Sometimes sitting down to write an article is a daunting prospect. Your words are preserved for all eternity on the interwebs and you don’t want to be the guy who famously predicts that Erik Cole will be a fantastic Oiler. You have to live with that for the rest of your life.

Having said all of that – two things:

1. Trading Ales Hemsky – assuming he wants to be here long term – is a mistake.

2. Secondly – damn you to hell Erik Cole.


It’s a strange thing to hear people say that trading Ales Hemsky is good for the team. Assuming he wants to continue to lace em up for the Copper and Blue – and that is a big if – we can’t fathom how can fans so easily ship the guy out of town under the banner of “making the team better?”

Let’s take a quick look at his stats shall we?

0.22 GPG, 0.80 PPG over his 7 year NHL career of regular season play. Almost identical stats in the playoffs – 0.2 GPG, 0.56 PPG during his 30 post season appearances.

Career high in goals last year – the third season in a row his tally count rose year on year. Sure, he is injured on the reg and sure he isn’t always leading the charge out of the proverbial fox hole. That is the type of player he is.

With a guy like Hemsky you actually have a very good idea of what you are going to get. Yes, sure there are nights when he should shoot more. Sure there are other nights when it looks like he has mailed in the effort. So goes it with 97% of the entire league.

But a guy who was drafted by the Oil back in 01, who has developed into a remarkably consistent player in the regular season and the playoffs? A guy who has put up with 7 Edmonton winters and most likely has a bottle depot he considers “most convenient in town?” It is hard to replace those kinds of intangibles.


We can recall when Doug Weight and Bill Guerin left the Oil back in the day. Both players wished they could have been a part of the Oilers long term, but the nuts and bolts of “money” prevented them from following their “heart.” With these sorts of small market concerns seemingly solved due to the bottomless wallet of a Mr. Daryl “Katz” don’t you think it is time to hold on to the certified stars who have made their way to Edmonton?

Isn’t it time a player goes wire to wire in an Oilers jersey? One has to assume that Hemsky’s totals will only increase as Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and a first pick overall to be named later start coming on in force. He was able to post extremely respectable numbers playing with Tier II NHL players – what would he be able to do with a 40 goal scorer on the wing?


Trading Hemsky for a couple of B+ prospects isn’t the answer – assuming he wants to stay here. Sometimes rebuilding a team is a slower process than you think. Ask the playoff design of the OilersNation if you want that confirmed. But there is no need to ship valuable pieces of the puzzle out of town in the name of “doing something.”

Right Jarret Stoll? Right Matt Greene? Right Ryan Smyth?


  • Wax Man Riley

    Some people here started by saying that Smyth is better than having Hemsky because he’s won some Gold Medals. Then others argued that Hemsky played a big part in the Fnal’s run. Then, the others came back with saying that Pisani, Pronger, and Roloson and the like played bigger parts than Hemsky.

    The funny thing is that those same people leave Smyth’s play in those playoffs completely out of the equation.

    Hemsky scored a lot of big goals in those playoffs, as did Pisani. What that has to do with Ryan Smyth winning Gold medals is anyone’s guess.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Trading Hemsky makes me sad, but as I read through the arm-chair arguments, I start to realize something:

    Hemsky is a very exciting player that can do a lot of damage. In the playoffs, he will play hard and score timely goals…

    But in the regular season, he has only played about 77% of his games. That is a lot of off time for $5M… and a lot of points not helping you get to the playoffs

  • Wax Man Riley

    You certainly cannot trade Hemsky for a couple of “b grade prospects”.

    But you can’t ignore the Oilers problems at centre and on defence either. And sometimes you have to give to get. If Hemsky can get you a Eric Johnson/Bogosian type defenceman or a top centre prospect then you need to look at it seriously.

    You can’t trade him for the sake of trading him if he is willing to re-sign. But you should trade him if that’s the best way to fill a whole.

    And let’s be realistic – top free agents aren’t coming and we can’t wait to fill every hole through the draft.

  • Sorensenator

    Trade no one we don’t have to. Both Penner and Hemsky have one more year on their contracts. We have plenty of cap room. Trade them next year, hopefully the oil is doing better next year. This makes you top end players more marketable. Unless we can get another defencemen!

  • Jack Dupp

    Is Hemsky hurt because of the style he plays or because the teams he has played on didn’t have anyone else on them?

    Regehr is part of the reason why Hemsky gets hurt. He wont be playing every second shift against the Oilers. Pretty easy to key on one guy when the talent level on the team is horrible and you only have one guy to shut down.

    Surround him with talented players and watch his games played rise to the 70-75 per year, every year. Especially when he is not always out against the top shutdown pairing.