Trade rumors swirled around Eberle for the better part of two seasons

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Trade rumors swirled around Eberle for the better part of two seasons, mainly due to his large contract — he has two years and $12 million remaining on the deal — and the Oilers need to lock up several of their young stars, including Leon Draisaitl, a restricted free agent this summer, and Connor McDavid, a RFA next year who is coming off winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s top player this past season.

Though the rumors did not necessarily impact his on-ice production, Eberle admitted to being happy when a trade was finally consummated Thursday.

“A trade has been talked about for a while now, I’m relieved to have it over with,” said the 27-year-old Eberle, who is coming off a 20-goal, 51-point season in 2016-17. “I’m looking for a fresh, new start.”