Be The General Manager: Hemsky & The Trade Deadline

Jonathan Willis
February 22 2012 07:30PM

Quite a while back, Robin Brownlee offered fans a chance to work through a couple of hypothetical scenarios where they played the role of Steve Tambellini. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and filed it away in my mind for reference and stealing purposes.

So, presented with the following deadline scenarios, what would you do in the shoes of Steve Tambellini?

Ales Hemsky

Naturally, Ales Hemsky is item number one with a bullet for your consideration. You’ve been talking to his agent, as well as to other teams, trying to get a sense of your options. You have a couple of firm trade offers on the table, and Hemsky’s agent has given you a pair of contract options. Which course do you take?

Re-sign Hemsky short-term. Hemsky’s agent has indicated that his client will accept a one-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.25 million and a firm no-move clause, and he won’t go down on those terms because he wants you to...

Re-sign Hemsky long-term. This is Hemsky’s preferred option. He loves the city and the team and he wants to sign a five-year deal. He’s willing to accept a salary slightly higher than the one Tuomo Ruutu just signed - $5.0 million per season. In exchange for his concessions on salary, he wants a limited no-move clause – at the start of each season he’ll submit a list of five teams he’s willing to accept a trade to. Additionally, if he scores a) 20 goals or b) 65 points in any season, he may not be demoted to the minors at any point in the following year.

Beyond the contract talks, you’ve been talking trade with three teams – the Predators, Kings and Red Wings.

Trade Hemsky to Nashville. Nashville refuses to even discuss Ryan Ellis, but they’re willing to trade Jonathon Blum. After some maneuvering on your part, they say they’d also be willing to swap their second round pick for your third round pick as part of the deal.

Trade Hemsky to Detroit. The Wings held firm for a long time on Brendan Smith, but you held your ground and they’re now willing to move him. However, they’re demanding that you sweeten the pot by also tossing in your third round draft pick.

Trade Hemsky to Los Angeles. Dean Lombardi’s wary of you after the Penner fiasco, but he’s also desperate for scoring and his talks with the Blue Jackets have fallen through. He has two proposals: he’s willing to swap Vyacheslav Voynov straight across, or he’s willing to move Jack Johnson in exchange for Hemsky and Magnus Paajarvi.

Then again, you could always do nothing on the Hemsky front.

Before you make a final decision, another choice has come up.

Goaltending

There really isn’t much of a market for goaltenders right now, but you have had talks with a pair of teams that seem kind of interested: Minnesota and Toronto. Oddly enough, they’re interested in different goalies.

Trade Khabibulin to Toronto. Brian Burke, your old boss, is all too happy to help you out by taking that ancient Russian off your hands. The only thing is that he needs to clear cap space too, and hey, don’t you need defensemen? He’ll give you Mike Komisarek, straight across. In fact, he’ll do you one better – Mike Komisarek and a sixth round pick for Khabibulin and that healthy scratch Theo Peckham. Whaddya say?

Trade Dubnyk to Minnesota. The Wild are hoping to add another body to their lineup, and they know you’re interested in pending UFA Josh Harding. They propose to send you Harding in exchange for Devan Dubnyk and Linus Omark.

The Columbus Option

More out of curiosity than anything else, you also called Scott Howson in Columbus to see if Rick Nash had any interest in being an Oiler. (He doesn’t.) But, since you were on the phone Howson pitched you Jeff Carter. Basically, he really likes Sam Gagner, but he needs a little more than that. So, if you want to trade for Jeff Carter he wants Gagner, a second round pick, and to swap Curtis McElhinney for Yann Danis for the rest of the year. Just to make the deal a little more palatable, he’ll let you throw in Cam Barker – throwing in more bodies should also confuse the fans and help him keep his job.

What do you do?

Naturally, the above is entirely hypothetical.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 Clarko
February 23 2012, 11:14AM
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"Maybe if he went to a different team it would be like a new start," Jagr told the Journal. "Maybe he gets 100 points."

"He's that skilled."

Intersting quote from Jagr on Hemsky. I personally don't mind either of the options that resign Hemsky. The short-term dollar figure doesn't matter because it won't effectour ability to sign the kids and it might give both management and Hemsky to push the reset button on their relationship.

