle’s going to match his numbers from last year. The Oilers, for whatever reason, eschew sensible risks and prefer the comfort that comes from paying top of the market prices for things that probably aren’t worth that.

    For the record, I think that they’ve probably overpaid him by at least $2MM per year. Here are the guys who earned at least $4,000,001 last year and were playing in the RFA years of their contract.

    There are two columns of points. The first is totals under the current contract the player is playing under and the second is per/82 to put things on a common footing. I’ve done it this way because when you’re signing a player to a contract, you should be thinking “What will you do for me?” as opposed to “What have you done?”

    I’ve seen it suggested that $6MM is ballpark for an RFA aged player who scores 60-70 points. That is insane. Of the 13 RFA aged guys with cap hits above $5.33MM last year, only three of them have averaged fewer than 70 points during their current contract. Parise missed by a single point. Richards sold a lot of UFA years, which bumped his paycheque, and does a lot of things that Eberle doesn’t do. Stastny is probably a disappointment for a guy with a big contract – he was about a 75 point guy before he signed.

    There are only two other cap hits above $4.33MM for RFA aged players – Bobby Ryan and Jeff Carter. Carter has played one year of his current deal, which also involved selling a ton of UFA years. Ryan is averaging 33 goals/82 games. Below that, both in terms of cap hit and scoring, you’ve got a bunch of guys who sold a lot of UFA years and/or only made north of $4MM last year because they signed long term deals that started out beneath $4MM. You’ve also got Jordan Staal, who’s probably a bit of a special case, given that he played behind the two best offensive centres in the game and does a lot of things that Jordan Eberle doesn’t do.

    When you factor in that it’s likely to be hard times for the next few years for NHL players in need of salaries as a bunch of money is pulled out of the system by the new CBA, it becomes very, very difficult to see Eberle doing any better than he’s done. If he averages 70+ points or 30+ goals per 82 games over the life of his new deal, the Oilers have probably paid market value. If he’s a 25 goal/55 point per 82 game man, this deal is a disaster.

    How much would you bet that the guys who proved themselves incapable of identifying outliers between 2007 and 2010, at which point they started with a marketing plan that included Jordan Eberle becoming a star have go it right? Doesn’t it seem more likely that they’re the same guys who couldn’t pick out outlier seasons then, just implementing the next step of the marketing plan?

    About Tyler Dellow

    52 Responses to Eberle signs for 6/$36MM

    1. David Staples
      August 30, 2012 at

      Jeff Skinner deal set the bar right now for 60 to 70 points guys, no?

      • Tyler Dellow
        August 31, 2012 at

        Not necessarily. There would be a number of guys. Plus, the Canes presumably don’t think they’re buying a 60-70 point guy. The Isles didn’t when they paid Tavares.

    2. PDO
      August 30, 2012 at

      I think saying that if he’s a 25 goal / 55 point guy, this deal is a disaster is a bit of hyperbole. Those guys still get paid, and get paid pretty well (Joffrey Lupul, Jiri Hudler, Derek Roy).

      That’s pretty much the worst case scenario… it’s an overpay by $2,000,000 a year. Certainly not a good signing, but it’s not going to completely cripple the team either; especially in light of the bargain they’re paying Hall.

      It’s impossible to hit a homer on every contract. That’s living in a bubble.

      • Tyler Dellow
        August 31, 2012 at

        The three guys you’ve listed are all in the $4MM to $4.25MM range, most of them selling UFA years to get there. So…you agree that it’s a possible 40-50% overpay and you don’t think that would be a disaster?

        I’m not asking for all the contracts to be home runs. At the same time, we could do without them getting slaughtered on a bunch. For a change.

        • PDO
          August 31, 2012 at

          As worst case scenario.

          In all likelihood, it’s a bit better than that.

          Beyond that, if there’s a $60,000,000ish cap… you’re looking at 3.33% of your cap wasted. If you can’t make that up, you have much bigger problems than over paying a top 6 winger by a millionish a year.

          • Tyler Dellow
            August 31, 2012 at

            I’m not sure how 50-60 points is a worst case. A lot of us think that’s what he is right now.

    3. August 30, 2012 at

      I tend to agree that this isn’t a disastrous contract, though a $2 million overpay would be pretty bad if that’s what ended up having – that’s in the range of the Horcoff overpay.

