Welcome to left wing, Ales Hemsky

Jonathan Willis
February 24 2014 12:30PM

83-Hemsky-2

For the most part, the Edmonton Oilers’ forward line combinations at their first full Olympic practice were what one would expect. The first overall picks were kept together, as they had been before the Olympic break. The bottom-nine skaters were exactly the same too, except for one switch: Ales Hemsky took David Perron’s role as second line left wing, while Perron took Hemsky’s spot on the checking line.

What This Isn’t

57-Perron-9

Perron, stylistically, is probably a slightly better fit for the third line than the second line but for lots of reasons that isn’t what’s driving this. Perron has history at left wing; Hemsky’s only played a few games there. The top six needs Perron’s chippy play in a worse way than the third line does. Hemsky’s actually been pretty good in a third line role this season.

I’m guessing it also isn’t a desire to try Hemsky at left wing that’s driving this decision. Moving Hemsky to left wing doesn’t really make it much easier to keep him than playing him at right wing does; it just switches the competition from Eberle and Yakupov to Hall and Perron. Unless the Oilers have another destination in mind for Perron (which may be possible depending on return) that move doesn’t help.

What This Is

83-Hemsky-9

So what is driving this? There’s an obvious answer: trade value.

Ales Hemsky showed at the Olympics that he’s still capable of impacting the game in an offensive way. For the Czechs, he worked his way up the lineup after starting as the 13th forward, and by the end of the tournament was the most efficient scorer on a team boasting a bunch of NHL’ers. Two goals against Team USA in a quarterfinal game where much of the Czech team neglected to show up were a fine (personal) end to the tournament, and it’s hard not to wonder what Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was thinking as he saw Hemsky’s performance – especially since Pittsburgh is in need of help at right wing.

Hemsky likely caught a lot of eyes with his Olympic play, and the Oilers can best take advantage of it by ensuring he gets opportunities to keep on rolling. The coaching staff won’t want to disrupt a top line that was looking good, so that leaves two wing positions open and it makes more sense to swap Hemsky with Perron than with Jordan Eberle.

There’s an opportunity here for Hemsky to make a good impression on someone. The Oilers play three games before the NHL trade deadline, all of them at home and all of them against beatable opposition (Minnesota, Calgary, Ottawa). Hemsky’s playing out of position, but he’s playing with good players and a couple of good games in a row here could do wonders for the return Edmonton gets.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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.
Avatar
#1 horndog77
February 24 2014, 01:32PM
Trash it!
57
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

So would the oilers first this year plus next years and Gagner and Klefbom be enough to get Shea Weber? I would hope so. Stud defensemen are not cheap, and only way I see Edmonton getting what they need is by packaging players and picks

Avatar
#2 Randaman
February 24 2014, 02:21PM
Trash it!
26
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
bazmagoo wrote:

Hemsky to Pittsburgh for Simon Despres. Simon is right on the cusp of making the NHL and is putting us some solid numbers down in the AHL. Has some NHL experience, size, left sided. Perfect fit for the Oilers.

Still a prospect, so no guarantee he's a difference maker, but he's much better than a pick in my opinion.

You have to be kidding, right? Oiler fans seem to think Hemsky is worth 2 first rounders and a valuable prospect. And we wonder why we sit 29th. Geesh. Some Oiler fans are just as stupid as management.

Avatar
#3 bazmagoo
February 24 2014, 01:39PM
Trash it!
24
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers

@horndog77

Personally I think the only trade for a #1 d-man that really makes sense is for the Oilers to trade Eberle to Phoenix for Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Perfect potential partner for Justin Schultz, playing big minutes for the Coyotes currently. Both have 5 years left on their contract, similar dollar values. Oilers have an abundance of forwards, Coyotes have an abundance of defensemen. Sounds like a match to me. Do it MacT!

Avatar
#4 bazmagoo
February 24 2014, 01:35PM
Trash it!
17
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

@Taylor Gang

Hemsky to Pittsburgh for Simon Despres. Simon is right on the cusp of making the NHL and is putting us some solid numbers down in the AHL. Has some NHL experience, size, left sided. Perfect fit for the Oilers.

