GDB 63.0: HAPPY TRAILS...

Jason Gregor
March 04 2014 04:07PM

Ales+Hemsky+Edmonton+Oilers+v+Phoenix+Coyotes+vZtV6nD2jdIl

Tonight will be Ales Hemsky's final game as an Edmonton Oiler. He will be traded before tomorrow's 1.p.m deadline. Hemsky played his first game as an Oilers on October 10th, 2002 against Philadelphia. He didn't score his first goal until his 26th game, January 4th, 2003 vs. Montreal, but during the past 11 hockey seasons his skill ranged from breathtaking to frustrating to dazzling and gutsy.

Hemsky made the playoffs as a rookie, but I'm sure he never dreamt that he would only play in the playoffs once during the subsequent 10 seasons. I can understand why Hemsky wants a new challenge in a new city, with new teammates and new fans. One post-season appearance in ten years would deflate anyone, and I fully expect Hemsky to play well on his new team.

I've always been a fan of Hemsky, but I also felt he could have been an even better player. The best players in the world work diligently to improve their game, and Hemsky rarely spent extra time in practice working on his shot or one-timer. I will always wonder how productive he could have been had he worked as hard as Ryan Smyth, or superstars like Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and others.

Hemsky's combination of speed and fearlessness made him extremely exciting to watch. He never shied away from guys like Robyn Regehr, and all that punishment led to some extended stays on the IR. I never understood why people suggested he was soft. Hemsky went to the tough areas all the time, despite his smallish frame. Like most, I would have liked to see him shoot more, but that wasn't his game and it never will be.

I hope he plays well on his new team, and I'm sure he will get a big boost walking into his new team knowing he has a shot at the playoffs. Getting traded to a contender energizes every player.

Tonight could also be Ryan Smyth's final game of the season as an Oiler. I don't say final game ever, because I believe there is a chance the Oilers re-sign him this summer. Like Hemsky, Smyth has been to the Cup finals once in his career, and I know Smyth will sacrifice being away from his wife and four kids during the next few months for a shot at the Cup.

Here are some teams I feel Smyth could help down the stretch.

Smyth and Hemsky had very different styles, but when they played together they had excellent chemistry. I hope they find that on their new teams.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Yakupov
Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle
Hendricks-Gordon-Perron
Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Fraser-Ference

Scrivens

Now that Scrivens has signed, I'd like to see the Oilers start him in 14 of their final 20 games. I see no reason in splitting the net. Ilya Bryzgalov has played well since Scrivens arrived, but Scrivens has a better chance of being a starter in the future, so why not give him more games now and see how he reacts.

Marincin is coming off his worst game of the year. Prior to Saturday's game vs. the Flames, the 2010 2nd round pick had played very well. Many players have off nights, but how they play the next game is what matters. Hopefully he brushes it off and plays like he had prior to Saturday. Eakins told me he plans to play him the same amount of minutes and in the same situations, but he also stated, "If Marty wants to play 20 minutes a night and in key situations he knows he can't make a play like he did on Saturday. He will learn from it," said the coach.

Marincin has been a pleasant surprise and I think he will respond with a solid game.

Due to the Bryzgalov trade the Oilers will dress U of A Golden Bears goalie Kurtis Mucha as the back up. 

QUICK HITS...

  • I spoke with Nick Schultz yesterday and he believes he will be moved. I feel Hemsky and Schultz are locks to be moved, while Smyth is about 75-25. If all three of them are dealt the Oilers will call up some players from OKC.

    Arcobello has 19 points in 9 games, and he'd be the obvious choice to replace Smyth at centre. I also think you will see Anton Lander (44 points in 40 games) and Oscar Klefbom at some point. You might not see all of them right away because the OKC Barons are in a playoff race.

    OKC is currently in 9th place, 3 points out of 8th and 5 out of 7th. The organization desperately wants their young players to get a taste of the postseason, so I doubt we will see a mass recall after the trade deadline.

  • I've said for the past two months that Pittsburgh could use Hemsky. They need a bit more speed in their top-six, and they haven't found a replacement for Pascal Dupuis. The Penguins don't have a 2014 2nd round pick, but I still think a deal can be had. Next year's draft is deeper, so the Oilers might be better off getting a pick from 2015.

