Phoenix could be a good trade destination for Ales Hemsky

Jonathan Willis
February 11 2014 06:21PM

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If the Edmonton Oilers do in fact plan to move veteran right wing Ales Hemsky at this year’s NHL trade deadline, the Phoenix Coyotes may well be a good fit as the team on the other end of that transaction.

Why it Works for Phoenix

Don Maloney

According to the Arizona Republic Coyotes general manager Don Maloney hopes to improve his team’s scoring but faces a marketplace that offers little in the way of affordable options. Most of the problems come at even-strength. Phoenix presently ranks tied with Chicago for sixth in the NHL in goals scored five-on-four but tied (with Florida and Detroit) for just 15th in five-on-five offence.

Hemsky might be able to help with that. More to the point, he’s exactly the kind of player the Coyotes have traditionally added to their team. Phoenix has built a reasonably competitive team on the cheap thanks to good drafting and development, smart free agent contracts and trades for underappreciated players. Hemsky fits the latter bill right now, and may qualify under the second this summer.

Hemsky is also a reasonably responsible defensive forward, and has been used of late on a designated defensive line. That’s the kind of thing that makes him a natural for a Dave Tippett-coached team.

Why It Works For Edmonton

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It seems a nearly foregone conclusion that Hemsky’s time in Edmonton is nearly over. It’s seemed that way before, but now with both Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov playing ahead of the veteran Czech on the right wing a move makes more sense today than it ever has in the past.

Phoenix has a lot of assets that might be of interest to the Oilers, too. Looking just at prospects, the Coyotes system is well-stocked. It’s been widely speculated for years that the Oilers would love to add gritty centre Henrik Samuelsson to their organization and would have taken him over Mitch Moroz in 2012. Big prospects like Lucas Lessio, Chris Brown and especially right-shooting rearguard Connor Murphy (one of three excellent defence prospects in the system) are also likely to appeal to the Oilers.

There is a lot here for Edmonton to be enticed by, if the Coyotes are looking to add a little more scoring as they push for a playoff spot.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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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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#1 the tikk
February 11 2014, 06:32PM
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If the Oilers are going to trade away NHL players for assets, I certainly prefer they get somewhat-developed prospects over draft picks.

Either way - whatever we get for Hemsky will almost certainly NOT make us a better hockey team next year. And whoever slots into his place on the 3rd line will almost certainly be a downgrade.

Fun times.

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#2 Taylor Gang
February 11 2014, 06:32PM
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I've thought that Hemmer would go to Phoenix as well. What if we traded Hemsky for Rundblad? He has been a healthy scratch this year but seems to be a promising defenseman.

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#3 David S
February 11 2014, 06:40PM
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I imagine Travis Dakin is fuelling up his pickup right now in Fort Mac getting ready to take a trip down to OKC to "tune you in", Dakin style.

Just a guess though.

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#4 David S
February 11 2014, 06:42PM
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But I do agree with your POV Jonathan. And whoo boy could we use some of what Phoenix has.

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#5 Oilerz4life
February 11 2014, 06:46PM
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If Phoenix is looking for an injury prone underachiever then Hemsky should be a good fit.

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#6 DSF
February 11 2014, 06:53PM
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Phoenix might well like a boost in offence but let's put some perspective on value.

Hemsky has 7 goals, 17 assists and 24 points and a cap hit of $5M.

Another 3rd line winger who actually gets fewer PP minutes than Hemsky is Mason Raymond who has 16 goals 19 assists and 35 points and a cap hit of $1M.

While Hemsky may well score a bit more, if given top 6 minutes in Phoenix, remember he is a playoff rental so likely wouldn't return much more than a 2nd round pick at the deadline.

It might be better to keep him if he will re-sign for 3rd line dollars.

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#7 Taylor Gang
February 11 2014, 07:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Phoenix might well like a boost in offence but let's put some perspective on value.

Hemsky has 7 goals, 17 assists and 24 points and a cap hit of $5M.

Another 3rd line winger who actually gets fewer PP minutes than Hemsky is Mason Raymond who has 16 goals 19 assists and 35 points and a cap hit of $1M.