Still a prospect, so no guarantee he's a difference maker, but he's much better than a pick in my opinion.

Avatar
#5 Will
February 24 2014, 01:17PM
Trash it!
12
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Taylor Gang wrote:

It's funny that I was thinking about how great Hemsky would look in a Pens uniform. I think he's the most likely contending team that will make a run for him IMO.

The question is: what sort of return could we see? Pittsburgh's 1st and a mediocre prospect? Pittsburgh's 1st rounder has far less value than Edmonton's, so it's not like it would fetch the same return. Also, they may want to guarantee the chance to acquire Hemsky considering that he is a great fit.

My bet, and there is no evidence backing this up, but I think Mac T wants to trade our 1st round pick for some immediate help on D, but also doesn't want to miss out on a 1st round selection. It seemed he had a tough ass time trading the pick on draft day, so my thought is that he wants to secure a lower pick with a trade, then e can safely trade away our first round selection. Sure we miss out on Ekblad or a potential second line centre, but the time for waiting for draft picks to develop into a player that can help the team.

I know they don't want to sell the future for possible help now, but guaranteed help might be a different story.

Avatar
#6 D
February 24 2014, 12:43PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Cheers
115
cheers

I like Hemsky and will be sad to see him go.

Avatar
#7 Rick Stroppel
February 24 2014, 12:48PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
36
cheers

TRADE WITH DETROIT?

Zetterberg plays left wing. Maybe Holland phoned MacTavish and said "We really need help on left wing...but I don't know if Hemsky could play there...would be nice to see him in that position for a few games". If Hemsky is smart (and I think he is) he will play like a demon.

Avatar
#8 Taylor Gang
February 24 2014, 01:04PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
15
cheers

It's funny that I was thinking about how great Hemsky would look in a Pens uniform. I think he's the most likely contending team that will make a run for him IMO.

The question is: what sort of return could we see? Pittsburgh's 1st and a mediocre prospect? Pittsburgh's 1st rounder has far less value than Edmonton's, so it's not like it would fetch the same return. Also, they may want to guarantee the chance to acquire Hemsky considering that he is a great fit.

Avatar
#9 Taylor Gang
February 24 2014, 02:35PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
23
cheers
horndog77 wrote:

So would the oilers first this year plus next years and Gagner and Klefbom be enough to get Shea Weber? I would hope so. Stud defensemen are not cheap, and only way I see Edmonton getting what they need is by packaging players and picks

If the Oilers were serious about acquiring Weber, the asking price would likely be Eberle, Gagner, and the 2014 first round selection. Even then they might want a Klefbom-esqe prospect in that package.

Even if it was Hall the package would probably be Hall and the 2014 first round pick. Either way, it is simply too high of a price to pay.

Avatar
#10 Randaman
February 24 2014, 02:18PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Will wrote:

My bet, and there is no evidence backing this up, but I think Mac T wants to trade our 1st round pick for some immediate help on D, but also doesn't want to miss out on a 1st round selection. It seemed he had a tough ass time trading the pick on draft day, so my thought is that he wants to secure a lower pick with a trade, then e can safely trade away our first round selection. Sure we miss out on Ekblad or a potential second line centre, but the time for waiting for draft picks to develop into a player that can help the team.

I know they don't want to sell the future for possible help now, but guaranteed help might be a different story.

If trading the pick means keeping Gagner as our 2nd line center, then thumbs down to that. We need Bennett or Draisaiti. Ekblad will have a nice career in Calgary because they will be picking ahead of us.

Avatar
#11 Oiler Al
February 24 2014, 04:15PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Concern about Dupres is his intensity and dedication. Scouting reports out of Pittsburgh say he is inconsistent and not intense. Last thing the Oilers need. IMO.

Matt Neskanen coming back this way for Hemsky and D prospect..ala Musil.

