Author Topic: Eberle expects off season changes to create competition at camp  (Read 929 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lennon

  • Administrator
  • Major Junior
  • *****
  • Posts: 199
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Jordan Eberle is extremely interested in seeing how the Edmonton Oilers are going to fill the hole in the middle of the second line.

The Sam Gagner trade this off-season left an opening in the lineup, which no one is sure how the club is going to fill. Whether it’s internally or via another transaction has yet to be determined.

But, if GM Craig MacTavish is unable to make a deal before training camp, it’s expected Mark Arcobello, Leon Draisaitl and Anton Lander will battle for the spot.

“I’ve played with Arco when he was in the AHL and when he was up here last year,” said Eberle. “I think he’s showed that he can play here when he was up here. He performed very well. With contract issues and guys stepping in, he kind of got pushed out of the way. Now that there is a spot open, I know for him he’s probably training hard and looking to take over that. It should be interesting.

“I think anytime you get into camp and there are a couple of spots open, I think it always makes camp more interesting and guys battle that much harder. It’s good to have that competitive edge throughout your whole line up and for your depth chart.”

MacTavish went about addressing a number of key deficiencies this offseason. He acquired depth at the blue line and size throughout the lineup, which the team feels is a necessity to compete in the Western Conference.

Gagner, who struggled last year after having his jaw broken in a preseason game, was traded this summer to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for winger Teddy Purcell. Gagner was then flipped to the newly-branded Arizona Coyotes, along with B.J. Crombeen for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

“It’s tough, I played with (Gagner) for four years and you start to develop a relationship with these guys, then they get traded,” Eberle said. “But that being said, it’s part of the game. I know Sam is looking forward to a new challenge and looking forward to a clean slate. For us, I know we got a great player in return.

“As tough as it is to see a guy go, it’s great that we get a new player and I think Sam is looking forward to a fresh start.”
Imagine! Oilers in the playoffs