While Hemsky may well score a bit more, if given top 6 minutes in Phoenix, remember he is a playoff rental so likely wouldn't return much more than a 2nd round pick at the deadline.

It might be better to keep him if he will re-sign for 3rd line dollars.

I would take a second round pick and not look back for Hemsky if I'm honest

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#8 **
February 11 2014, 07:25PM
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same divison, don't see it happening, besides, the oilers still wouldn't have anyone to cover for the 3rd right wing spot.

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#9 Zarny
February 11 2014, 07:25PM
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Phx probably would be a good fit. Det, Pit, Phi, LA and Chi are also rumored to be interested in Hemmer.

Brendan Morrow + 3rd returned prospect Joe Morrow and 5th last year. Probably looking at similar value with Hemmer. Might only be a 2nd round pick but a prospect like Simon Despres or a top 9 F like Clifford would be better.

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#10 oilcountryforlife
February 11 2014, 07:28PM
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I have always liked Hemsky...there I said it. Before his shoulder surgery he was a great player, now it seems that he just doesn't have the same spark and hey, let's face it, he plays as a European player on a team that can't get the puck out of their own end...he wants to fly but often is left holding the bag ...just doesn't seem to be a fit anymore. Too bad. He's a really good player. Hope the Oilers

a. get a great player for him b. enjoy the lower cap hit although I'd take Hemmer over Eberle or Gagner anyday c. dont' whine when we suck just a little bit more without him.

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#11 @Oilanderp
February 11 2014, 07:39PM
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If he's going to test free agency, then I guess get what you can. If not, then you had better keep that guy. I mean really... who are you going to get in return that is going to be better than Hemsky?

No one right now, and probably no one that will develop into someone better than him in the future.

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#12 The Farmer
February 11 2014, 07:40PM
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"IF ONLY WE HAD A VETERAN PRESCENCE TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD ON THE KIDS!"

"WHY CAN'T WE GET ANYTHING FOR HEMSKY?"

"IF ONLY THERE WAS A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSE!"

ahh the life of an Oilers fan.

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#13 jesus doesn't exist
February 11 2014, 07:48PM
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DSF wrote:

Phoenix might well like a boost in offence but let's put some perspective on value.

Hemsky has 7 goals, 17 assists and 24 points and a cap hit of $5M.

Another 3rd line winger who actually gets fewer PP minutes than Hemsky is Mason Raymond who has 16 goals 19 assists and 35 points and a cap hit of $1M.

While Hemsky may well score a bit more, if given top 6 minutes in Phoenix, remember he is a playoff rental so likely wouldn't return much more than a 2nd round pick at the deadline.

It might be better to keep him if he will re-sign for 3rd line dollars.

yeah hemsky has an average of 2:20 a game on the pp. raymonds at 1:59. raymond has also played 157 more minutes at even strength than hemmer. raymond is at .58 pts per game where hemsky is at .47.

its logical to assume hemsky would be putting up more points if he was playing as much as raymond.

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#14 Dleitch19
February 11 2014, 08:04PM
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Call me crazy but I thought we could send hemmer to Pittsburgh and maybe get Simon despres , he's 6'4 205lbs with 69 games under his belt. Think he would be a better option than belov

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#15 Pouzar99
February 11 2014, 08:11PM
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When the bidding heats up come trade deadline day Hemsky might fetch more than some people think. If he goes to a genuine contender they may be willing to give up their late first round pick as Hemmer is likely to re-sign with them if things go reasonably well. He has never been a hard bargainer in the deals he signed with the Oilers. Phoenix makes sense but so do many other teams, such as LA, which badly need offence. Frankly an experienced guy with talent like Hemsky could be a genuine difference maker for many teams who think they could go a long way or all the way. He might be a good fit for a heavy team like St. Louis for example. One things is for sure. The Oilers should be in on the action come deadline day, draft day, free agency opening day, etc. We have assets to trade and holes to fill and nobody is too worried as us a threat. As for the comment that the Oil wont want to trade within their division. If they are willing to ship Smid to Calgary, why wouldn't they trade Hemmer to Pheonix IF we can fill a hole or grab a prospect we are confident will soon fill one, but no, Samuelson is not enough. He could well turn out to be an ideal, tough third line winger, but he also might never make it.