Avatar
#12 Randaman
February 24 2014, 02:22PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers
horndog77 wrote:

So would the oilers first this year plus next years and Gagner and Klefbom be enough to get Shea Weber? I would hope so. Stud defensemen are not cheap, and only way I see Edmonton getting what they need is by packaging players and picks

Not even close. Did you watch the Olympics??

Avatar
#13 Mustangheart
February 24 2014, 04:20PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Zamboni Driver wrote:

This is the truth...Weber = Taylor Hall (probably plus), but Nashville isn't listening to Eberle and Gagner, sorry folks.

Weber is not only the best player on Nashville, he's probably top 5 in the league.

Irrespective of that....assuming Weber has a no trade (if players like Gagner have even a modified version, you'd think that GOOD players would too) - why in the world would Weber come here?

You been outside today?

*I* don't want to be here.

Nashville would have to be totally insane to trade Weber. The cost / lose to another team would be too high. He is the face of the franchise, still young enough and worth more now after the Olympics than before.

I would rather go after Jones and trade Gagner or Hemsky with our first pick.

Hall, Eberle, Yakapov, Perron, JShultz, RNH to me are all untouchable and the foundation to the rebuild.

I do not think that we have to rebuild the whole team, but believe we are just a couple players away from having a future play off contending team.

Avatar
#14 meh...
February 24 2014, 02:03PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
16
cheers
horndog77 wrote:

So would the oilers first this year plus next years and Gagner and Klefbom be enough to get Shea Weber? I would hope so. Stud defensemen are not cheap, and only way I see Edmonton getting what they need is by packaging players and picks

No way they'd trade Weber for 3 maybe's and 1 not-ever-going-to be. It would take someone off the top line,a good defenceman(Petry?) and then some maybe's...minimum....and then try and talk Weber into accepting that trade.

Avatar
#15 Taylor Gang
February 24 2014, 03:12PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

A Weber for Hall+ would be an ugly trade, but think about how good both teams would be! Edmonton would actually have a capable defenseman to log big minutes with Jultz on the top line. As for the Preds, Nashville has a good defense and a player like Hall would rack up points with a center such as Mike Fisher. Again, not saying we should go for Weber, but it makes you wonder.

On a side note, the kids like country music a lot don't they? It could be a match made in heaven!

Avatar
#16 Taylor Gang
February 24 2014, 04:57PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Shifty203 wrote:

If you're looking to aquire Weber, you're looking at giving up a ton.

Hall or RNH Nurse Oilers 1st Round Pick 2014.

If you are Nashville, you hang up the phone for anything less. There is no reason to accept anything less than above. Unless they can't actually afford to pay his contract, they have no reason to move him.

What an overpay, even without the Oilers bias.

Avatar
#17 MessyEH
February 24 2014, 02:25PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
30
cheers

I could see Hemsky being traded to the Czech team... I mean the NJ Devils.

They are right on the playoff cusp. They need playoff revenue. Hemsky would fit right in there. Adam Larson, for Hemsky and Gagner.

Avatar
#18 Westcoastoil
February 24 2014, 02:40PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's very plausible that a team has asked to see Hemsky on the left side. 6 rings just spent a ton of time hanging with the GM gang. Otherwise, to showcase him they could have bumped him to 2RW and had Eberle play on his offwing - that would seemingly be the spot where he could gets the most points (other than on the Nuge wing).

Avatar
#19 Zamboni Driver
February 24 2014, 03:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

@Taylor Gang

I do tend to go on and on....I actually was agreeing with you!

We ain't gettin' Weber, no way no chance no how. Assuming he would consider coming here (and he wouldn't), if it TOOK Hall (and it would) that would make a putrid team WORSE.

Avatar
#20 Jason Gregor
February 24 2014, 04:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
bazmagoo wrote:

Hemsky to Pittsburgh for Simon Despres. Simon is right on the cusp of making the NHL and is putting us some solid numbers down in the AHL. Has some NHL experience, size, left sided. Perfect fit for the Oilers.

Still a prospect, so no guarantee he's a difference maker, but he's much better than a pick in my opinion.