  • The Detroit Red Wings are playing six left-shot D-men and some in Edmonton have speculated that Corey Potter could go there because he shoots right and has a connection with Tom Renney. Florida has two right shot D-men in Mike Weaver (just traded to Montreal) and Tom Gilbert. I'm sure they'd look at the Islanders' Matt Carkner before Potter. I'm sorry, but I don't see why a team would add a D-man who isn't a regular on the 29th place team. Potter was put on waivers today, so if the Wings are interested they can pick him up for nothing. I don't see it.

  • Anton Belov is out a few weeks with a torn oblique muscle, and Philip Larsen was put on waivers yesterday leaving the Oilers with six defencemen. When Nick Schultz gets moved we could see Taylor Fedun recalled. He shoots right so they could put him on the 3rd pair and put Ference back with J.Schultz.

    TONIGHT...

    leven-rambin-premiere-the-hunger-games-04

    GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will be hungry (Leven Rambin reference) for a victory after Saturday's brutal effort. The Senators, however, are in a fight for the playoffs and they need the points. Ottawa wins 4-3 in OT.

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nugent-Hopkins picks up two points. He had two goals and as assist in the Oilers 3-1 win over the Senators.

    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky scores his first career goal vs. the Senators leaving Washington and Edmonton as the only teams he has never scored against. 

    RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

    Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
    One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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    #1 ThatButthurtOilersFan
    March 04 2014, 04:40PM
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    R.I.P Canucks 1970-2014 No hockey fans will miss you, except DSF.

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    #2 Geoff
    March 04 2014, 04:13PM
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    I always loved Hemsky. He was the best back when we had no elite level skill players.

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    #3 Towersofdub
    March 04 2014, 04:24PM
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    Just bring us out of our seats one last time Hemmer, then we'll let you go.

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    #4 27Ginge
    March 04 2014, 04:14PM
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    I've never been a Hemsky fan but that dude deserves to go somewhere less inept. Been a good soldier through a lot of god awful seasons.

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    #5 toprightcorner
    March 04 2014, 04:29PM
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    I would love to see Hemsky play with Crosby and Kunitz, on that line he could end up being the most productive deadline pickup this year.

    Good luck Hemmer, I hope you show the east the talent you possess.

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    #6 Dog Train
    March 04 2014, 04:22PM
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    Hemsky has been healthy basically all season. Fingers crossed that he can make it through at least one more freaking game. I'm a Hemsky fan but I'm resigned that it is time for the team and the player to move on. We've failed him for much of his career and he's been a good soldier so it's time for us to move him. I will miss his skill and willingness to go to the tough areas. I won't miss him putting us offside a few times each game though!

    If Smyth is dealt, then I will be cheering for his new team to win it all. He's another guy that we have failed and he deserves one last shot to compete for the cup.

    At least we will likely be active tomorrow. Say what you want about Mactavish, but he does not dither around.

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    #7 NsxZero
    March 04 2014, 04:50PM
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    Maybe Smyth and Hemmer will both go to the same team to win a cup? One can dream...

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    #8 SRELIOFAN
    March 04 2014, 10:28PM
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    I'm gonna miss you Hemsky. Way to go out with a bang!

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    #9 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 04 2014, 08:12PM
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    Jesus, Gregor. How many virgins do you sacrifice per year for your powers of foresight?

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    #10 Abby Oil
    March 04 2014, 08:41PM
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    Wow. Just saw Mike Gillis in his first intermission interview. Sweating more than Rob Ford on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. What a boner. Makes Steve Tambellini look smart during his disaster era as GM of the Oilers.

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    #11 sizedoesmatter
    March 04 2014, 05:36PM
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    Hemsky was one of the few reasons to spend over half a grand to go see an Oiler game. I hope he ends up in Pittsburgh so he has a decent shot at the cup will miss him a lot

    edit went online bought ticket for for one last chance to see hemmer live

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    #12 Bparsonsproject
    March 04 2014, 04:36PM
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    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky scores his first career goal vs. the Senators leaving Washington and Edmonton as the only teams he has never scored against.

    And in his first game against Edmonton he'll make the list smaller by netting a hat-trick!

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    #13 offthebandwagon
    March 04 2014, 08:58PM
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    Its nice to see the real Hemmer one last time.

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    #14 Al Low
    March 04 2014, 05:34PM
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    Hemsky never really got his due for how well he played for us in the 06 run. He never became elite here but he was excellent, at times. Anybody in his shoes would not be as motivated with the past 8 years being a complete circus in Edmonton. I hope he gets to play on a contender and gets a chance to compete the way he did in 06. He deserves it.

