It seems that people have been saying Ales Hemsky would be traded from the Oilers almost the entire season, but it has still not happened. The Oilers have been at the bottom of the food chain for the past two years, drafting first overall two years in a row. Edmonton has added a few promising young key pieces in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Magnus Paajarvi. Despite all that talent, they are the second worst team in the Western Conference.
Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini has said many times he won’t be doing anything that would hurt the Oilers long term. They know they are still a few years away from even coming close to contending. So although Edmonton most likely won’t be a huge seller at the deadline, they don’t appear to be a huge buyer either.
To say Ales Hemsky has had a rough year in Edmonton would be quite the understatement. When you look at the stats, you realize that maybe Hemsky was over rated from the beginning. This year he has scored a lackluster 4 goals (the same amount as Ville Leino) and 20 assists. He’s making $5,000,000 this year to do so. It may be lucky for Edmonton that this is the last year of a six year contract with their alternate captain.
In his career, the most goals Hemsky has ever scored in a season is 23 back in 2008-2009. Since he has scored 7 goals and then 14 goals. Not only that, but he also has a history of injuries. Despite that the rumors make it sound like the price for Hemsky is very high. With his contract running out at the end of the season he would be a nice piece to add for a playoff run. That’s really his role in this Trade Deadline, the big name guy to help you push for the playoffs. He may not be the best, but the other options aren’t all that great.
Hemsky is looking for a long term deal in Edmonton, but that doesn’t look likely. The Oilers have a large weakness that they would probably like to address in a Hemsky trade, defenseman. Notice none of the young budding stars I mentioned earlier are on the blue line. They have a few prospects, but no one who will be ready soon. For them to get a solid defenseman for a player who’s contract is running up and they don’t expect to resign would be a major win for the organization.
The Oilers had previously been rumored to also be interested in moving Sam Gagner, but then he went to score what felt like 1000 points in two games so those rumors were put to rest. Nikolai Khabibulin has also been mentioned but Tambellini has said he does not intend to trade him. Hemsky is their big chess piece.
As for the Sabres in all this? I think it’s a long shot the Sabres would even be interested in Hemsky. First of all he’s a winger, and the last thing we need is more wingers. Second of all his contract is up at the end of the season. I don’t know about you, but in my eyes the Sabres playoff push is dormant. Finally, he’s injury prone and costs more money than he’s probably worth. That sound familiar?
Thanks for reading tonight’s Trade Deadline Story Line. In case you missed it the first edition featured Jeff Carter of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Remember to follow me on twitter @GoodsOnSabres and follow @sabrenoise for the latest Trade Deadline news.