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#102 Smokey
February 23 2012, 11:14AM
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The Beaker wrote:

"Gilbert to St. Louis for Stewart"

Really.... we need to trade away proven defensemen? God this is whats wrong with Edmonton fans.

Stewart from last year, I`m aboard. Stewart this year, I am not sure. You can replace a top four defencemen in Free Agency, a gritty power forward when motovated is more difficult to get. Stewart`s been aweful and has been on the fourth line. Last year he was looking like the next great power forward.

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#103 Smokey
February 23 2012, 11:23AM
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PutzStew wrote:

I wonder if KLowe could get any thing Dan Tencer?

I don`t think we would get pucks. Waiver dump

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#104 Hammers
February 23 2012, 11:26AM
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Keep Hemsky . Trade Belanger . Wins over 50% of his faceoffs . Trouble is Tambellini overpaid and the fans think Hemsky isn't worth $5 mill . I would trade Tambellini.

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#105 Smokey
February 23 2012, 11:26AM
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PutzStew wrote:

Wow. Get rid of Horcoff and some other trash, get a big forward back.

Hats off to you sir.

Whatever your smoking, I would like some sir

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#106 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
February 23 2012, 11:28AM
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I trade hemsky for voynov with a close second being to sign him for one year, i do neither of those goalie deals because although we might be able to use a guy like komisarek the contract is worth more and is lomger than Khabby's and at some ppint we gotta give contracts to the kids, and i woukd never trade that package for a upcoming UFA goalie at this point of the rebuild, if he was an RFA then maybe but still probably not, and no i wouldnt do that trade for Carter, Gagner probably wont outscore Jeff Carter in his career but i believe when Gags hits his prime he'll be almost as good as Carter and gagner's character is 1000x better than Carters so no deal

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#107 nathan
February 23 2012, 11:32AM
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I only like the 1 year deal today if the 5x5M deal is too rich for me (today and after a good run i in June). And if there's a real chance I can extend the 1 year deal over the summer.

In reality I press for a 3-4 year deal a little North of 5M. If I can't do that I look for a 5 year deal with less movement restriction towards the end. I don't object to the no minors clause as you can't bury injured players. Burying a player who can still do some 3rd line duty would take us out of the UFA destinations just when the core should put us on it.

But if all I have is JW's options. I do his 5x5M and pass on all of the other deals. Carter is too much risk to the core in cap room and in getting stay together deals like Toews/Kane.

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#108 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
February 23 2012, 11:37AM
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@justDOit

Right, and your probably the one complaining about the Tilted Kilt add wallpapering this page.

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#109 chris
February 23 2012, 11:38AM
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Only the Detroit option looks almost worth a second look. Jack Johnson is a no go, terrbile career +/- on a decent team. I think patience with Hemsky is the key. Guys recover at different rates...look at Gary Roberts. Hemsky isn't the same as Roberts, but everyone thought Roberts was done with the neck injury but then went on for what another 8 years as a solid contributor? We need to give him time... He's starting to look better and we need secondary scoring.

Is that worth $5M/season.... for 2 years, ABSOLUTELY. For 5 years....ouch..... could put ourself in a pickle cap wise. If he believes in the team and wants to win.... we give on the term, he gives on salary and we can work on the limited no trade, no move. Say $22.5M for 5 years.... $5.5 Mil x 3 years, $3.0 Mil and $3.0 Mil ...cap hit of $4.5 Million..... We get a decent cap hit and makes him attractive to others in year 4 & 5... big cap hit to get to basement, but lower salary.

On the goalies....don't want Komisarek back. We have Sutton. Will not trade Omark within conference for an UFA who can be had for free this summer!

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#110 mayorpoop
February 23 2012, 11:43AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

Right, and your probably the one complaining about the Tilted Kilt add wallpapering this page.

i think it sucks as well. get rid of it already.

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#111 Shredder
February 23 2012, 11:52AM
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While Richard Cloutier isn't the best read all the time (I tire of his writing about fan mail all the time, I get it, he's a blogger that gets ragged on, but he signed up for it)...anyways, as much as I don't necessarily like his blog, I sure have to agree with his comments that he posted on here. I don't like any of the deals proposed by Willis except Voynov for Hemsky (unless I missed some in the comments section).