Concern about Dupres is his intensity and dedication. Scouting reports out of Pittsburgh say he is inconsistent and not intense. Last thing the Oilers need. IMO.

Avatar
#21 Shifty203
February 24 2014, 04:37PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

If you're looking to aquire Weber, you're looking at giving up a ton.

Hall or RNH Nurse Oilers 1st Round Pick 2014.

If you are Nashville, you hang up the phone for anything less. There is no reason to accept anything less than above. Unless they can't actually afford to pay his contract, they have no reason to move him.

Avatar
#22 Shifty203
February 24 2014, 04:39PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Sorry, That didn't come out spaced very well.

Hall or Hopkins AND Nurse AND 1st Round pick.

Avatar
#23 Lofty
February 24 2014, 04:55PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

I would take issue with trading Perron. Obviously the return means everything but is he not the gritty, NHL player with size the team needs more of?

Avatar
#24 Oilerz
February 24 2014, 07:24PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Zamboni Driver

*I* like it here better then any other place in the world accept Calgary and Ottawa.

Avatar
#25 jake
February 24 2014, 01:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

With the home games, the Oilers will get their preferred match-ups with last change. If they are trying to trade him, which must be the case, then give him all the softy O-zone starts possible and weakest of defense pairings.

Avatar
#26 Lochenzo
February 24 2014, 02:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

This is a good trade market for Hemsky. If any teams are balking at the price for Vanek and other top 6 forwards out there, giving up a 2nd rd pick plus maybe another mid-pick, would seem very cheap.

For the same reasons, it'll be tougher to move Sam Gagner this trade deadline. I wouldn't expect anything on this front until the summer.

Avatar
#27 Zamboni Driver
February 24 2014, 02:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
20
cheers

@Taylor Gang

This is the truth...Weber = Taylor Hall (probably plus), but Nashville isn't listening to Eberle and Gagner, sorry folks.

Weber is not only the best player on Nashville, he's probably top 5 in the league.

Irrespective of that....assuming Weber has a no trade (if players like Gagner have even a modified version, you'd think that GOOD players would too) - why in the world would Weber come here?

You been outside today?

*I* don't want to be here.

Avatar
#28 Taylor Gang
February 24 2014, 03:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
10
cheers
Zamboni Driver wrote:

This is the truth...Weber = Taylor Hall (probably plus), but Nashville isn't listening to Eberle and Gagner, sorry folks.

Weber is not only the best player on Nashville, he's probably top 5 in the league.

Irrespective of that....assuming Weber has a no trade (if players like Gagner have even a modified version, you'd think that GOOD players would too) - why in the world would Weber come here?

You been outside today?

*I* don't want to be here.

I'm just saying that's what the price would be, I'm not suggesting we should do that. I was only responding to horndog77.

Personally, these are defensemen I'd go for: Yandle, Josi, Myers, and Buff (maybe roll the dice on him and hope Eakins can kick him into shape?)

Avatar
#29 DJ
February 24 2014, 03:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Zamboni Driver wrote:

This is the truth...Weber = Taylor Hall (probably plus), but Nashville isn't listening to Eberle and Gagner, sorry folks.

Weber is not only the best player on Nashville, he's probably top 5 in the league.

Irrespective of that....assuming Weber has a no trade (if players like Gagner have even a modified version, you'd think that GOOD players would too) - why in the world would Weber come here?

You been outside today?

*I* don't want to be here.

He doesn't have a no trade clause because he signed an offer sheet with Philly that Nashville matched.

Avatar
#30 MessyEH
February 24 2014, 03:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

This is correct. Webber could not be traded until one year from the date Nashville matched the offer. Now they can trade him.

They likely won't. But they could.

Avatar
#31 Rob F
February 24 2014, 04:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers
horndog77 wrote:

So would the oilers first this year plus next years and Gagner and Klefbom be enough to get Shea Weber? I would hope so. Stud defensemen are not cheap, and only way I see Edmonton getting what they need is by packaging players and picks

Right on que....the Shea Weber trade fantasy begins......The only Weber the Oilers will get is the bar b q in their dressing room

Avatar
#32 Oiler Al
February 24 2014, 04:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
MessyEH wrote:

I could see Hemsky being traded to the Czech team... I mean the NJ Devils.

