Ramblings: A Trade To Announce, Isles Secure Eberle, Battered Bruins (June 15)

Ian Gooding

2019-06-15


With the offseason officially underway, Friday wasn’t exactly a slow news day.

The day was still young when the Capitals and Flyers quickly announced a swap of defensemen. The Capitals traded Matt Niskanen to the Flyers for Radko Gudas. You can read about the fantasy impact here.

From a hockey standpoint, I didn’t get the impression that either fanbase on Twitter was overly enthused about the deal. The Capitals came out of this deal looking a little better, as they will clear some cap space by taking on the less expensive player while not having to pay all of his salary in the process.

*

The Islanders have one less free agent to worry about this offseason. Jordan Eberle has agreed to a five-year contract worth $5.5 million. Given Eberle’s diminishing returns, I was hoping that the Isles would be able to sign him for less than the $6 million per season of his previous contract. This could be a sign that teams are not willing to break the bank on UFAs, but instead invest more on up-and-coming RFAs.

Eberle’s 37 points (19g-18a) in 2018-19 wasn’t even close to his career high. However, don’t forget that he led the Islanders in playoff scoring with nine points (4g-5a) in eight games. That hot streak actually began late in the regular season, when he scored five goals over his last seven games after being reunited with Mathew Barzal. Eberle might be viewed as a player that you have always expected more from, but don’t be surprised if he rebounds a bit in 2019-20. Don’t forget that barring a major offseason signing, Eberle should also be back on the Isles’ first-unit power play.

Now the Islanders will turn their attention to UFAs-to-be Anders Lee and Robin Lehner.

*

Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong told Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto that Jordan Binnington is due for a “big pay raise this summer.” What that could be at this point is anyone’s guess, as there hasn’t been any precedent of another goalie who has followed the same path. Matt Murray or Andrew Hammond might be the most similar examples, though the fact that Binnington is 25 and UFA-eligible in two years makes this scenario unique.

I mentioned in yesterday’s Ramblings the possibility of what could happen if Jake Al