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 tileguy
    March 04 2014, 04:31PM
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    For the conspiracy theories crowd, Hemsky will leave the ice with a fake injury and will become untradeable. That will keep the heat off MacT, and he will make a trade this off season of either Yak or Eberle and resign Hemsky for the 2nd line RW.

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    #2 Chambers
    March 04 2014, 08:26PM
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    Tuningout wrote:

    1st round pick. 1st round pick. !!! Suck it Pittsburg. Lol

    Your comment reflects the chronic problem in Edmonton...the Oilers management and some fans like you over value the Oiler assets. With Hemsky's unrealisitc contract value and demonstrated inconsistent performance at best you can expect to get a 2-3 rounder. Of course 6 rings and MacT will think this offer is ridiculous and it will be status quo for the next many years. Losers in the bottom 3 of the league for the foreseeable future. What a shame.

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    #3 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 09:02PM
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    Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

    Is he worth a 1st yet?

    3rd round pick. At best. :)))))

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    #4 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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    #5 Oiler Al
    March 04 2014, 07:29PM
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    Dont feel to sorry for Hemsky. He collected $38 million of Oiler pay cheques. He was more thaN well paid for what he accomplished here. Time to move on. There once was a bigger star than him traded by the team.

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    #6 Max
    March 04 2014, 10:51PM
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    Sonny and Cher - "baby don't go, baby, baby please don't go". Ales, you and Smytty have always been my favourites. We have NO-ONE to replace either of you. "Oh wont you stay - just a little bit longer" - corny songs but the sentiment is real. Stay, be with us for a few more years. You were never ever appreciated the way you should have been. Tonight's game was a joy to watch. BABY BABY PLEASE DON'T GO.

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

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    #8 Oilerfan
    March 04 2014, 10:16PM
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    ThatButthurtOilersFan wrote:

    R.I.P Canucks 1970-2014 No hockey fans will miss you, except DSF.

    Remind what place the Oilers are in (again)? Numnutz Oiler fans.

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    #9 yulep
    March 04 2014, 05:11PM
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    Quintana wrote:

    I have a feeling Mact will get a first for Hemmer! He will be missed.

    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.

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    #10 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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    #11 fasteddy
    March 04 2014, 08:05PM
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    This is ridiculous. ...halfway through the first, no shots. This coach needs to go, period. Last year felt like we had hope, this year is pathetic.

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    #12 Spydyr
    March 04 2014, 04:57PM
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    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky gets hurt.Sit him tonight.

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    #13 bwar
    March 04 2014, 06:18PM
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    I think Hemsky brings in a better return than Penner. Anaheim was trying to dump salary for whatever other moves they make before the deadline. I expect them to make a substantial offer for either Vanek or Moulson which hopefully ends up driving up the price for a guy like Hemsky . I think we could get a 1st in return although it is unlikely. If the return is a 3rd I would rather just keep him around for the rest of the season.

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    #14 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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    #15 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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    #16 Jerod
    March 04 2014, 08:55PM
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    Don't trade Hemsky

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    #17 Brian
    March 04 2014, 09:11PM
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    Tuningout wrote:

    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.

    LT knows s__t. Giggling fool.

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    #18 Oilerfan
    March 05 2014, 12:23AM
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    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.

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    #19 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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    #20 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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    #21 toprightcorner
    March 04 2014, 04:39PM
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    If Hemmer and Smyth are traded, I would prefer to see Lander called up to play 4th line center so MacT can get a good idea if he can produce at the NHL level.

    I would also prefer they call up Pitlick or Horak instead of Arcobello, only in hopes Arco continues his torrid streak and increase his value this summer. 45 pts in 30 games in the AHL will look better than 3 points in the last 20 on the 4th line in the NHL. His small stature just doesn't fill a need on this team and could be a great add on in a package for a dman this summer.