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#16 TonyT
February 11 2014, 09:00PM
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I think you deal Hemsky for whatever the best return is, IF management has a plan in place not involving trading one of Yakupov or Eberle. If they plan on trading one of the two for a defenseman this summer, I'd rather they keep Hemsky.

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#17 Chambers
February 11 2014, 09:24PM
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Trading Hemsky..what an outdated stale topic. Fact remains Oilers franchise does not have the leadership that is able to pull off major trades. Earth shattering news for everyone!

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#18 Oiler Al
February 11 2014, 09:25PM
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Hemsky and Gagner to Nashville for Roman Josi.

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#19 HappyHarryHardOn
February 11 2014, 09:32PM
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Is it a pipe dream to think we could pry Samuelsson from Phx in exchange for Hemmer?

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#20 bulldog12
February 11 2014, 09:58PM
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Last night on sports net they said if MacT can find anyone that will take Hemsky he should drive him all the way to his new team. Were not getting a 1st,2nd,3rd or even a prospect for Hemsky. A case of Bud Light and a bag of pucks should do it. All he's doing is taking up a stall in the dressing room and taking away minutes from a young guy. The sooner non factor gets out of town the better.

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#21 Randaman
February 11 2014, 10:05PM
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HappyHarryHardOn wrote:

Is it a pipe dream to think we could pry Samuelsson from Phx in exchange for Hemmer?

Oiler fans today must be living in a make believe world these days. You don't want to trade Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, etc unless the return is huge. I see lots of comments on here about this organization overvaluing players. I don't think the fan base is any better. I've been an Oiler fan from day 1 but you people have no clue. Value for value. Business is business no matter if it's hockey or engineering. Just sayin...

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#22 Randaman
February 11 2014, 10:06PM
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HappyHarryHardOn wrote:

Is it a pipe dream to think we could pry Samuelsson from Phx in exchange for Hemmer?

Oiler fans today must be living in a make believe world these days. You don't want to trade Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, etc unless the return is huge. I see lots of comments on here about this organization overvaluing players. I don't think the fan base is any better. I've been an Oiler fan from day 1 but you people have no clue. Value for value. Business is business no matter if it's hockey or engineering. Just sayin... Sorry for the double post. Kind of like what you people expect for Hemsky, double what he's worth.

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#23 madjam
February 11 2014, 10:18PM
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Does it make much sense to let Hemsky go for a developmental prospect , and lose one of the few veterans we have that is very usable for the next 5 or so years ? If Gagner is worth almost $5M then Hemsky should be worth at least that to keep him here . Not like we have an abundance of good usable veteran NHL players on our team to begin with . I say Oilers will try to resign him .

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#24 The Beaker
February 11 2014, 10:33PM
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madjam wrote:

Does it make much sense to let Hemsky go for a developmental prospect , and lose one of the few veterans we have that is very usable for the next 5 or so years ? If Gagner is worth almost $5M then Hemsky should be worth at least that to keep him here . Not like we have an abundance of good usable veteran NHL players on our team to begin with . I say Oilers will try to resign him .

dont know why im about to bother but saying "if we overpayed this player by this much we might as well just keep overpaying this player too" is bad bad bad management.

If you could sign Hemsky here on a value contract then ive got no real problem with it. But thats some backwards logic you have going there.

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#25 madjam
February 11 2014, 10:48PM
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The Beaker wrote:

dont know why im about to bother but saying "if we overpayed this player by this much we might as well just keep overpaying this player too" is bad bad bad management.

If you could sign Hemsky here on a value contract then ive got no real problem with it. But thats some backwards logic you have going there.

Next season with cap going up it won't be the suppressed market place it is today . Hemsky , and others like him should have little problem going to free agency and getting close or over the $5M . Why would he sign a value contract here , if thru free agency he'll probably not have to take a pay cut at all . The market changes next season , and so should ones logic to accommodate that increase .

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#26 Harry
February 11 2014, 10:49PM
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Randaman wrote:

Oiler fans today must be living in a make believe world these days. You don't want to trade Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, etc unless the return is huge. I see lots of comments on here about this organization overvaluing players. I don't think the fan base is any better. I've been an Oiler fan from day 1 but you people have no clue. Value for value. Business is business no matter if it's hockey or engineering. Just sayin...