Personally, I think if we hold out another day or two the price will continue to rise for Hemsky.

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#112 Truth
February 23 2012, 11:54AM
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@ Willis:

What sort of contract do you estimate that Hemsky signs as a UFA if not signed by then?

The reason I ask is that it appears that he is perceived throughout the league as a max second line winger and 5yrs x $5M/yr would seem like the right price he would be signed to as a UFA. If so, maybe it is possible for the Oilers to do the always talked about never accomplished deadline trade away and off-season re-sign. It has to happen one of these days...

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#113 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
February 23 2012, 12:04PM
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Rob... wrote:

Trade Hemsky to L.A. for Penner, on the condition that Penner's wife makes a stack of her delicious vegetarian pancakes as part of the deal; the pancakes will also be signed to a one year deal. Send the pancakes to Calgary for their next first round pick... they're always looking for grit and a stack of pancakes that can knock big DP on his ass is just what the doctor ordered. Then send Penner and the (top 10) first round pick gained from Calgary to Nashville for Ellis or for both Blum and two guaranteed tour opening appearances by Carrie Underwood at the new Downtown Arena.

Im dizzy after that read.

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#114 justDOit
February 23 2012, 12:05PM
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@Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement

Wrong again.

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#115 misfit
February 23 2012, 12:07PM
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5 years @ $5M is fine with me. The only other option I would consider is the Smith deal, but ultimately, I'd keep Hemsky.

I don't make the other trades. Burke can keep Komisarek, and I'm not trading Omark/Dubnyk for a UFA goaltender.

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#116 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
February 23 2012, 12:28PM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

"Ales, 4.6 for six years is our latest offer... Great, welcome aboard, we'll actually try to help you win some meaningful games this time. Remember 2006?... Stupid Marc-Andre Bergeron."

"Dean! Hemmer's off the market. Any luck dealing Dustin? Ha ha ha!"

to: dpoile@predators.nhl.com, kholland@redwings.nhl.com Hey boys, Hemmer's ours 'cause y'all wouldn't get down how it had to be. Good luck both of yous trying to sign Suter in the summer. I'm a gonna prove that defense aint needed in the new NHL. See ya at the draft. LMFAO!

"Burkey, my man. How's your son?.. uh... Anyways, Komi doesn't really fit with the plan, and we're sticking to our plan. We're real dedicated to the plan, and we're going to do it right, the plan... sorry, what? You want me to say WHAT to Kevin?"

"Hey Fletchey-Baby, how's the land of 1000 lakes? 10,000? My bad. Keep your UFA's to themselves. If you really want Omark and Duby, you should ask Heatley if he'll join us now. Or just tell him to go play with the chop saw in the dark or something..."

"Hey Smytty! We forgot about you! Sorry, dude. You know that I've really only been an Oiler for a few years, so I barely understand your legacy here, but man do I wish I was you. Whaddya say to a new deal for the next two years? A little one to help the kiddies stick around. I know you don't want to move... 3mil over 2 years?.. But you're not really that skilled... And your hair is aweful... okay, okay, 3.2 mil for two years, and you have to wash Eberle's laundry over the summer. Good to have you back, bud."

As a very conservative Christian I too have at times said things on the internet that told me that I really needed a few lessons in humanity. I will presume that your silence since the post is you realizing that you went way over the line of decency here and would edit the comment above in to the form of a retraction or apology to those insulted if you could. Wait you can edit, so I presume you stand by the former comment. please think about the pain this could cause someone and what ever humor you think you created will soon fall in to its proper place.

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#118 Wax Man Riley
February 23 2012, 12:47PM
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Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!" wrote:

As a very conservative Christian I too have at times said things on the internet that told me that I really needed a few lessons in humanity. I will presume that your silence since the post is you realizing that you went way over the line of decency here and would edit the comment above in to the form of a retraction or apology to those insulted if you could. Wait you can edit, so I presume you stand by the former comment. please think about the pain this could cause someone and what ever humor you think you created will soon fall in to its proper place.

Huh?

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#119 nathan
February 23 2012, 12:56PM
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If Gregor's right about Hemsky signing for 2 yrs closer to 5.5 per than 5 per, I'd be looking for a 3 year deal 5.25.