      I’m guessing Eberle eventually checks in as a roughly $5MM guy, and I’d rather see the Oilers overpay him by a million than I would see them overpay Andy Sutton by a million.

      • August 30, 2012 at

        “In the range” in Horcoff’s a bit strong – I’d guess he gets somewhere between $2.5 MM/ and $3.5 MM/year on the open market, so a $2MM overpay is probably less than what we’re talking.

      • Garnet
        August 31, 2012 at

        Jesus, surely the Sutton deal isn’t the standard now? “This isn’t the absolute worst deal my incompetent hockey club has ever made, so I’m fine with it. Certainly we couldn’t have bargained him down, or waited, or traded him for someone undervalued.”

        • August 31, 2012 at

          Didn’t say I was fine with it. What I said was that I don’t think the situation is as bad as Tyler does.

    4. speeds
      August 30, 2012 at

      In terms of long term strategy, it’s unclear to me why you’d look to lock up Eberle long term, but only sign Petry to a 2 year deal.

      • Brian
        August 30, 2012 at

        No kidding. Its unfathomable that they didn’t tie up Petry for 4-5 years at $3 million or so.

        It feels like this rebuild is going off the rails, but it’s this horrible slow motion wreck that can be seen coming for miles. Flash forward to next summer, when Smid leaves because the team won’t offer him more than $3 million per “because he’s not part of the core,” extends Khabibulin for two more seasons “because he really likes what we’re doing here and wants to be a part of it,” and signs Ryan Whitney to a new 5 year, $6 million a season contract “because our medical staff says this time they’ve definitely corrected the ankle and next season he’ll be healthy from day one.”

    5. PDO
      August 30, 2012 at

      Another thought.

      How many points does RNH have to get to really expect/demand more than 42/7 or 36/6 next year? Not only are we saving on the Hall deal, but this will make negotiations to save on the next RNH deal a shade easier as well.

      From a spreadsheet point of view, in the worst case scenario, you have a point; but I think you’re over blowing it (worst case scenario; his possession skills will continue to improve) while completely ignoring every other factor.

    6. Matt K
      August 30, 2012 at

      I was still a bit out of the Oilers loop when Horcoff signed his contract, so I don’t know the answer to this question, but were the fans ever as enamoured with Horc as they are with Eberle? Numbers aside, I’ve never been as impressed with Eberle as I have been with Hall because it seems fairly clear that he doesn’t drive the play in the same way, but I’m quite sure I’m in the minority. Am I crazy or do people love Eberle enough that they wouldn’t care so much about a little regression? Or maybe they’re just convinced he’s going to score 90 points every year…

    7. Bank Shot
      August 31, 2012 at

      If he averages 70+ points or 30+ goals per 82 games over the life of his new deal, the Oilers have probably paid market value. If he’s a 25 goal/55 point per 82 game man, this deal is a disaster.

      Mudcrutch. Only 21 players scored 70+ points last season. If Eberle is a top 20 scorer per 82 games over the life of this deal, I would say this contract will be a lot better then market value.

      Judging from the last 50 years of data, salaries will continue to trend ever upwards. If Eberle signed a 3 year deal for lower dollars, and hit 70+ points in the last two seasons of that deal, then he’d likely be commanding more then 6. If Eberle is scoring 70+ points in 2017-2018 he is probably worth $8-9 million dollars.

      If Eberle had played 82 games in his rookie season, he was on pace for 51 points. He scored 76 in his sophmore. Judging from his career thus far, 55 points sort of looks like the basement in terms of what to expect in the future. I guess Tyler, you are betting on Eberle not showing any improvement over the next 7 seasons. As these young guys mature, the ice is going to tilt in the other direction, and I don’t see why a guy like Eberle won’t be able to take another 50+ shots in future seasons.

      Also, how many of Eberle’s comparables have contracts that run for the next seven years? If those players continue to put up 60+ points I’d strongly lean towards them landing 6-7+ when they hit free agency in the next 2-3 years.

      I really don’t see this bet being near as poor as you are framing it to be. Eberle only being a 55 point player for the duration of the contract, and it being a disaster is basically worst case scenario territory rather then a likely outcome.

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        Mudcrutch. Only 21 players scored 70+ points last season. If Eberle is a top 20 scorer per 82 games over the life of this deal, I would say this contract will be a lot better then market value.

        Sorry. Do you have evidence of this? I’m working off what guys who scored that get paid. What are you using?