I could not agree more. For the life of me I will never understand the love for Hemsky sure he had one or two good seasons but wow people are so out to lunch thinking he is part of the solution for Edm.

Enough of the madness already!! Resigning him is a terrible idea so get ANYTHING you can for him. The sooner the better

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#27 Taylor EberKins
February 11 2014, 11:59PM
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Josh Oiler wrote:

Phoenix is a conventional team with a conventional GM.

I will tell you where Mr. HEMSKEY ends up before Darren DREGER does?

NEW JERSEY.

There you heard it here first. The Czech boys on the Devils roster are trying to persuade Hemmer to sign there this summer anyway. And Hemmer has told this to MACTAVISH that he would prefer to go to Jersey as a trial before he long term signs as a unrestricted free agent.

Lamoriello knows this so he isn't giving up too much. MACTAVISH asked for a 2nd rounder and Lamoriello countered with a 5th. IT WILL HAPPEN.

I was aware about the whole free agency - New Jersey thing. But MacT should just settle for a fourth rounder.

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#28 Fuhr4Life
February 12 2014, 01:53AM
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Lets be realistic, Hemsky is only 30 and highly skilled just getting 3rd line minutes or else his numbers would be higher and everybody in the league knows this. However, he will not fetch us a 1-3rd round pick or a young prospect, which don't need anyways. So we should look at playoff teams that need a playing making skilled Top 6 forward (He still is) and have high priced veterans that they are trying to ship out to suit their team needs.

1. St.Louis - They have been shopping Chris Stewart who is exactly what the Oil need! A 2 way power forward who can hit and score a little (18 G in 48 GO 2012), 6 year vet and only 26. The Blues need scoring so we give them Hemmer, 2nd Rounder, and choice of minor league prospect not named Nurse, Klefbom of Khaira. Edm has a good GM relationship with them, Salaries match up, Boom! Win-Win for both sides.

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#29 MessyEH
February 12 2014, 02:26AM
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HappyHarryHardOn wrote:

Is it a pipe dream to think we could pry Samuelsson from Phx in exchange for Hemmer?

I wonder if Hemsky and next year's 3rd gets it done.

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#30 The Beaker
February 12 2014, 06:27AM
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madjam wrote:

Next season with cap going up it won't be the suppressed market place it is today . Hemsky , and others like him should have little problem going to free agency and getting close or over the $5M . Why would he sign a value contract here , if thru free agency he'll probably not have to take a pay cut at all . The market changes next season , and so should ones logic to accommodate that increase .

The point is that overpaying guys repeatedly "because it doesnt hurt too much right now" means big problems for the team long term. People overpay in FA. That means they pay too much. I dont see the logic in saying "we should pay too much for our players just because someone else might"

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#31 gcw_rocks
February 12 2014, 06:53AM
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If the Oilers trade Hemsky for Samuelson, I certainly could live with that. Samuelson is exactly the kind of player the Oilers need, and has been noted many times, forwards take less time to develop than defencemen.

If they need to through in a sweetner like Simpson to make the trade happen, I can live with that too.

Say, Hemsky and Simpson for Samuelson and a pick?

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#32 T&A4Flames
February 12 2014, 07:57AM
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madjam wrote:

Does it make much sense to let Hemsky go for a developmental prospect , and lose one of the few veterans we have that is very usable for the next 5 or so years ? If Gagner is worth almost $5M then Hemsky should be worth at least that to keep him here . Not like we have an abundance of good usable veteran NHL players on our team to begin with . I say Oilers will try to resign him .

That the problem, Gagner is NOT worth almost $5mil.

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#33 derrickhands
February 12 2014, 08:58AM
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Samuelsson has all the skills, but he takes too many nights off for my liking.

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#34 Joy S. Lee
February 12 2014, 09:15AM
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Taylor EberKins wrote:

I was aware about the whole free agency - New Jersey thing. But MacT should just settle for a fourth rounder.

That's great that you are aware of some backroom dealings taking place already.