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    #15 nuge2nail
    March 04 2014, 10:58PM
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    Oiler Domination To Follow

    Hemsky was one of the only reasons to watch Oiler games for half a decade.

    He was at his best playing on the top power play setting up one timers for guys like Souray.

    Will miss him, thanks for the memories and we wish you all the best...

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    #16 nuge2nail
    March 04 2014, 06:55PM
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    Oiler Domination To Follow

    MacT has made a handful of solid trades in his first 6 months.

    1. Horcoff Trade

    2. Perron Trade

    3. Dubnyk Trade

    4. Scrivens Trade

    5. Bryz Signing and Trade

    6. Fasth Trade

    Its a shame most Oiler fans associate him with the uselsss management that has been running the team for the last decade.

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    #17 VK63
    March 04 2014, 04:25PM
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    Anyone else enjoy the snippets from Nick Schultz brothers (now closed) twitter account from last night?

    I howled!!

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    #18 Alsker
    March 04 2014, 04:33PM
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    Towersofdub wrote:

    Just bring us out of our seats one last time Hemmer, then we'll let you go.

    And please,please don't get injured!!! Not sure if i would play him tonight or not, if he twists a knee or takes a head shot this could turn ugly towards MacT. Been a pleasure watching you over the years and good luck in the future Hemmer!!

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    #19 Bob Cobb
    March 04 2014, 04:49PM
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    Don't worry, Hemsky will score in his first game back against the Oilers, thats how it goes, and we'll wonder why we traded him. I like Hemsky, always have, those dirty hits he took from Regher took a lot out of him. To me he was the non-superstar superstar, all the talent, but lacked finish.

    I hope him the best, he's been a good soldier for the Oilers.

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    #20 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 07:56PM
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    Haaaaa. Did anyone else hear that ? The UofA backup goalie had to skip a 3 hour psychology course to attend this game. If his Prof is reading this site. After spending 3 plus hours around this team. Give The Man His Credits !

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    #21 ubermiguel
    March 04 2014, 08:08PM
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    NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky scores his first career goal vs. the Senators leaving Washington and Edmonton as the only teams he has never scored against...spooky.

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    #22 kale
    March 04 2014, 05:06PM
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    Hemsky was always my favourite Oiler up until we started drafting our 1sts, he will be missed

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    #23 Quintana
    March 04 2014, 04:44PM
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    I have a feeling Mact will get a first for Hemmer! He will be missed.

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    #24 srelio
    March 04 2014, 05:16PM
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    I hope smith wins a cup, he deserves it

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    #25 vetinari
    March 04 2014, 08:27PM
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    Naky wrote:

    MacT probably had the smuggest fat cat grin on his face after that goal.

    MacT should be telling the video crew to send a copy of Hemsky's goal to the inbox of all the other GMs in the league, ASAP.

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    #26 Mason Storm
    March 04 2014, 08:56PM
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    Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

    Is he worth a 1st yet?

    ~Re-sign him~

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    #27 Reg Dunlop
    March 05 2014, 12:49AM
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    Oilerfan wrote:

    30th, 30, 29, 23, 29. Yup. The tradition continues in Icemonton. Your floatie Czech has one good game and it sets y'all a fappin' like he's the next Jaromir Jagr. Enjoy the 2nd pick you'll be getting for him Wednesday morning.

    We will enjoy the pick, thank you. And you be sure to enjoy the decline of the Sedins and Bieksa, the inevitable release of Gillis, the inevitable melt-down of Tortorella, the embarrassment of missing the playoffs for the next decade and cheering for Vancouver-the city of junkies and endless rain.

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    #28 Danger Pay
    March 04 2014, 04:37PM
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    Only two more offsides caused to go.

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    #29 toprightcorner
    March 04 2014, 04:42PM
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    Danger Pay wrote:

    Only two more offsides caused to go.

    If players would hit the line with speed or not dipsy-doodle at the line it wouldn't force him offside. Offsides are usually the fault of the puck carrier, not the other players

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    #30 Mason Storm
    March 04 2014, 08:49PM
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    Abby Oil wrote:

    Wow. Just saw Mike Gillis in his first intermission interview. Sweating more than Rob Ford on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. What a boner. Makes Steve Tambellini look smart during his disaster era as GM of the Oilers.

    Tambellini mentored in Vancouver. So it makes sense.

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    #31 Quintana
    March 04 2014, 09:03PM
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    yulep wrote:

    I have a feeling you have indigestion....no way he brings back a first rounder...

