Jordan Eberle came to the New York Islanders in a shocking trade with the Edmonton Oilers that sent Ryan Strome the other way during the summer of 2016. Making $6 million against the salary cap this season, Eberle has the second-highest average annual value of any winger set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
On top of that, Eberle has been a major contributor to the Islanders, who have been said to have easily won the blockbuster trade ever since it took place. So why are there no contract negotiations between the two parties?
On Tuesday, Eberle revealed to NHL.com that he hasn’t begun contract extension talks with the Islanders.
"To be honest I haven't had any conversations with anybody," Eberle said after an informal skate at the Islanders practice facility Tuesday. "Going into the summer I was trying to focus on me and being the best I can be, and come into the camp the best I can be. Once that happens you start trying to fill a role and try to make this team as good as it can be."
The Islanders will be looking for a new start, a new era ever since their former captain and star forward John Tavares signed a lucrative seven-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1st. They surely cannot afford to lose Eberle on top of that. However, you have to wonder, is it Eberle who wants out?
Although the 28-year-old did not say he was looking to leave the Islanders, if that is the case, the team will have to move him ahead of the February trade deadline if it does not want to lose him for nothing.
In the meantime, Eberle prefers to focus on his play and competing with younger players at the upcoming training camp. Maybe - and we say maybe here - he wants to step up his game even more to be a very attractive trade chip later on this year...
“I think with the changes that we’ve had, I think it’s always fun to prove yourself,” Eberle added. “I think there’s going to be some competition in camp and that always makes your team better, and myself included. You want to be a part of that. You want to be able to prove yourself.”