However, a 4th or 5th for Hemsky? Any return offer of LESS than a 2nd rounder (at the deadline) should automatically trigger a prospect for veteran deal. In other words, any offers of a pick less than a 2nd rounder means MacT must go for a prospect, because later picks are not enough on their own for what Hemsky should bring to his new team.

Potentially, the guy could be really something in the right environment. We all know that, because we've waited years to see it, before realizing he was in the wrong environment.

Other teams know this, too. If Lou gets Hemsky for a 4th or 5th round pick, MacT may never live it down. On the other hand, he doesn't fit here, so MacT has to get max value with an unsuccessful player (they are all unsuccessful here).

Get a fairly high pick, or a prospect who is already developing, or a combination of both. But don't give him away for nothing. His potential is enticing enough for at least 1 of about 24 teams to take a calculated gamble on the payoff. MacT just has to find the right partner, with the right piece(s), who wants to take that chance.

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#35 DSF
February 12 2014, 09:16AM
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jesus doesn't exist wrote:

yeah hemsky has an average of 2:20 a game on the pp. raymonds at 1:59. raymond has also played 157 more minutes at even strength than hemmer. raymond is at .58 pts per game where hemsky is at .47.

its logical to assume hemsky would be putting up more points if he was playing as much as raymond.

Hemsky:

P/60 5V5 - 1.32

P/60 5V4 - 3.73

CAP HIT $5 MILLION

Raymond:

P/60 5V5 - 1.64

P/60 5V4 - 5.25

CAP HIT $1 MILLION

Mason Raymond is obviously far more effective at even strength and on the power play.

When you factor in that Hemsky gets paid 5 times as much as Raymond, it's a no brainer.

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#36 Lochenzo
February 12 2014, 09:17AM
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I doubt that Phoenix would part with him, but in these conversations that we have had regarding finding a more complete #2 centre, Martin Hanzal is an interesting player. Good size, good in the dot, responsible defensively, may pot 20 by the end of the year. Obviously it's a drop in the offence from what we know Sam can bring, but Martin has the other attributes that we are looking for.

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#37 Lochenzo
February 12 2014, 09:19AM
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DSF wrote:

Hemsky:

P/60 5V5 - 1.32

P/60 5V4 - 3.73

CAP HIT $5 MILLION

Raymond:

P/60 5V5 - 1.64

P/60 5V4 - 5.25

CAP HIT $1 MILLION

Mason Raymond is obviously far more effective at even strength and on the power play.

When you factor in that Hemsky gets paid 5 times as much as Raymond, it's a no brainer.

Raymond's contract is an outlier though. He was coming off an injury when the cap was shrinking and couldn't find work. If he were to sign today, he'd get around $3-4 million easily.

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#38 Rama Lama
February 12 2014, 09:34AM
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If speculation is true, then the value of Hemsky goes up just prior to the deadline.

If we cannot get a prospect or at the minimum a second round draft choice I say we try and sign him over the summer on a value deal.

The idea of trading Henrik Samuelsson for Hemsky would be perfect......but there is no way Phoenix does this without getting another draft pick in the mix.

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#39 DSF
February 12 2014, 10:42AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

Raymond's contract is an outlier though. He was coming off an injury when the cap was shrinking and couldn't find work. If he were to sign today, he'd get around $3-4 million easily.

While I agree it is unusual, very few teams pay 3rd liners $3-4 million.

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#40 Taylor Gang
February 12 2014, 12:22PM
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DSF wrote:

While I agree it is unusual, very few teams pay 3rd liners $3-4 million.

A lot of teams pay 3rd liners 3 million dollars; that's basically the norm these days. 4 million is a different story.

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#41 Zarny
February 12 2014, 12:35PM
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Randaman wrote:

Oiler fans today must be living in a make believe world these days. You don't want to trade Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, etc unless the return is huge. I see lots of comments on here about this organization overvaluing players. I don't think the fan base is any better. I've been an Oiler fan from day 1 but you people have no clue. Value for value. Business is business no matter if it's hockey or engineering. Just sayin...

Based on the comment you replied to it sounds more like you that doesn't have a clue.

Far more common are comments from fans who have wet their pants and lost all perspective regarding players like Gagner and Hemsky. "Worth nothing" is the most common drivel and patently absurd.