Some intentional and unintentional Twitter humor:

rdcloutier: @drunrau @JasonGregor I didn't read Gregor's Hemsky post, if that helps. But he's more in the know than I am.

drunrau: @rdcloutier So are you just RT @JasonGregor's post about Hemsky..without actually RT...or do have your own "Sources"

rdcloutier: Hemsky could be re-signed before the end of the day. Hearing 2 years at $5mil per.

JasonGregor: @timschneider @mc79hockey Be better Tim. I don't pass on garbage for fun. Ideally he'd want longer, but would consider at closer to 11.

timschneider: @mc79hockey @jasongregor source = @FakeOilersGM

JasonGregor: @mc79hockey Both actually...not from managment.

mc79hockey: With that said...I'll believe these leaks when they're coming from Hemsky's side.

mc79hockey: An amazing deal if the Oilers get Hemsky to sign that.

JasonGregor: Hearing Hemsky would consider a 2-year deal at $10-11 million. If I'm the Oilers I sign him to that. Win-win for both prior to RNH new deal.

FakeOilersGM: Working on a complex 4-way trade in which I deal AND acquire Ales Hemsky. Stay tuned.

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#120 FastOil
February 23 2012, 02:07PM
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You have to get quality back for Hemsky. It isn't likely to happen as your ideas show. I would sign him but limit the LNMC to two years and pay a bit for that, front loaded a bit.

I don't see any player I want listed, or that even has better than a slim chance of evening out a deal for Hemsky. Subban is good but I don't see anything uniquely special and I don't like erratic players or big attitudes that don't come with league top play in perpetuity. If we take some of the top consistent players over the last while - Crosby, Hossa, Thornton, Toews, Sedins, Lidstrom, Chara, Webber, Hamhuis - pretty nice guys. Being mouthy or difficult isn't required or desired.

As for Carter, Gagner is younger, has the same PPG essentially even without Glory Days Nite and no Nash, and isn't a malcontent so why do that for a few extra goals?

Unless I can swing a few deals that solidify the team and puts the roster at the point it makes sense to push forward, I will ice the same team again next year because I want the crack at the two great centres. If there even is a season. Plus my owner and most fans don't care!

Well I might clear a little deadwood out to let younger players have a chance to get games in. The team will still lose, but at least something is getting accomplished. For eg. there is no point in Petrell or Hordichuk taking minutes. In fact it's harmful.

If there is no legitimate shot at a playoff run, why give up the quality picks now? Accumulate and when the time is right at least there are enough shiny baubles to trade without poking more holes. And the right time won't be next season sadly IMO. I can take hours of pain.

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#121 Old Soldier
February 23 2012, 02:21PM
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My preferences

Hemsky for 2 years $5 million and limited no trade

Khabby and Omark to Leafs for Aulie and 2nd

Peckham and 5th to Blues for Ben Bishop

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#122 Brownlee loves the word meow
February 23 2012, 02:39PM
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meow im pretty sure @justDOit is actually @Richard Cloutier. He loves ladyboy's. The end.

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#123 ALEX STEENBERGER
February 23 2012, 03:18PM
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@Old Soldier

YES YES YES!!!!! THIS GUY THAT WROTE THIS SHOULD REPLACE MR. TAMBELLINI.

OLD SOLDIER I THINK EVERYONE IN OILER LAND WOULD BE HAPPY IF THIS HAPPENED.

AFTER READY ALL THESE OTHER POSTS YOUR IS THE ONLY ONE THAT MADE SENSE AND REALISTIC.

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#124 Lochenzo
February 23 2012, 03:19PM
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Bear in mind that if we do trade Hemsky, we will need to find somebody to replace him to play in our top 6. When Ryan Smyth was traded, we need to fill his spot on the roster and chased after Vanek and Penner with offer sheets. We landed Penner and gave up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The 1st we gave up was the 10th overall pick which Burke traded down to Buffalo. Buffalo took Tyler Myers, Anaheim took Jake Gardiner.

Steep price to pay to fill the top 6 forward spot vacated by Ryan Smyth in 2007. Just something to be wary of.

