Since Pascal Dupuis was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs last week, the immediate hockey consideration moving forward (after being crushed for Dupuis, personally) would be how the Pittsburgh Penguins would try to replace him as they carry on.
It didn't take long for the major national media players in the know - the LeBruns, McKenzies and Dregers - to pick up the case and start talking about the Pens options and what other teams might be in the mix. More is still coming out, and it seems like the Edmonton Oilers might be looking to make a deal.
McKenzie said on 690 that he thinks Eberle is being floated. Also mentioned Perron is out there (Dreger said this yesterday).— Matt Brigidi (@mattbrigidi) November 24, 2014
What has happened in the last week? Fortunately for Pittsburgh, the Oilers are falling apart at the seams - losers of four straight games including a 7-1 drubbing to Chicago the last time out. Things are reaching rock bottom for them, after an uninspired loss to New Jersey last week, David Perron had some pretty pointed public comments for his head coach and now, surprise surprise, is being said to be on the trading block.
The Oilers are said to be seeking an NHL level center - something the Penguins almost certainly won't be offering up - so the match might not be ideal. Still, with players like Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington and Derrick Pouliot knocking on the door for NHL playing time, Pittsburgh does have pieces to offer that could step in this year and help Edmonton. And for a team like the Oil, centers might be preferred but realistically they need upgrades all over the lineup if they want to get out of the basement for the first time in nine years.
McKenzie: "David Perron, by the way, is fully in play. In my mind, if they get the right fit, he's as good as gone." #Oilers— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) November 24, 2014
It's not a surprise that the Oil might look to move Perron- he's frustrated, potentially a distraction and is only under contract until 2015. Sooner or later they're going to have to trade him if they want any value for that asset. The whispers about Eberle represent a much bigger opportunity. Eberle is younger (24 years old), signed longer ($6.0 million cap hit through 2019) and a more important core player than Perron, and if either are on the block, Pens GM Jim Rutherford has to be interested.
For Eberle, a fair price, value-wise, has to start with Pouliot - the Penguins best defensive prospect and a potential game-changing offensively minded defenseman. There have to be reservations if that is a trade that Pittsburgh would want to make, but considering all the troubles in finding and keeping top-six wingers for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, it might be necessary. With Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Dumoulin, Harrington and Simon Despres under team control for years to come, the Pens have the luxury of being able to spare even such a dynamic prospect in Pouliot, if they so chose.
In exchange for Perron, a lesser prospect is probably a fair deal. A trade built around one of Dumoulin/Harrington gives Edmonton a likely second pairing, solid NHL player for Perron, a player who certainly seems to want out of town.
It remains to be seen if Rutherford will actually pull a trigger on a major deal, and if he will look to hit a double (Perron) or try for a home-run (Eberle) should it come to that. The Pens have a need, and things are going really bad for Edmonton, this could be just the opportunity to bring in some talent up front for the Pens. It will be very interesting to see how this could develop.