Brendan Morrow was packaged last year at the deadline for D prospect Joe Morrow. Morrow was drafted 23rd overall; Samuelsson was drafted 27th overall. Hemsky's numbers virtually mirror Morrow's over the last 2 years. Prior to 2 years ago Hemsky was by far the superior offensive player.

Samuelsson is exactly the type of prospect the Oilers can expect to get in return for Hemmer. Or perhaps Simon Despres from Pit. It might take a pick to get the deal done. C'est la vie.

You're right about one thing. Business is business. And other GM's know the value of a player like Hemsky. He's not the player who was close to pt/gm in his prime. But with top 6 min he's still 45-50 pt. That has value.

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#42 K_Mart
February 12 2014, 12:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Phoenix might well like a boost in offence but let's put some perspective on value.

Hemsky has 7 goals, 17 assists and 24 points and a cap hit of $5M.

Another 3rd line winger who actually gets fewer PP minutes than Hemsky is Mason Raymond who has 16 goals 19 assists and 35 points and a cap hit of $1M.

While Hemsky may well score a bit more, if given top 6 minutes in Phoenix, remember he is a playoff rental so likely wouldn't return much more than a 2nd round pick at the deadline.

It might be better to keep him if he will re-sign for 3rd line dollars.

it would definitely be better to keep him if he'd sign for 3rd line dollars... but I just don't see him doing that over testing free agency.

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#43 Hall of a Player
February 12 2014, 01:15PM
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Randaman wrote:

Oiler fans today must be living in a make believe world these days. You don't want to trade Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky, etc unless the return is huge. I see lots of comments on here about this organization overvaluing players. I don't think the fan base is any better. I've been an Oiler fan from day 1 but you people have no clue. Value for value. Business is business no matter if it's hockey or engineering. Just sayin... Sorry for the double post. Kind of like what you people expect for Hemsky, double what he's worth.

Thanks for posting this twice, so I could trash it twice.

I don't think people are saying trade them for a huge return, but you do have to get value for them, and something to help the team, otherwise why do the deal?

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#44 Lmao
February 12 2014, 03:09PM
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Dleitch19 wrote:

Call me crazy but I thought we could send hemmer to Pittsburgh and maybe get Simon despres , he's 6'4 205lbs with 69 games under his belt. Think he would be a better option than belov

You're crazy (you asked for it).

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#45 BLAKPOO
February 12 2014, 04:14PM
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Pointing out that Hemsky's a 3rd liner is not really an adequate representation of his skill level. There's quite a few skilled forwards in the league that would be on the 3rd line behind Eberle and Yakupov.

If Hemsky was the best option to play with Hall and Nuge all year, his point totals would be considerably higher.

Just because he's redundant on a team that has nothing other than skilled forwards doesn't mean his skill wouldn't be welcome on a team that is struggling to score goals.

The deadline return for him will be dictated by the other team's desperation to add scoring punch to their top 6, not by our assessment of him as a 3rd line RW.

Is he worth a Henrik Samuelsson to Phoenix? Not a chance straight up. If I'm MacT though, and Henrik's even a consideration, I'm moving assets to bring him in.

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#46 DSF
February 12 2014, 06:03PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

A lot of teams pay 3rd liners 3 million dollars; that's basically the norm these days. 4 million is a different story.

For example?

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#47 Chainsawz
February 12 2014, 07:43PM
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@DSF

I got to Boston and found both Kelly and Eriksson at $3 million and over each.

Carolina is either paying one of Ruutu or J Staal over $3 million to play on the third line, depends which line is considered the third.

Calgary is paying Cammelleri $6 million for third line minutes.

I'm going alphabetically and stopping now.

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#48 Chainsawz
February 12 2014, 07:53PM
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What Hemsky makes is such a strawman discussion point when talking about the player anyway.

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#49 Harry
February 12 2014, 07:55PM
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People who want Hemsky resigned are the same people who dont want Gagner traded. Get out of the way, your part of the problem.

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#50 drunken_Master
February 12 2014, 08:39PM
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gagner + hemsky to Phoenix for Vermetter or Hanzal .. make it happen MacT!

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