The Edmonton Oilers are in a playoff spot and comfortably sitting third in the Pacific Division. Weird, we know.
The month before the trade deadline is like an awkward middle school gym class, with each kid wondering which team he/she might go to.
When it comes to the Oilers, who would be their chip to throw in the pile?
One player on their roster has been at the forefront of trade rumors for quite some time now: Jordan Eberle.
The Oilers need to free up a good amount of salary cap space to prepare for the future of the club. It is no secret that Connor McDavid will be asking for more than a pretty penny once his entry-level contract ends in 2018, as will Leon Draisaitl, whose ELC ends after this season.
Elliotte Friedman gave his insights on the matter during a Friday morning interview on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in Calgary.
"I think everything that (Oilers GM) Peter Chiarelli does is with the realization that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have to be re-signed," Friedman said. "So what are those two guys going to be making... $16 million? $18 million? $20 million? I don't know. But you have to be prepared for that.
"They used that (forward depth) last year to get (defenseman Adam) Larsson (from New Jersey). I'm sure if they were looking to deal Eberle (instead). Do they need another defenseman now? I guess you could always use another defenseman. And they do want to re-sign (Kris) Russell too, which only adds to that issue. I think they really think that Eberle needs a change of scenery as much as anything else. I think if they could get that contract off there then it wouldn't be as much as what they would get, it would be as much for they could remove."
So who might be interested?
Boston could certainly use him. The Bruins have been linked for Eberle for the past two seasons. He could play on the wing of David Krejci, bringing more depth to the lineup.
The best teams in the NHL, and the top contenders for the Cup, are able to roll four lines every night, and that is something Boston needs to do if they want to be successful and in the discussion for a playoff run.
But the Bruins aren't alone, as several other clubs, including the Montreal Canadiens, are believed to have explored some recent level of interest in Eberle.