With his success on the ice in the New York Islanders’ first two playoff games, Jordan Eberle is only helping his stock this summer. The 28-year-old has scored in each of the team’s victories against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs, including the game-winner Friday. And with Eberle’s contract about to end, the skilled winger is getting more and more interested parties looking to sign him this summer, according to the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis. Eberle spoke briefly about the situation:
“It’s not like I’m going on the ice thinking about my contract. I don’t think about it at all, to be honest. You kind of just let things happen as they do. I think the biggest thing is when you’re a kid, you dream of playing in the playoffs, and that chance is here. The farther you go as a team, the better it is for the individual.”
Eberle, who racked up 34 goals back in the 2011-12 season and has since been a consistent 20-goal scorer since, saw his stock declining this year. Considering that he will be 29 when he signs his next contract and a disappointing 2018-19 season in which he’s put up just 19 goals this season, his lowest output since the 2012-13 season, there were many who believed that Eberle’s value would be at an all-time low this summer. Instead a fast start in the playoffs could force him out of the Islanders’ price range.
- After Rick Nash announced his retirement, it was predicted he might find work in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ front office. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) writes that Nash has been seen watching recent games with Columbus management, including president of hockey operations John Davidson, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito, suggesting that he could soon join the team’s management in the near future. “Jarmo’s been doing a lot of chatting with Rick about learning the management aspects of the game,” Davidson said. “They’re just feeling it all out and seeing where it goes. There’s nothing in stone yet.”
- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jared McCann practiced Saturday after being injured in Game 1 of the team’s first-round series against the Islanders. The 22-year-old suffered an upper-body injury and was forced to sit out of Game 2 Friday. However, the forward is optimistic that he should be ready to return to the lineup for Game 3 on Sunday, according to TribLive’s Joe Rutter. “I’m feeling really good,” McCann said. “The last day there didn’t feel great, and I wasn’t comfortable. Today is a different story. I feel good, and we’ll see where we go from there.”