        Judging from the last 50 years of data, salaries will continue to trend ever upwards. If Eberle signed a 3 year deal for lower dollars, and hit 70+ points in the last two seasons of that deal, then he’d likely be commanding more then 6. If Eberle is scoring 70+ points in 2017-2018 he is probably worth $8-9 million dollars.

        Not really true of the last seven years. I’m going to post on this shortly, but the salaries of certain classes of players have increased far more substantially than others. Eberle’s being paid like he’s truly elite; those guys haven’t enjoyed near the salary rise.

        If Eberle had played 82 games in his rookie season, he was on pace for 51 points. He scored 76 in his sophmore. Judging from his career thus far, 55 points sort of looks like the basement in terms of what to expect in the future. I guess Tyler, you are betting on Eberle not showing any improvement over the next 7 seasons. As these young guys mature, the ice is going to tilt in the other direction, and I don’t see why a guy like Eberle won’t be able to take another 50+ shots in future seasons.

        I think the TOI will likely get tougher for Eberle. I see you took your own look at the shooting rates and concluded adding 50 shots maybe isn’t the most likely thing in the world. Incidentally – I had written about that and kind of concluded the same thing.

        Eberle only being a 55 point player for the duration of the contract, and it being a disaster is basically worst case scenario territory rather then a likely outcome.

        Time will tell. I see you’re thinking 30/30 on your site now. Does that factor in when he starts losing choice PP/ES TOI to Yakupov?

        • Bank Shot
          September 1, 2012 at


          Sorry. Do you have evidence of this? I’m working off what guys who scored that get paid. What are you using?

          You’re being selective. You’re using Corey Perry for instance who signed his $5+ million extension coming off a career high 54 point season…..You should be using contracts signed in the last couple of seasons. Fact is only 21 guys scored more then 70 points last season and I am sure any of them who came up for contract renewal got paid this season.

          Not really true of the last seven years. I’m going to post on this shortly, but the salaries of certain classes of players have increased far more substantially than others. Eberle’s being paid like he’s truly elite; those guys haven’t enjoyed near the salary rise.

          I’m not sure what “truly elite” means. Eberle’s cap hit will clock in at 31st highest among NHl forwards. I’d say its not a bad bet to think Eberle will be a top 30 forward over the life of the contract. The super high elite salaries(Stamkos,Malkin) haven’t exploded, its true, but the tiers(ie upper middle, and middle class) below the super elite have crept ever upwards.


          I think the TOI will likely get tougher for Eberle. I see you took your own look at the shooting rates and concluded adding 50 shots maybe isn’t the most likely thing in the world. Incidentally – I had written about that and kind of concluded the same thing.

          Your website looks at shot increases over the first 3 seasons in the NHL. I never suggested that Eberle will add 50 shots NEXT seaon, just that it probably will happen at some point. He only needs to have big shot totals a couple of times over the next 7 years to hit big counting numbers again.

          We don’t really know where his icetime is going to go. Its a complete guess. If Yakupov plays point and trigger man on the PP with his big shot ala Kovy, or Stamkos then it doesn’t impact Eberle’s ice time in the slightest on the PP, and there is a lot of ES icetime to go around.

          • Tyler Dellow
            September 1, 2012 at

            You’re being selective. You’re using Corey Perry for instance who signed his $5+ million extension coming off a career high 54 point season….

            I would suggest that the Ducks weren’t paying him with the expectation that he was going to be a 54 point guy in the future.

            You should be using contracts signed in the last couple of seasons.

            OK. You draw the group. What contracts should I use? What are the better comparables?

            Fact is only 21 guys scored more then 70 points last season and I am sure any of them who came up for contract renewal got paid this season.

            Eberle, of course, isn’t up for renewal. Also, if you think his numbers are likely to decline, there’s nothing preventing you from waiting for a year. So, the argument isn’t really applicable to what I’ve said.

            I’d say its not a bad bet to think Eberle will be a top 30 forward over the life of the contract.

            *Spits drink hilariously* What?!?! If you go just on offence and require a minimum of 70 games average for the last six years, you come up with a top 30 forward averaging 68 pts/82 games. If you require an average of 60 games a year, you get 72 pts/72 games. Those are some high, high numbers to expect him to average.

            I sometimes think that people don’t realize how low the offensive threshold for a first liner is but I think you’re making the opposite error here and underestimating the offence produced by the top 30 forwards in the NHL.

