There once was a young and talented right winger who scored zero goals in his first 13 playoff games.
The name of this unfortunate soul?
Timothy Leif Oshie.
Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.
Of course, Oiler fans are more familiar with another young and talented right winger who scored zero goals in his first 13 playoff games: Jordan Leslie Eberle.
Many Oiler fans are demanding that Peter Chiarelli dump Jordan Eberle and sign Oshie.
Some Oiler fans are so blinded by anger and frustration that they’re saying Chiarelli should be fired if he doesn’t leave Eberle exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. One fan even stated on Twitter that Eberle would clear waivers.
Maybe we should all take a deep breath and take some time to think this over.
There are many reasons why replacing Eberle with Oshie might not be such a great idea.
1. We don’t even know if Oshie would want to sign with the Oilers. He’s an American, and Americans tend to want to play in their own country.
2. Oshie is 30 years old–3 years and 143 days older than Eberle. (By the way, it’s Eberle’s 27th birthday today.)
3. After failing to score a goal in his first 13 playoff games, Oshie went on to score 15 goals in his next 42 playoff games. Who’s to say that Eberle couldn’t do something similar?
4. It might be argued that Eberle isn’t built for the playoffs. But both players have similar physical frames, and Oshie registered only 29 hits in his first 13 playoff games. Eberle had 16.
5. Eberle’s contract ($6 million per season) is high, but does anyone expect Oshie to sign for less on the open market?
6. Oshie has produced 417 points in 591 games, while Eberle has amassed 382 points in 507 games. A quick calculation reveals that Eberle has scored more points per game in his career (0.753) than Oshie has (0.705). Oshie has also benefited from playing on better teams than Eberle.
7. It’s possible that replacing Eberle with Oshie would result in the Oilers adding an older, more expensive version of Eberle.
I’m sure if we thought long and hard enough, we could all think of several athletes in many different sports who didn’t produce in their first playoff appearance but who went on to have future playoff success.
Are we certain Jordan Eberle won’t be one of those players?
Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to get rid of him.