Buffalo Sabres: How realistic is a trade for Jordan Eberle?

Mar 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle (14) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle (14) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Edmonton Journal siting the Buffalo Sabres as one of the best fits for Jordan Eberle, how likely is it to expect the winger to end up in Western New York?

The Edmonton Journal‘s David Staples wrote an article earlier this week, discussing the future of Oilers’ winger, Jordan Eberle. Of particular interest, was the opinion that the Buffalo Sabres would make one of the most logical destinations for Eberle, if he is traded.

This understandably leads to the question of if the Sabres would actually want the 27-year old? In theory the initial answer is yes, at least in terms of strengthening their depth on the right wing.

Despite recent positive reports surrounding the health of Kyle Okposo, there are still no guarantees regarding his future as a player. Similarly, Brian Gionta may not return next season, and even if he does, he is now 38-year’s old.

With recent speculation also surrounding Matt Moulson, you can certainly understand why Staples would pick Buffalo as one of the three most likely candidates to trade for Eberele. As for the player himself, while it is not certain the Oilers actually want to move him, his situation in Edmonton has become increasingly tenuous in terms of the fan base turning on him.

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In that respect, the Regina, Saskatchewan native’s performances during this season’s playoffs, did nothing to help his cause. He finished the postseason with no goal and just two assists in 13 games.

This followed a regular season where Eberle finished with 51 points in 82 games. As disappointing as this may sound, Staples notes that only 20 right wingers had more points.

Further, the 2008 22nd overall draft pick has previously shown the ability to regularly reach the 60-point mark – a total which would have catapulted him into the top 10. Regardless, this season’s total would still have been good enough for third-best on the Sabres’ roster.

So, let’s assume the Oilers are looking to move Eberle and the Sabres are interested. How realistic would it be to expect him to end up in Western New York?

In theory, the Sabres have the cap space to make it work, but it doesn’t change the fact the 2012 All-Star has a contract worth $6 million for the next two seasons. Would the Oilers be prepared to pick up some of his salary? Who would they want in return? And so on…

Overall, as is often the case in situations like this, trading for Eberle would be a gamble for the Sabres. The question is — again assuming the Oilers will even attempt to move him — does he represent a risk General Manager Jason Botterill considers worth taking?

Ultimately, the likelihood is the 2010 CHL Player of the Year won’t be traded to the Sabres. If the Oilers move him, there will probably be a lot of interest from teams, including the Canucks, Devils, Kings and Blues.


Eberle notes

Strengths: Excellent goal-scoring instincts, awareness and work-ethic.

Weaknesses: Questionable size and strength, not particularly effective in the defensive end.

Stats: 382 points (165 goals & 217 assists) in 507 games, averaging 18:11 ice time.

Best season: (2011-12) career highs in goals (34), assists (42), overall points (76) plus/minus (+4).

Next: 4 takeaways from Jason Botterill's first press conference

What’s your take on the possibility of the Sabres making a move for Eberle? Taking all relevant factors into account, how realistic is it for the winger to end up in Buffalo? Share your thoughts in the comments section.