            • Bank Shot
              September 3, 2012 at


              OK. You draw the group. What contracts should I use? What are the better comparables?

              Since you have proven there isn’t much difference anymore between guys signing second contracts and UFAs, you can use any contract valued at $6 million cap hit. EBerle’s doesn’t look that poor in that context.


              Eberle, of course, isn’t up for renewal. Also, if you think his numbers are likely to decline, there’s nothing preventing you from waiting for a year. So, the argument isn’t really applicable to what I’ve said.

              That’s true. Although if Eberle’s agent is asking why you aren’t signing him to an extension then that is a poor answer to give. Perhaps that makes the next contract negotiations more difficult. Perhaps not. We are spared dealing with those types of complications in the vacuum of the internet.


              Those are some high, high numbers to expect him to average.
              I sometimes think that people don’t realize how low the offensive threshold for a first liner is but I think you’re making the opposite error here and underestimating the offence produced by the top 30 forwards in the NHL.

              Well I won’t be surprised to see him hit high 60′s or 70′s 2-3 more times throughout the contract extension, and possibly even hit 80 points. I think on the other side of the equation, you are overestimating what $6 million buys you in the NHL these days. It doesn’t get you a consistent top 20 scorer.

    8. Cam Charron
      August 31, 2012 at

      Question here: If Eberle’s scoring regresses like we all expect it to, but that top Edmonton line becomes a venerable Corsi/puck-possession threat and Eberle does some bus-driving, does that make the contract worth it?

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        If they’re taking 55% of the shots and dominating play like Kane/Toews on the Hawks, yeah, it’ll make up for it. I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

    9. Troy Martinson
      August 31, 2012 at

      I’m not sure how Hall’s point totals will climb while Eberle will regress, especially when there’s a high likelihood they will play together for the next 7yrs. Like Bank Job pointed out, it’s a stretch to believe that Eberle, at 22 has reached his full potential as a player. Sure there will likely be a regression in point totals at some point as they rest of his game rounds out but his puck skills will never disappear

      • August 31, 2012 at

        Actually, if you look at a lot of players – scoring wingers in particular – they’ll have their best seasons in their early-20′s. They may progress as players from that point on, but a regression in offence afterward is normal.

        • Bank Shot
          August 31, 2012 at

          Most players have their best point totals 4-5 years into their career. Declaring Eberle’s second season to be his high watermark is a tad premature I would say.

          • Tyler Dellow
            September 1, 2012 at

            Most players don’t have a year where the on-ice shooting percentage is 12.8% when they’re 21.

    10. Troy Martinson
      August 31, 2012 at

      Also, drawing comparisons from Eberle to others based on salary totals & not by position isnt accurate. IMO, comparisons to other RW & their contracts makes more sense whereas comparing him to the likes of Richards & Staal who have more responsibility as forwards is simply unjust

    11. August 31, 2012 at

      Tyler,

      My main beef isn’t in your evaluation of market value of a 50p forward (to be fair you should probably focus on wingers), it’s in your assessment of your true value. You are basing most of your estimates on a couple of pretty wonky logical arguments. Mainly that:

      A) Eberle had an unsustainable season – IPP and Sh%
      B) Eberle will maintain his underlying performance – shot rates, possession, penalties draw etc
      C) Eberle will be given similar situations – PP/5v5/PK time, OZ starts

      I think A has been widely written about, and I think most of us are in agreement. He should cash in less of his chances and be off a few more score sheets as as second assist etc.

      I don’t, however, see why B and C are necessarily true. As we’ve briefly chatted about, most forwards tend to maximize offence when they are ~25, and we probably don’t have any compelling or logical reason to cap his performance based on what he’s done over two seasons. I’m not saying he will improve possession numbers or his shooting rates, but historically he has not hit his offensive production peak.

      There is also some room for more 5v5/PP minutes – possibly even weaker defensive pairs played against him if he’s on a different line from Hall (care of the new TOI QoC stuff).

      Based on that, I just don’t buy your hard line in the and for Eberle as a true 50p guy. There simply isn’t enough evidence to make such a statement in my opinion.

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        As we’ve briefly chatted about, most forwards tend to maximize offence when they are ~25, and we probably don’t have any compelling or logical reason to cap his performance based on what he’s done over two seasons.

