The Edmonton Oilers gave right-winger Jordan Eberle a six-year, $36 million contract extension on Thursday, eight days after signing left-winger Taylor Hall to a seven-year, $42 million extension that stands as the richest deal in franchise history. That gives the Oilers two contracts that average out to about $6 million per year.
Eberle had a very impressive sophomore campaign for Edmonton, scoring 34 goals while adding 42 assists in 78 games, combining for a team-leading 76 points in his second year in the league. Still, though, Oilers fans at The Copper and Blue appear to be skeptical that this was a price worth paying for Eberle, especially given that they don't know if the 22-year-old will be able to produce like this again.
The reason for that scepticism is simple - regression. Eberle's shooting percentage last year was 18.9%. That's very, very high and likely unsustainable. The issues surrounding Eberle's season go beyond that single number but it's the one that raises the questions. A lot of people smarter than me, Scott Reynolds, Jonathan Willis, and Tyler Dellow have all done some excellent work in trying to answer those questions so I'm not going to waste my time or yours by rehashing the details here. And besides, at this point you either agree with the conclusions or you don't, a few more words from me isn't going to change your mind.
Can Eberle sustain the production he put up through that magical second season? It remains to be seen, and that's a huge -- and now, expensive -- question.
Talk about the Eberle contract extension with Oilers fans by heading over to The Copper and Blue.