Having not made any significant moves since February of 2016, one could say that the New York Islanders were long overdue. Oft-criticized General Manger, Garth Snow finally made a move that could end one of the Islanders’ many long-term problems.
Since trading leftwinger, Matt Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres in October of 2015, the Islanders have had trouble filling the spot next to star center and captain, John Tavares. However, with the acquisition of Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers, it appears that the Islanders may have found their solution. The team posted a quote from Garth Snow in which he explains a bit of what he hopes to see from their newest Forward. “We’re excited to add a proven offensive weapon like Jordan to our lineup, he brings speed and a knack for scoring not only consistently, but scoring big goals, in big games. Jordan brings leadership and experience into our room, qualities that will continue to help us build towards our goals of being a consistent playoff contender and winning the Stanley Cup.”
In exchange for Eberle, the Islanders sent 23 year old Forward, Ryan Strome to Edmon
ton. As a straight one-for-one trade, the Islanders may have gained more than they gave up. Last season, Eberle had 20 goals, 31 assists, and a +/- rating of +3. The 27 year old has 2 years left on his 6 year, 36,000,000 contract. Strome on the other hand had only 13 goals and 17 assists with a +/- rating of -8. He also only has one year left on his contract meaning that at the end of this coming season, the New York Islanders may have parted ways with him at end of the 2017-2018 season anyway.
Jordan Eberle and John Tavares have a history of playing together, and as Eberle noted, the two had good chemistry. The team quoted Eberle when asked about Tavares, “Obviously John is a generational player I’ve had previous chemistry with John. He’s a very intelligent player and the way that he plays suits my game. If that’s where I end up, our games suit each other well.” The two were linemates in 2009 for gold medal winning Team Canada at the World Juniors earning 28 points combined.
Eberle trains with John Tavares as well as Thomas Hickey, Andrew Ladd, and Travis Hamonic during the off-season so he is familiar with some of his new teammates already, making the adjustment that much easier. Eberle is excited to join the New York Islanders as noted in a quote posted by the team, “From a fan of hockey and the game, the Islanders are a storied franchise. There’s a lot of winning past there and obviously as part of the team now, I want to bring that back.” Eberle will switch from wearing number 14 as he did in Edmonton to his old juniors number, 7.
This move is one that has both, players and fans alike excited as this may be one of the moves needed to finally bring the Islanders to a more elite level.