Good morning, friends. The Islanders are in Edmonton tonight, as many former Oilers make their long-awaited returns to the tundra.
- The most prominent of these former Oilers is Jordan Eberle, who spent seven seasons there before being traded to the Islanders for Ryan Strome. [NHL]
- The debate surrounding the trade is apparently “heating up;” not sure what they mean, though, because there’s not much to debate with that deal. Gotta feel for Strome though; like Adam Larsson, they’re now judged against who they were traded for, and they’ll never live up to those expectations. [Edmonton Sun]
- Mark Spector claims it isn’t fair to lump this trade with the other gaffes the organization has made recently, as it was intended as a salary dump. Sure, but Strome was expected to produce at or close to Eberle’s level; coach Todd McLellan says as much like four paragraphs in. [Sportsnet]
- Still though, despite the losing, cold-ass weather, persistent trade rumors, and vulture-like, water-carrying media, Eberle has nothing but good things to say about his first NHL home. [Newsday]
- He certainly appreciates the more subdued hockey life on Long Island, and potentially hopes to stick around. [The Athletic]
- He was never an Oiler, but we wouldn’t have him if it weren’t for Edmonton: Mathew Barzal is the likely Calder Trophy winner. [Edmonton Sun]
- Brock Boeser is pretty much done for the year after the back injury sustained from Cal Clutterbuck’s check Monday night, but Tyler Dellow breaks down how Barzal should have bested him anyway, displaying how Barzal’s puck-carrying and seam pass abilities have gotten him some second assists. [The Athletic]
- Just because he’s got an easy route to the Calder, though, doesn’t mean his rookie season is any less historic.
- Brandon Davidson wasn’t mentioned in any Bits, but he is a former Oiler returning to Edmonton, as well.
Other Isles News
- Josh Ho-Sang was ‘engaged physically and emotionally’ on the Sound Tigers’ recent three-game road trip. [CT Post]
- Stan Fischler joins the Isle Seat Podcast.
Around the League
Last night’s NHL scores. The Penguins beat the Flyers in a playoff preview.
- Ron Francis is out as GM of the Hurricanes; he was “promoted” to President of Hockey Operations, but the new GM will report directly to the owner, meaning Francis is just a guy. Though, apparently the new owner, Tom Dundon (who is a living, breathing log of shit, by the way) prefers to do things himself and wants to take a hands-on approach, which always ends well. [Canes Country | News & Observer | Sportsnet]
- David Backes was suspended three games for his interference of our boy Frans Nielsen. [SCOC]
- Other old friend J-F Berube is trying to make the most of the opportunity the Blackhawks have given him down the stretch. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- James Mirtle asks: will Kyle Dubas be the next GM of the Maple Leafs? Should he be? [The Athletic]
- St. John’s ECHL team is about to become a reality. [PPP]
- And finally, just how much do NHL players earn? [Hockey Graphs]