        Gabe’s work showed that the average F goes from something like 0.41 PTS/G to 0.46 PTS/G. Again, I refer you to my comment above – most forwards don’t have years at 21 where they have an on-ice S% of 12.8% and shoot 18.7% at ES, and experience a super high on-ice S% on the PP too when they’re 21. As I’ve said elsewhere, I expect Eberle will make incremental gains in his game – stronger, faster etc. – which will likely nudge his underlying numbers a little bit, all other things being equal. The S% at ES/PP from everything year receding will swamp everything though.

        Is that a logical and compelling reason to think that his numbers are going down?

        There is also some room for more 5v5/PP minutes

        I did the math – I think there’s less room than people think. He might get more PP TOI out of there being more PP around the league, but that’s a rising tide that lifts all boats, not really a way to get extra value out of him.

        Based on that, I just don’t buy your hard line in the and for Eberle as a true 50p guy. There simply isn’t enough evidence to make such a statement in my opinion.

        Hey! Lucky for both of us, I haven’t said that! What I said was “I’m pretty sure that the Oilers just spent $6MM a year on a guy who, to date, has shown a true offensive talent somewhere in the 50-60 point range.”

        Not at all the same thing. Thanks for the critique though – I know it was hidden away there, in the first paragraph of the piece.

        • September 3, 2012 at

          We still seem to be at odds here. When I say a fifty point player I am talking about someone who is scoring in the fifty point range. In other words, I’m questioning your ability to rate him as a guy who will only score 50-60 points based on two seasons. Next year perhaps his offense will be down, but he has shown he can score against top pairing defensemen.

    12. Locky
      August 31, 2012 at

      I really think the comparable contracts you detail are a bit useless without looking at them as a percentage of cap at the date of signing. A ~25% increase in the cap over the last three years means that a 6M contract for Eberle now equates to a 5M contract in 08/9. For example, Michalek signed when the cap was 56.7M, thus his % of cap is 7.58. Today, Eberle’s equates to 8.5. While Eberle’s % of cap at the date of signing is still greater than most (although Bobby Ryan’s is 8.6%), the gulf is less severe than just taking the cap hit in isolation. I think it’s a much more accurate representation. You have him as 2M overpaid, I have him as ~1% of cap overpaid (700k).

      Personally, I tend to agree with poster Bank Shot. If Eberle puts up 60 points for the duration of the contract (and I absolutely agree he is a prime candidate to regress to that kind of level), this is a pretty reasonable deal in a couple of years. It’s simply the realities of an environment where a spending limit increases 25% in 3 years, one needs to adjust expectations.

      • Locky
        August 31, 2012 at

        Sorry that should read ‘A 6M contract now equates to a 4.8M contract in 08/09′

        • Tyler Dellow
          September 1, 2012 at

          I’ve got a post going up at some point in the next couple of days about this. You guys are incorrect in thinking that the salaries have uniformly increased. They haven’t. You can’t just say a ~25% increase in the cap means that you pay a guy ~25% more. The way in which the money is distributed is different. Different classes of players have enjoyed different classes of gains.

          • Locky
            September 4, 2012 at

            Fair enough. However I do think it’s an extremely relevant point that you have not included in your comparative analysis.

            Having read through that post, I think your analysis, while a good one, fails to take into account that some of the most significant cap inflation has occurred in the last 2 years. A period of time in which a large amount of the players included in the analysis are on existing contracts. In this case, we are discussing a contract signed now, under a 70M cap, whereas your analysis includes mostly contracts signed under a 64, 59 and 56M cap. (I know, I think i’ve missed the point a bit in that you’re comparing pre- and post-lockout, not post-lockout to today. Nevertheless I think it’s still a valid counter-criticism given the context in which i’ve raised the initial issue).

            A further, slightly unrelated, point might be: do the differential salary increases seen result in a more competitive team? Which is downright fucking impossible to answer but could be an interesting discussion. What kind of forward salary distribution produces greater success?

    13. Zedpher
      August 31, 2012 at

      How can you look at Eberle’s rookie season and take that into consideration as to his long term potential? What did Claude Giroux do in his first two seasons? What were his Corsi numbers those years? He was drafted 22nd overall, pretty close to where Eberle was. Was Giroux sheltered in his first couple of seasons? What about Jamie Benn’s first two years? What about Martin St. Louis’ first few years in the NHL?

