CALGARY, AB — Talk is always cheap, especially as the NHL trade deadline approaches, and buzz persists that Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers are in play.

With much of the NHL focus on Calgary today for the Heritage Classic between the Flames and Montreal Canadiens, the city is full of hockey people and the names of Penner and Hemsky, as you’d expect, come up most often when talk turns to the Oilers.

Whether that talk turns to action is anybody’s guess, but it’s clear that GM Steve Tambellini is talking to teams about them, even if he’s failed to jump into the pre-deadline action to this point.

I don’t know for certain if Tambellini is making as many calls as he’s taking, in other words that’s he’s "shopping" anybody, but I keep hearing two teams — the Los Angeles Kings and the Washington Capitals — in the same sentences as the names Penner and Hemsky.

They’re definitely in play.


Dean Lombardi and the Kings have often been mentioned as suitors for Penner or Hemsky, and that talk persists. Either one would be the fit that Lombardi is looking for to play with Anze Kopitar, although the sense I get is Penner would be the first choice — despite grabbing some pine late in a less-than-inspiring performance against Atlanta.

I had a talk this morning with somebody over breakfast who is of the opinion that Penner would welcome a move, despite everything he said earlier this month about being happy in Edmonton. I recall having the same conversation in the press box at Rexall Place last week.

With Cowtown full of fans wearing Montreal jerseys the past few days, there’s also talk the Canadiens might be interested in Penner. I haven’t heard anything of substance from anybody in the know among Montreal’s travelling contingent, but that’s the word. Ryan Rishaug of TSN has apparently heard the same thing, so there’s some smoke.

Rishaug, in Calgary while Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie work the phones back in Toronto, is also on the Edmonton-Washington angle as it regards Hemsky. He’s hearing that they’re talking.

So am I.

AND . . .

— With Tambellini saying last week that he wouldn’t put Sheldon Souray on re-entry waivers until he had a solid nibble from teams, we were bracing for news on that front Saturday. So far, nothing. I haven’t heard of any real interest by any team, outside old news about the New York Rangers, who have backed right off and aren’t interested, so Tambellini obviously changed his approach and took a flyer. No harm.

— There’s been a fair amount of speculation that Jim Vandermeer or Kurtis Foster might be the kind of depth players a contending team might be interested in at the deadline. I’d suggest it’s just as likely, maybe more so, Ladislav Smid is generating more discussion between Tambellini and other GMs.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • m@s f@s

    If either of these two get dealt; it should be Penner first. Yes, Hemsky gets hurt more…puts up better numbers per game though, and I think if Penner were playing with his size to intimidate his opponent more, I would be more on his side. We need players that leave it all on the ice every shift. No floating, not even back to the bench for a line change. IMO Penner’s effort level is far too low, far too often, for far too much money.30+ goals or not…

  • Mitch

    I think the bulk of the conversation about Penner and Hemsky is occuring right within the Oil blogosphere or more specifically, within the corporate limits of the city of Edmonton. I feel the Oilers historically are guilty of falling in love with their players. Now there may be nothing wrong with that in that management has to sell their signings and trades to the paying public but it doesn’t mean the rest of the hockey world will accept that currency when they are asked to trade for one of our players.

    When one of the many talking heads chimes in from Ontario on 1260 they talk Oilers but clearly they’re just catering to the on-air person pushing them in that direction. You can tell they have a hard time going along with the B.S. As if anyone in Canada gives a crap about the Oil east of Vermillion or south of Red Deer.

    I’m sick and tired of waiting for Tambellini’s latest assessment phase. Let’s face it, he has a classic case of buck fever. He has neither the testicles nor the judgement to pull the trigger on any kind of a trade that will benefit the organization.

  • Caveat Emptor

    An awful lot of people seem to want to see 27 moved. I recall Arnott being driven out of this town (along with a number of other talented players over the years). Since Arnott left we have been searching for that big scoring centre and still haven’t landed him.

    There aren’t many big bodies who can score 25-30 goals and hold their own against tough opposition. Penner is a much better player than most fans give him credit for and he is an extremely rare find in the NHL.

    I can live with moving him if he doesn’t want to stay, but to want to dispatch him merely because he seems “lazy” certain nights is folly. Make a list of all of the big bodied legitimate top 6 forwards and then communicate who we get to replace Penner.

    • Peterborough

      Well he is best utilized at LW. We have Hall and MPS at LW and we call all agree that they both need top 6 minuets. It seems silly to me have either one of the three on a third line long term. . . that said we need more big forwards in the line up and taking the biggest one out means we will have to address this issue as well.

      • Caveat Emptor

        When I was younger I would drink the kool-aid every time a new prospect would show up. I liked my shiny new toys. I would think, “that Chris Joseph is a real puck-mover and destined for the top pairing” or “that Martin Gelinas has the wheels and hands to slide into the top 6 in no time”.

