Kraken should put Jordan Eberle on the trading block

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Given the Seattle Kraken’s poor performance this season, there’s been a lot of talk about selling at the trade deadline. For the most part, this discussion focused on unrestricted free agents pending who probably wouldn’t come back next year anyway. However, Kraken General Manager Ron Francis should also consider trading some veterans on fixed-term contracts, assuming he can get good value for money. One of those players is Jordan Eberle, a player who has been a key part of Seattle’s roster this year but could be an effective trade chip at the deadline.

Jordan Eberle in Kraken

This season, Eberle has posted 14 goals and 16 assists in 50 games. At first glance, those numbers don’t seem like anything special, but they’re some of the best from a disappointing Kraken team. Only Jared McCann has beaten Eberle in goals and points, while Eberle’s assists tally is fourth on the team. Considering he plays for one of the worst teams in the league, his numbers are very solid.

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Eberle also has a history of delivering productive scores. During his long career with the Kraken, New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers, he had six 20-goal seasons. He can usually be counted on for a pace of around 20 goals and 50 points, and that has remained consistent in Seattle this year.

Eberle is in the third season of a five-year contract that he signed in 2019 with the islanders. It has an average annual value of $5.5 million.

Why the Kraken should trade it

Eberle has been very important to Seattle this year, so it’s fair to wonder why they should have any interest in trading him. For starters, there should be very few, if any, players on the Kraken who are untouchable. Ron Francis should prioritize stockpiling draft picks and other future assets, and loyalty to veterans can’t stand in the way.

On top of that, Eberle just doesn’t make sense for the Kraken given his age and contract status. Seattle doesn’t have a team in contention this season, and by the time their prospects are ready to contribute, Eberle will have aged in effectiveness. Indeed, at 31, he is probably already on the decline. Whatever loot one can get in exchange for him will be more valuable to Seattle than him.

Of course, there is no need to trade Eberle now. With two years left on his contract, Francis can afford to wait and see if a better offer for him comes along in the next few years. However, if a team comes in at the deadline with an attractive offer, there should be no hesitation in taking it.

Potential return

Ron Francis is expected to use the recent deal with Tyler Toffoli as a template for a trade with Eberle. Like Eberle, Toffoli is a quality top-six winger with two years remaining on his contract. He was traded to the Calgary Flames last week in exchange for a first-round pick, a fifth-round pick, forward Tyler Pitlick and prospect Emil Heineman.

Related: Business Qualities: Flames Fill a Big Need with Tyler Toffoli Acquisition

This deal basically comes down to a high pick, a decent prospect and a short-term salary cap, which seems reasonable for a player of Eberle’s caliber. However, Francis can afford to be patient, and teams could get more desperate as the deadline approaches. If Francis plays his cards right, Eberle could get an even better return.

Although Eberle doesn’t need to be traded, he’s a player who tends to be in demand. Teams can never have enough secondary points, especially when it comes to playoffs. If the right offer comes before the trade deadline, Ron Francis should accept it.



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