      Just because Eberle had a great second season, with a high shooting percentage, doesn’t mean that he can’t be a consistent 25-30 goal, 65-75 point winger. A consistent guy like that is worth 6 million a year, especially if he will be clutch in the playoffs like he was in the World Juniors.

      You have a great player in Eberle. And he’ll be that way for a long time.

    14. Lee
      August 31, 2012 at

      Personally, the thing I don’t like about this assessment is the inherent cynicism and hubris inherent in a conclusion that believes all human accomplishment can be so easily quantified and then predicted down to the last decimal.

      I guess the great thing about being a pessimist/realist is that you are right any time a human is average or an outright failure, but it seems a fairly joyless ride, particularly when the optimists around you are celebrating what they perceive as welcome news. And when athletes accomplish the unexpected, is it not fair to assume your enjoyment is somewhat blunted because they exceeded your dire prognostications?

      It’s easy to bet against someone like Stephen Jobs when Microsoft is buying a stake in his company. It’s easy to bet against someone like Wayne Gretzky or Joe Montana as they enter the professional ranks, because they didn’t fit the template of the protypical athlete. It’s easy to bet against anyone doing something that is unexpected. But the beauty of sports (and life in general) is that human beings can so often surprise and surpass our expectations.

      Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but I believe there are a number of factors that will ultimately reveal your skepticism about Jordan Eberle as unfounded.

      1) Jordan Eberle is not Shawn Horcoff. It’s such a ludicrous comparision that this one bears repeating. Jordan Eberle is NOT Shawn Horcoff.

      2) You base this prediction on expected shooting % regression while assuming minimal to no growth in shots/chances. This despite the fact that the team has added two superior complimentary talents (Yakupov, Schultz) to an already potent powerplay.
      A player finishes 103rd overall in shots taken and 16th in points and you see no case for improved (or even retained production) with an improved team around him as well as another year of experience?

      3) You’re convinced that Eberle is not a shooting savant who will sustain high % (ala Tanguay). Ultimately, I believe this is where your talent evaluation will be found lacking. Eberle has all the attributes of a premier sniper. Yes, he may experience a nominal regression in shooting % but that will be more than compensated for by an increase in chances.
      Will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I know one thing, if he posts similar or better boxcars this season – possibly even against improved QoC, the Oilers would find themselves in a situation very similar to what the Jets are dealing with right now with Evander Kane. Far from optimal.
      You hit a homerun with your criticism of the Khabi contract. But there’s a big difference btw an aging goaltender and an emerging sniper. The next 7 years are not going to be kind to this bleak assessment, and that’s a good thing for Oiler fans.

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        Personally, the thing I don’t like about this assessment is the inherent cynicism and hubris inherent in a conclusion that believes all human accomplishment can be so easily quantified and then predicted down to the last decimal.

        Wait, I’m the hubristic one?!?!? I’m the guy who says “Right now he’s X, he needs to make gains to be a star, wait and see what happens.” The sensible people defending this signing are saying “He’s not as good as he looked but he’ll almost certainly be a real star in the future!” The dumb people defending this signing are saying “He’s a star! He’s a star! He’s a star! Pay him! Cups!oneoneone!”

        It baffles me that I can be accused of hubris for saying that his numbers now don’t warrant what he’s getting and pointing out that there’s a route that allows for more time for, yes, assessment.

        I guess the great thing about being a pessimist/realist is that you are right any time a human is average or an outright failure, but it seems a fairly joyless ride, particularly when the optimists around you are celebrating what they perceive as welcome news. And when athletes accomplish the unexpected, is it not fair to assume your enjoyment is somewhat blunted because they exceeded your dire prognostications?

        Oh, this is nonsense. As I’ve pointed out before, when the Oilers were struggling in 2006 and the fans were dumping on them, I was calling them the second best team in the West. I’m thrilled with the Hall contract and think he’s going to be a 40G/40A man in the near future and the Oilers got a steal.

        You’re assuming that because, for the past five years or so, what I’ve said when the Oilers do something has generally been negative that I’m pessimistic. Actually, they’ve been a really poorly run hockey team that rarely gives any reason for positivity.

        1) Jordan Eberle is not Shawn Horcoff. It’s such a ludicrous comparision that this one bears repeating. Jordan Eberle is NOT Shawn Horcoff.

