ugg home Strome for Eberle debate heats up with Islanders in town to face Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Strome knows he and Jordan Eberle will be forever linked because of the trade for each other Ryan Strome had his Q with the media Wednesday and the very first query was a hard slapper about Jordan Eberle. No stick handling around the periphery.
Ryan, do you follow how Jordan doing for the New York Islanders? a pretty direct question, laughed Strome. when you get traded you aware of who you traded for. Seriously, I a guy who keeps tabs on the rest of the league especially, when you get traded, you follow your old team. I wouldn say I too fanboy here, but I aware. yes, the Edmonton Oilers third line centre knows that Eberle has 23 goals and has fit nicely with likely rookie of the year centre Mathew Barzal on the Islanders second line. He knows that he and Eberle will be forever linked because of last year trade, with people comparing stats, even if Eberle move to the Islanders was more salary re allocation than a swap.
They wanted to relieve themselves of Eberle $6 million contract and hoped Strome at $2.5 million would punch above his weight and put up better numbers than he did for the Islanders.
Strome and Eberle know they be under the microscope Thursday because that the way people look at a trade. Eberle rolling into town for the first time as an ex Oiler, expecting a big video tribute, and an ovation from the fans until the game wears on and they start to boo the opposing player. In Strome case, he went through that already in Brooklyn in November, going back there.
Eberle played over 500 Oiler games but he the enemy now.
New York Islanders center Jordan Eberle celebrates after scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Chicago. Kamil Krzaczynski / AP
got a lot of good memories from here, still tons of friends on the team. It was an awesome place to play. The crowd, hopefully, they don boo me. Hopefully, they give me a warm welcome, Eberle told reporters after practice in Edmonton on Wednesday.
When Eberle and Taylor Hall were here, they looked like lifers.
But Hall in New Jersey and Eberle with the Islanders.
did the (NHL) media tour before the season in New York. It was kind of weird seeing each other in different jerseys. It funny how things change. You think back to Taylor and I coming into the league and playing together, nobody expected this thing but that the way it went, said Eberle.
In late November, Eberle said the media here had been hard on him.
Edmonton media can be pretty brutal and your confidence goes. When you read articles every day about how much you suck, it tough, he said.
But, he wasn singing that song Wednesday.
me last year, struggling, then not playing well at all in the playoffs last year and being criticized rightfully so it never fun. That just the way it goes, he said.
Was it unfair?
I always said that. The media has never been unfair. They just tell it like it is. If you not paying well, they going to tell you. always grade trades and Eberle vs Strome is no different.
always going to be comparisons made, yet they completely different players. They on different teams for different reasons. said Oilers coach Todd McLellan. teams are on the outside looking in and don want to be where they are now. has come alive in the last month with 14 points in his last 18 games to give him 31 on the season, which is more than he had in his last two years for the Islanders. He might get to 40 points, which is fine for a third line C. He figured out who he is and where he fits. He not going to be Eberle who has 23 goals and 47 points, but we knew that when the transaction was made.
McLellan and I had a talk about what my role was on the team getting to play on the penalty kill has been a big responsibility. I a right hand shot, I think I can read the play. It not like I a pit bull who going to run through guys and block shots but I trying to be in the right areas.
is the most I played at centre. It nice to have a consistent position and the third line has grown. I think I getting an identity. I think I found my niche, he said.
hard coming in as a top five, top seven pick. You expected to produce like Connor (McDavid) does or Leon (Draisaitl) or (Auston) Matthews or Patrik Laine. You evaluated on numbers and Ryans aren that significant, so there a negative feel. We expected him to produce when he first came in and we didn get enough from him, but over the last month where we put him in the middle, where he commanded his own line in a 7 8 9 (forward) role, he done well, said McLellan. seeing his best hockey.