They are right on the playoff cusp. They need playoff revenue. Hemsky would fit right in there. Adam Larson, for Hemsky and Gagner.

Would be a fit on that team for sure. How about Andy Greene coming back, not likely they would part with Larson, as they are giving him time in the minors to develop.

Avatar
#33 MessyEH
February 24 2014, 04:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Oiler Al

I really think they could get Larson out of the Devils. I would love to see it. Gagner and Hemsky would get it done. Maybe even a conditional 3rd if Hemsky resigns with them.

Avatar
#34 bazmagoo
February 24 2014, 05:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@Jason Gregor

Interesting. Would definitely be better to get a prospect who's on the verge of making the NHL as opposed to a pick that is 3-5 years away at best. Hoping MacT can pull some Perron type magic off with this one.

Avatar
#35 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
February 24 2014, 05:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

@Taylor Gang

Don't forget, Weber is more or less the best D man on the planet. Any trade involving him will also involve an overpay.

The Weber proposals have gotta stop, the Oilers are never getting him.

Avatar
#36 Lofty
February 24 2014, 06:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Don't forget, Weber is more or less the best D man on the planet. Any trade involving him will also involve an overpay.

The Weber proposals have gotta stop, the Oilers are never getting him.

You never win if you buy high and sell low. If the goal is to be regular cup contender, then you cant buy Weber with pre-peak elite NHL talent.

Reminds me of the Pujols deal in baseball. Looks worse by the year, and it's not chump change on the line.

Avatar
#37 NJ
February 24 2014, 07:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Mustangheart wrote:

Nashville would have to be totally insane to trade Weber. The cost / lose to another team would be too high. He is the face of the franchise, still young enough and worth more now after the Olympics than before.

I would rather go after Jones and trade Gagner or Hemsky with our first pick.

Hall, Eberle, Yakapov, Perron, JShultz, RNH to me are all untouchable and the foundation to the rebuild.

I do not think that we have to rebuild the whole team, but believe we are just a couple players away from having a future play off contending team.

If those are the core of our rebuild, we are in trouble. We are in 29th with those 6 as our core. We will never. Never. Ever. Make the playoffs with those 6 on our team. MAYBE with 4, and possibly only with 3 or less. Why do I say that? Because you aren't getting a #1 d man without 1 or 2 or those guys headed out of town. That, plus the whole sandpaper / grit factor is seriously lacking in the top 6. I thought all of Edmonton knew that.

Apparently I was wrong.

Avatar
#38 Jason Gregor
February 24 2014, 09:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@bazmagoo

I agree it is better to get a 20-21 year old prospect than a 2nd round pick which is likely an 18 year old.

Avatar
#39 BobbyCanuck
February 25 2014, 11:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@jake

You are going on the assumption that all NHL GM's are as tunnel visioned, and short sighted as ours. Not going to fool any decision makers by playing Hemsky in softy O zone, or against 5/6 D pairings.

We need to play Hemsky against the best compitition, give him decent linemates...and watch his value soar, very little downside in giving our trade baits the best possible chance to showcase thier respective talents, its not like we have anything but self-respect to play for anyways, and now with Tavaris out for the season, unlikely we will when the lotto yet again

Avatar
#40 BobbyCanuck
February 25 2014, 11:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@NJ

You are not wrong, we tend to over value the current love affair of the day.

All our players should be trade bait. RNH with his bum shoulder; Why in God's name are we playing Hall with a knee brace, I guess we want to end his career or something...

All we need is:

Hall-1C (win faceoff, 200 ft game)-Power winger 2RW(200ft game, power)-2c (see above)-Yakapov

Look at the Russian Olympic team; loaded with goal scorers, and look what happend to them.

If we can get Weber, maybe we can trade for the other missing pieces, don't know what to do, just venting comments from the 6th Tier

Comments are closed for this article.