        The point is NOT that Eberle is Horcoff. The point is that when you pay a guy based on a year when everything goes in, you frequently end up unhappy with the deal.

        2) You base this prediction on expected shooting % regression while assuming minimal to no growth in shots/chances. This despite the fact that the team has added two superior complimentary talents (Yakupov, Schultz) to an already potent powerplay.

        Complementary. And the PP was luck fueled last year. Look at the on-ice S%. I’ve previously dealt with why I don’t expect a lot of improvement in Eberle’s shot numbers. Bank Shot just looked at it and found the same thing.

        3) You’re convinced that Eberle is not a shooting savant who will sustain high % (ala Tanguay). Ultimately, I believe this is where your talent evaluation will be found lacking. Eberle has all the attributes of a premier sniper. Yes, he may experience a nominal regression in shooting % but that will be more than compensated for by an increase in chances.

        Yeah, yeah, same old story – Cogliano’s for real, Horcoff went to the stick factory, Brule’s got a really good shot…vitually nobody ever thinks their guy will be the one that regression bites. It’s always someone else’s guy. Maybe you’re right. Odds are against you though. Show me someone with a track record of identifying these guys and I’ll take it a bit more seriously.

        The next 7 years are not going to be kind to this bleak assessment, and that’s a good thing for Oiler fans.

        Boy, who’s showing some hubris now?

    15. PunjabiOil
      August 31, 2012 at

      A few key points, many made already by others in this thread:

      1. You can’t compare cap hits made in different years. As Locky pointed out, “A 6M contract now equates to a 4.8M contract in 08/09′”

      We have to adjust our expectations accordingly.

      2. The contract doesn’t kick in for another year. 2-3 years down the road, even with a more owners’ friendly CBA, the contract could leave significant room for over-performance.

      3. The analysis provided assumes Eberle will not improve, shots for, TOI, and other variables. The contract may or may not prove to be a bad deal, but it’s not so black and white like the Khabibulin deal was.

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        1) No.

        2) Yeah, I’ve done the math on salaries. I don’t think that this makes a ton of sense.

        3) Already considered that in one of the posts linked to.

        • PunjabiOil
          September 1, 2012 at

          1. What do you mean no?

          A 4.1M contract in 2006 is not the same thing in 2012.

          2. Point being, there is room for growth in Eberle’s game. You may thing his development has reached full capacity – many don’t agree. He’s locked up until he is 29 – years in the prime of his career.

          If there is a reduction in salary cap due to the new CBA, it’s also likely we’ll see a salary rollback.

          3. And so has Willis – different conclusions were reached.

          Fact is nobody will know until the contract kicks in.

          This isn’t clear cut like Khabibulin.

          • Tyler Dellow
            September 1, 2012 at

            1. I mean, “No, a $6MM contract now does not equal a $4.8MM contract in 2008-09.” While the amount of the cap increased dramatically in that time, the amount for which players were contracted increased way less – something like 3% per year on average, IIRC. Escrow has gone down substantially as a result. You cannot just divide the top level cap numbers and make that assessment.

            2. Have you heard what the players are saying about a salary rollback? It’s a non-starter for them. And they bitched about escrow constantly. Not an assumption I’d be comfortable making. Not one the Oilers had to make. Plus, if there s a rollback, Ebs’ number would presumably be lower because the amrket would be.

            3. Uh, Willis hasn’t contradicted me on the points you referred to.

            • PunjabiOil
              September 1, 2012 at

              1. I would like to know more about this. Explain.

              2. The NHLPA was also firm against a salary cap last time around too. If the salary cap does go down to say 50%, it’s not out of realm of belief that we may see some sort of rollback.

              3. I was referring to the overall conclusion in which Willis stated it was reasonable figures, whereas you think it’s an overpayment of 2M.

              I think it’s universal belief that Eberle’s shooting percentage will fall. That doesn’t necessarily mean this contract is unreasonable.

              The Oilers are taking a gamble that Eberle will improve as a player, and inflation (rising cap) over the next 7 years will leave the contract for room for over-performance. In the process, they’re buying up 2 UFA years.

              Whether it will be the right call, that remains to be determined. I just don’t agree with your “evidence” that it’s clear black and white. Especially with the offersheet threat looming next season after his ELC expires.

    16. Bruce McCurdy
      September 1, 2012 at

      I really think the comparable contracts you detail are a bit useless without looking at them as a percentage of cap at the date of signing.