        Now I am from the show me state. I agree that Hall is a sure fire top 6 player. I am not there with MPS, not even close. That guy has a lot to prove. You don’t build a team with a bunch of “potential NHL players” and expect to go anywhere – ever. You need men who have done it before.

        As for the minutes – let the competition on the team resolve the minutes. There is nothing wrong with rolling 3 lines rather than 4 lines, if the talent is there.

  • jaicee

    A lot of people now on Penner’s back. Ten days ago he was a sweetheart! Same negative stuff about Horcoff earlier. Fickle fans that can turn on a dime.

    As to trading either Penner or Hemsky for value, my assessment is ST would botch a one-horse funeral, so don’t be disappointed.

  • Peterborough

    DonDon said, “…As to trading either Penner or Hemsky for value, my assessment is ST would botch a one-horse funeral, so don’t be disappointed…”

    here here…well said…bravisimo…couldn’t have said it better…the scariest thing isn’t that either of them get traded…the scariest thing is how bad he’ll screw a trade up…

    therefore don’t trade anyone

  • a lg dubl dubl

    If the Oilers do trade DPens Id like to see a Lucic type coming back in a trade, NHL player for NHL player NOT PICKS OR PROSPECTS the Oilers have enough of those for right now. C’mon ST be smart PLLLLLEEEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEE!!!!!

  • trryabel


    Trade him now not because he is a bum the exact opposite he has value now with another year on his contract, 30 goals last year on a last place club and close to thirty this year. For those who think we could re-sign him next year WAKE UP. This guy just got married to a woman who lives in south Cali hello or I mean goodby Pens it was nice to know ya. Get maximum value well you can.


    This one is a little different I have talked to some people who are of the opinion he would leave after next season. With all the changes that have happened he may re-sign. If we get a offer we cannot refuse trade him obviously the return would have to be a top two Center, top four potential D-man Prospect and a draft pick 2nd rounder that would do it for me. If we do keep Hemsky for another season we will have to try and re-sign him because IMO we will be playing in the post season next year and we could be buyers. If we are buyers again how good of a deal do you think Tambi is going to get from the other GM’s he held hostage this year?

  • Mitch


    After watching the oil play the last 3 games and of course all season, Hemsky looks like he was challenged by the brass to play his backside off and show some leadership. Penner will never be anything more than a big guy who can dominate for 5-7 game stretches and go missing for 5-7 games. The big question is do they really want to stay? Off the ice comments give me a gut feeling of no.
    These two players never will be die hard oilers, this is what made the dynasty so successful they would kill for each other, wanted to be the very best every single night. I’am not trying to suggest that were building a dynasty, but attitude and commitment means everything, I don’t have the inside track like you do, but the past can tell me alot about the two players.

    If I’am looking to make deals I wouldn’t be shocked if Gagner, Gilbert or Smid got dealt, I’m just looking at overall performance, Lander will be here next year, him and Paajarvi are best friends.

  • I tried it at home

    Why keep blaming Lowe for previous possible mistakes . Tams is the Gm and has had several years now to correct them , rather than to live with them . How good a job has he done fixing things since his tenure as GM , to help alleviate bad contracts , etc.? Well if we are still blaming Lowe 4-5 years after , then obviously our new Gm has not faired very well or been any better .

  • I tried it at home

    Being as Penner and Hemsky appear to be the best of what might still get moved by trade deadline , i don’t see Oilers trading either . Maybe Katz does not want them to trade anyone until he does some further assessing of his own ? I don’t see a” blow me out of the water” deal available to Oilers to make either Penner or Hemsky expendable on a trade at this juncture .

  • Peterborough

    Gelinas had very strong career dude(1273 309 351 660). But I do see your point and but moving Penner would be my choice if you were to move one of him or Hemsky. Its his attitude and he takes PP time from Hall and MP. If they can get schenn out of LA then yes do it, but I’m not saying dump him but LW is our strongest stop right now.

  • Peterborough

    Penner has played himself out of a role here in Edmonton. Most nights he’d rather chase butterflies with a bigass net then chase the puck. This guy needs to get the D-Train chugging and chugging, I kind of sense that since he won a cup already he doesn’t have the desire to win one again. Hey if Penner can produce at or around thirty goals a year and be as big as him. He’s going to retire with at least $40 Million Plus and a Stanley Cup ring to boot. The memories are there for him and now I think he just wants to make money.

    Hemsky on the other hand, he’s a wunderkind and a whiz with the puck. I think he does respect the game and wants to win a cup. He is hungry and shows flashes that he can dominate games if he feels like it. I think that with the talent like Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and especially Omark. He might be better suited to joining a contending team willing to give up a solid prospect picks and at least one NHL’er to get him.

    This team is on a major upswing, they have the talent and just need to keep growing as a group. This group has the drive and determination to do great things. I’m giving them at least the next four years to truly be contending for the cup. Within that time ST needs to decide who’s going to be riding shotgun with them on their ascent to greatness. Will it be Hemmer? I think Penner got his and would like to play somewhere warm where no one gives a sh*t.