    Only call up guys you need to get a good read on otherwise I would rather the Barons have the best lineup possible to make the playoffs

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    #22 ThatButthurtOilersFan
    March 04 2014, 04:52PM
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    Quintana wrote:

    I have a feeling Mact will get a first for Hemmer! He will be missed.

    Sorry to break it to you, but I seriously doubt it.Our old buddy Dustin Penner got picked up by the Caps for only a 4th rounder. Penner has 8 more points than Hemmer and Hemmer has played 5 more games than Penner. Most MacTavish squeezes out for Hemsky is a late second-rounder.

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    #23 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 08:08PM
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    1st round pick. 1st round pick. !!! Suck it Pittsburg. Lol

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

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    #25 Randaman
    March 04 2014, 11:00PM
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    Max wrote:

    Sonny and Cher - "baby don't go, baby, baby please don't go". Ales, you and Smytty have always been my favourites. We have NO-ONE to replace either of you. "Oh wont you stay - just a little bit longer" - corny songs but the sentiment is real. Stay, be with us for a few more years. You were never ever appreciated the way you should have been. Tonight's game was a joy to watch. BABY BABY PLEASE DON'T GO.

    I love Smyth & Hemsky too but come on people, sentiment doesn't win cups or get you in the play-offs. Reality check time!! One good game and all of a sudden everybody thinks it is 2006 again. Take the draft picks and move on. Trade the picks with Gagner & or Eberle at the draft after we draft Ekblad, Bennett or Draisaiti for that stud defence and or centre and let's try to make the top 20 next year at least. I'm tired of this year after year!

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    #26 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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    #27 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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    #28 A-Mc
    March 04 2014, 04:41PM
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    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.

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    #29 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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    #30 toprightcorner
    March 04 2014, 06:34PM
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    srelio wrote:

    I hope smith wins a cup, he deserves it

    I assume you mean Smyth?

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

    Trade him nowwwwwww

    Hemsky that is

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    #32 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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    #33 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 10:03PM
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    Man. My name is Tuningout. Game before the trade deadline and may be a last chance to see Hemsky. And this place is a ghost town. Maybe the Oilers are in trouble. I'm watching what looks to be a sold out croud at Rexall. But the comments are dead. Apathy ? Disgust ? Can the second/third tier fans make a difference. I don't know. But this is the first full game I've watched all year. And my biggest surprise has been how dead this blog is. Followed closely by Hemsky's play.

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    #34 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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    #35 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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    #36 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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    #37 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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    #38 Mason Storm
    March 04 2014, 06:46PM
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    toprightcorner wrote:

    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!!

    It's not basically a 3rd round pick. It's literally a 4th round pick.

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

    Trade him nowwwwwww

    Double post. Oops

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    #40 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
    March 04 2014, 08:54PM
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    Is he worth a 1st yet?

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    #41 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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    #42 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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    #43 Zamboni Driver
    March 04 2014, 09:39PM
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    Amazing that lazy play by Eberle ends up in a goal.

    Positive reinforcement for that crap is not a positive.

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    #44 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 09:40PM
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    I missed that. Was that intermission the Canadian Military vs the Oilers girls ? Or was that a reply of the Oilers vs Minnesota. ?

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    #45 Tuningout.
    March 04 2014, 10:24PM
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    Oilerfan wrote:

    Remind what place the Oilers are in (again)? Numnutz Oiler fans.

    Trade deadline day. The Oilers are top of the class mofo !

    Seriously though ? Vancouver troll ? Must be crazy drunk !!

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    #46 Tuningout
    March 04 2014, 10:38PM
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    Oilers win. The only game they really need to win this year. Hemsky was a stud. Schultz was fine.

    Vancouver loses 1-0.

    I'm out. Thank you gentlemen. Have a great night.

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    #47 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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    #48 Anton
    March 05 2014, 01:57AM
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    Reg Dunlop wrote:

    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.

    Hey, I actually like the city though. Hate the team and their fans, but at least the city is warm.

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    #49 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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    #50 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!!

    Comments are closed for this article.