      I don’t view this six-year extension of an emerging young sniper a whole lot different than I viewed the one Ales Hemsky signed after a 77-point season in 2006. That was 9.3% of the cap and folks — including, no doubt, the sponsor of Hemsky’s “hockey-reference page” — were hailing it as a bargain. (Although said sponsor might want to think about updating the message. http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/h/hemskal01.html )

      • Tyler Dellow
        September 1, 2012 at

        Well, Hemsky had a ridiculous year in which he was the straw that stirred the drink on the PP and proved himself to be an elite player in a way that Eberle hasn’t. We don’t have on-ice S% numbers for ES going back that far but Hemsky’s ES pts number that year didn’t suggest that Hemsky had all the things going for him that Eberle did.

        So yeah, not at all really the same thing.

        • PunjabiOil
          September 1, 2012 at

          For the record, I think that they’ve probably overpaid him by at least $2MM per year.

          Lets assume worst case scenario Eberle drops to a 50 point player.

          Would you really expect him to get less than 5M via an offersheet?

          • Tyler Dellow
            September 1, 2012 at

            Maybe. If he gets a $5MM offersheet and I choose to match, I just saved $1MM a year. What’s your point?

            • PunjabiOil
              September 1, 2012 at

              The Oilers wanted to sign Eberle long-term, buying 2 UFA seasons.

              It’s unrealistic to expect the Oilers to have done so at 4M a year. Certainly not 6 years – perhaps 3 or 4.

              Every long-term contract carries an element of risk. This is no exception. That said, it is understandable why the Oilers took the position they took. Getting that certainty on a good young player with room for growth, and buying up 2 UFA seasons in the process.

        • Bruce McCurdy
          September 1, 2012 at

          So Eberle had a ridiculous year at evens & Hemsky had one on the PP so they’re not the same thing, but similar.

          Agreed about on ice SH%. It’s a sad fact that most of our advanced stats have so little history they can’t be used for comparing apples to 5 year old apples.

          Also, wasn’t Pronger the straw stirring all the drinks that year? Hemsky helped, for sure, but he was also a beneficiary. It can happen when you have an actual cluster of talent.

    17. September 1, 2012 at

      You know, we get the same reaction when we pan something the Leafs have done regardless of how much effort we put into analysing it (whether it’s a tweet that says Burke is a dummy or a 3000 word post with graphs and hours of research) and I think we could both save ourselves some time and write:

      On the balance of their actions over the past four years what makes you confident that the odds are in favour of Tambellini/Burke making the right decision in this case?

      A lot of these comments suggest that Eberle is different and unique from the players that you are comparing him to but what suggests that Tambellini’s decision making has improved?

    18. September 1, 2012 at

      There is only one RW that consistently hits 70 points in the NHL, year in and year out, St. Louis. A few that get there or close most years like Perry, Gaborik, Hossa, younger Iginla and Alfredsson etc.

      People who are staking a position on Eberle being a consistant 70 point scorer are arguing that he’ll be at least top 5 in offense for his position. That’s a pretty strong claim to be making about a guy’s talent level.

      What kind of arguments would be made about how awesome Chris Stewart or Brad Boyes is would be made if he played in Edmonton?

    19. Mike
      September 3, 2012 at

      I’m cautiously optimistic that Eberle has the hockey sense to develop a strong two-way game if that’s what the team needs out of him. Eberle’s no Yzerman, but that’s the sort of reinvention I have in mind.

      • Vic Ferrari
        September 5, 2012 at

        Yeah, I’m of the same opinion as you. I rate Eberle, he’s going to be the kind of player that helps the team win games for a long time, I think.

        Having said that, I really like Horcoff, good player. But it was still a very foolish time for the Oilers to sign him to a contract, because everything had gone in for the guy that year. And now I feel the same about Eberle for all the reasons mentioned, plus the assumption that NHL hockey related revenues (and therefore player salaries) will continue to rise at the same clip … I don’t think that’s sensible. Where, exactly, is this additional revenue supposed to come from?

        I struggle to find a reason why the Oilers couldn’t have waited another year to sign Eberle. I’m guessing that Tyler will be defending Eberle in coming seasons, but that his future ‘it isn’t Jordan’s fault the Oilers overpaid him’ arguments will be pissing off all the same people he pissed off with this post. Round, round we go :D

        Props on the Hall deal though.

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