    Take some Pepto-Bismol, then give your head a real big shake.

    SHUT UP FOOL!! Hemmer is the man!!!!!!!! Price going up!!!!!

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    #32 Dave
    March 04 2014, 05:23PM
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    Favorite player when I was younger, sad to see him go but super excited to see what he can do in the playoffs

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    #33 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 04 2014, 07:48PM
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    Thanks for the memories, Hemmer. I'll never forget your last second goal after Stefan whiffed the empty netter. To quote the announcer, DO. YOU. BELIEVE. WHAT. WE. JUST. SAW.

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    #34 Mason Storm
    March 04 2014, 08:27PM
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    There really couldn't be a better highlight for the eastern Gms to wake up to then that Hemsky goal. MacT might get a few extra calls tomorrow and have some bargaining power.

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    #35 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 04 2014, 08:40PM
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    Hall looks like he's hustling tonight. Every time I look up from the rum, he's breaking up the left side. Drive it straight to the net Hallsy, grab Nuge and Yak by the collar and drag them behind you if you need to.

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    #36 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 09:12PM
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    Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

    Whoa. Scrivens went through two area codes to get over and make that save.

    Thinking of Gene. Scrivens got over there very Fasth.

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    #37 Ivan Drago
    March 04 2014, 05:43PM
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    @toprightcorner

    Hemsky is the puck carrier dipsy doodling at the blue line.

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    #38 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 06:01PM
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    Have a bottle of rum, may actually watch a whole Oiler game tonight. I'm curious to see what will be more saddening. The game tonight. Or watching Hemsky and maybe Smyth go tomorrow. Good luck MacT. Good job so far by my eye.

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    #39 Naky
    March 04 2014, 08:21PM
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    MacT probably had the smuggest fat cat grin on his face after that goal.

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    #40 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 04 2014, 08:36PM
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    Mean Gene needs to trim that salad, it's starting to look a little business in the front/party in the back.

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    #41 Wonger
    March 04 2014, 08:43PM
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    All the best Hemmer! On tharpt beautiful goal he scored tonight,yet again, he looks like he is in the wrong tier! Crazy Skill!

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    #42 drunken_Master
    March 04 2014, 08:25PM
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    with that goal.. I think hemsky just increased his value to a 1st round draft! woot! Thanks hemmer!

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    #43 Jerod
    March 04 2014, 08:55PM
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    Don't trade Hemsky

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    #44 Toro
    March 04 2014, 08:58PM
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    Stay Hemsky Stay!!!!

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    #45 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 09:04PM
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    In the famous words of LT.

    Resign the man !

    Or at the very least trade him for H. Samuelson.

    And a first ?

    A guy can dream.

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    #46 Andrew
    March 04 2014, 10:23PM
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    Good on ya' Hemmer. Shake the dust of this loser organization off and go forward. What a game. If this is your denouement then farewell and good luck to you.

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    #47 toprightcorner
    March 04 2014, 04:46PM
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    A-Mc wrote:

    I could see Smyth going to a team for a 5th, to replace the 5th we sent to ANA for Fasth. Could NSchultz get a 3rd? (Defensemen worth more than forwards).

    Hemsky = 3rd
    Schultz = 3rd
    Smyth = 4 or 5

    I wonder if there is a team that would take both Hemsky AND Schultz for a 2nd and a 5th or something like that. It would be nice to get a 2nd round pick somehow.

    If the Oilers keep half of Hemsky's salary, they could probably get a 2nd, though I would prefer it be a 2015 2nd.

    Also, the 4th we got for Bryz is the Sabers 4th so is the first of that round basically making it a 3rd round pick. Probably only 6 spots after the pick they gave up to get Scrivens!!

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    #48 wellsy
    March 04 2014, 05:31PM
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    srelio wrote:

    I hope smith wins a cup, he deserves it

    Stoney Plain Seniors are looking for some help on the PK, send him our way!

    We would only play him 8-9 minutes a game...promise!

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    #49 Mason Storm
    March 04 2014, 08:08PM
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    Mason Storm wrote:

    Trade him nowwwwwww

    Hemsky that is

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    #50 Tuningout.
    March 04 2014, 08:48PM
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    Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

    Hall looks like he's hustling tonight. Every time I look up from the rum, he's breaking up the left side. Drive it straight to the net Hallsy, grab Nuge and Yak by the collar and drag them behind you if you need to.

    I hate to say it. But I hope they pass on Ekblad and draft Bennet to give hall a future center with equal intensity.

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