Likely due for a raise. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Extend Those Kids

You think Hall and Eberle mind being called “the kids”?  You think they’ll turn 30 and we’ll still call them ‘the kids’?

Will Sidney Crosby ever not be ‘the kid’?

Sometimes, it’s good to wait things out. Sometimes, you’ll get a better deal. A better rate on a loan, you’ll wait a few minutes and get a fresh batch of doughnuts, or you’ll wait for your ship to come in.

In the world of contracts and hockey relationships, I’m not sure that waiting is the best way to do business.

WHY NOT WAIT?

Today, the Carolina Hurricanes announced they’ve extended 20 year old centre Jeff Skinner for six years at a total of $34.35M.  On the surface, that might not mean too much to the Oilers and their fans, but it sets a line in the sand going forward.  Skinner is a .73 PPG player (averaging very close to 3 points per four games in his two year career).  That not too shabby.

Let’s compare Skinner with two cats named Hall and Eberle.

SKINNER:  .73 PPG in 146 GP

HALL: .75 PPG in 126 GP

EBERLE: .81 PPG in 147 GP

If you didn’t see where I was going, you now do.  Both Hall and Eberle have exceeded Skinner’s scoring average, and will likely command contracts that likely at least match the term and / or dollar amount.  The Oilers could’ve avoided this scenario by becoming proactive and firing off a contract as soon as Los Angeles raised the Cup.  Now, they’ve got a number in the open that’s in the minds of agents.

BUT THE CBA!

As a guy who watches the games, the only clause I’m worried about in the CBA right now is when players will become eligible for their UFA years.  As it stands, players become unrestricted free agents by the time they turn age 27 or have seven years of service in the NHL.  I have a hard time thinking either side will slide on that number, but right now, I know that If Hall gets a five year deal, that’d put him at eight years of NHL service, and the Oilers would be taking him past the first year of free agency.  If the club doesn’t have any ulterior motives with Jordan Eberle, they ought to do something similar.

After all of the CBA dust settles, is there a chance that the UFA age rises in favour of the owners?  Sure.  The Islanders and Oilers could also meet in the 2013 finals, though I wouldn’t throw a satchel of money at that idea either.

Be proactive in this one, Oilers.  Sign ‘em up.

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Tags: Contracts Jordan Eberle Taylor Hall

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