February 05 2012 06:56PM
The Edmonton Oilers are a team struggling to pull themselves out of the NHL basement. Management has committed to a long-term rebuild, and that means that many of the older players playing significant roles now – including the team’s (arguably) starting goaltender and their two big-minute forwards – probably won’t be when the team is eventually ready to contend for a playoff spot.
February 05 2012 12:37PM
Ales Hemsky's 11-12 season has been poor compared to his own past. The skilled Czech winger is playing a lesser role on a team that finally offers players of his skill level and beyond. Hemsky is in trade rumors daily, but from what we hear NHL teams are more interested in Ryan Smyth, Sam Gagner and others. How far has Ales Hemsky fallen?
February 05 2012 12:29AM
Might the remarkable turnaround in Sam Gagner's season signal the same for the Edmonton Oilers as they attempt to climb out of the lottery sweepstakes with the stretch drive approaching? It looks like it might after Saturday's 5-4 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings.
February 04 2012 01:17PM
The Oilers are only one player, Tom Gilbert, away from being healthy for the first time all season. The Oilers haven't had a game where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, Ladislave Smid, Cam Barker and Tom Gilbert have all been in the lineup, but they are getting very close.
Nugent-Hopkins returns tonight after injuring his shoulder in Chicago and Tom Gilbert told me yesterday he is shooting to return Monday in Toronto. If the Oilers can stay healthy for the next month it will be interesting to see how they fare. Their last four games have been pretty solid, 3-0-1, and they'll have another tough test tonight against the Red Wings.
February 04 2012 08:25AM
Linus Omark may be the most qualified player in the Edmonton system to replace Ales Hemsky.