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#125 Bucknuck
February 23 2012, 04:49PM
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Sign Hemsky long term but with a front loaded deal so that if his production tails off then he might be attractive to low income teams trying to get to the cap floor.

I would trade Khabibulin, but I would not make the Gagner trade.

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#126 Oilersfan4
February 23 2012, 04:54PM
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Just throwing this out there Oilers 1st round pick to Buffalo for Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers i would do this deal in a second.

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#127 sizedoesmatter
February 23 2012, 05:52PM
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Oilersfan4 wrote:

Just throwing this out there Oilers 1st round pick to Buffalo for Ryan Miller and Tyler Myers i would do this deal in a second.

What if gregorenko turns(not sure of the spelling) Into that big point a game center.good defense will make an average goalie look good.

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#128 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
February 23 2012, 06:25PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Huh?

Do not know what is confusing about what I wrote but I meant every word.

After thinking about it I think I may understand your confusion. Most Conservative Christians are most often seen as carrying signs that would say some thing like "god hates .... or they say things like "... will burn in Hell" the truth is that none of that is christian nor kind, but evil. Christ went to the bad parts of town and loved the people. I am sure He, Christ would of been the first to love Mr Burke's son. I for one felt Mr Burke's pain both as a hockey fan and a human. Go Oilers!!!

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#129 oilersfan4
February 23 2012, 06:50PM
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sizedoesmatter wrote:

What if gregorenko turns(not sure of the spelling) Into that big point a game center.good defense will make an average goalie look good.

I would take the so called average goalie Ryan Miller any day over Bulin or Dubby.To me Ryan Miller is one of the better goalies in the NHL but just having an off year.If the oilers trade there 1st pick for Miller and Myers they help themselves in 2 position they desperately need help at.Even if they don't make that trade I would still draft a dman(Murray)over a second line player just because 2nd line players are easier to get through trade or free agency.

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#130 Oilers4ever
February 23 2012, 07:11PM
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I am not taking any of those trades for Ales... Sorry.. but when he's on his game he's one of the best wingers in the league, and those three trades.. who's blowing sunshine ups who's arse here. Yer all out.. I resign.. 5 years takes him to 33.. I might even look at 6 or 7... for that amount of money and he can play with Hall and Grigorenko for a number of years.

I'll take the trade for Komisarek with TO... big contract but he's better than Peckham by a country mile and we shed Khabby's contract. Forget the Josh Harding trade.. he's as equal as Dubby and has proven nothing and to lose Omark when we can trade him with someone else a little higher up to get a better dman hopefully, no way I make that deal.

Finally, I do the Jeff Carter trade. Forget everything else, Carter is a pure goal scorer and will have more numbers that Gags in his career. Bless Gags soul cuz he's awesome but Carter will get you more... top lines now are:

Hall-Grig-Hemmer Carter-RNH-Ebs

Maybe Carter can play wing.. who knows.. unfortunately this means MPS is out of the picture and I package him with Omark, next years first round pick and Jeff Petry to Nashville for Shea Weber and a 2nd round pick next year and see if they bite.

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#131 Oilers4ever
February 23 2012, 07:14PM
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oilersfan4 wrote:

I would take the so called average goalie Ryan Miller any day over Bulin or Dubby.To me Ryan Miller is one of the better goalies in the NHL but just having an off year.If the oilers trade there 1st pick for Miller and Myers they help themselves in 2 position they desperately need help at.Even if they don't make that trade I would still draft a dman(Murray)over a second line player just because 2nd line players are easier to get through trade or free agency.

I am not sure if I missed anything with the rest of this thread... but there is NO WAY in hell the Oilers first round pick would be enough to get both Miller and Myers out of Buffalo unless their GM is drunker than a skunk when accepting that trade. The first plus a player will get you one of those.. not both.

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#132 Mike Modano's Dog
February 24 2012, 09:35AM
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Trade Hemsky, Khabibulin, Belanger and Hordichuk

I would be looking for:

Anders Lindback, or another pro-ready NHL goaltending prospect

Tim Erixon, with bonus for pissing off the Flames, or another good d-man prospect, hopefully NHL ready or close to it.

Draft picks for MBS. I know we want/need players who can impact our line-up sooner than later, but keep building up our prospects. (We can use UFAs in the summer to get more immediate help.)

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