With the draft less than ten days away, thankfully we are starting to hear, read and see some trade rumours. Two weeks ago Scott Howson was very upfront to numerous media outlets, including Oilers Lunch on the TEAM 1260, that he was looking to move the 8th overall pick to get a veteran player that could help his team. Media and fans don’t need much to toss a few logs into the rumour mill to get it heated up, but Howson’s words were like gasoline and the mill became an instant inferno.
The combination of Howson’s confession and the Flyers trading for Ilya Bryzgalov’s rights sparked numerous Jeff Carter to Columbus rumours. Conventional wisdom had the Flyers parting with the 26-year-old centre, because they had too many quality centres, and despite signing him to an 11-year-extension last season, the Flyers were going to part with him for the 8th pick and something else.
The Flyers are extremely loyal to certain players, and Carter’s contract suggests he is one of those guys. I’d be stunned if he was the guy they moved.
Just as the Carter rumours started to simmer, Ales Hemsky’s name sparked a new round of rumours. I can see some merit in a deal for Hemsky, although Columbus needs a top-line centre much more than they need another winger, but Howson is desperate to win this year to salvage his job, and Hemsky would give him instant offence compared to the 8th overall pick.
On a few levels it makes sense for Columbus, but would it make sense for the Oilers?
In 490 games Hemsky has tallied 395 points (0.81 PPG), which is solid, however, he has only played 69 of the past 164 games, but he scored 64 points in that span (0.93 PPG). Staying healthy is the major knock against Hemsky. When dressed he plays hard, goes to the tough areas, is difficult to defend and he can electrify the crowd with his moves.
Hemsky’s injuries and his potential UFA status have many thinking now is the time to move him, but do you really feel getting the 8th pick and a role player is good value? Take a look at what type of player the Oilers might acquire with the 8th pick.
YEAR TEAM PLAYER
2010 ATL Alex Burmistrov. Too early to say how good he’ll be. He had six goals, 20
points as a rookie.
2009 DALL Scott Glennie. Has yet to play a game in the NHL. He’ll be in AHL
2008 PHO Mikkel Boedker. Played as an 18-year-old, but has been mostly in AHL since.
2007 BOS Zach Hamill. He’s played three years in AHL, but 14 goals is the
most he has scored in a season.
2006 PHO Peter Mueller. 127 points in 222 games, but has been out for over a year
with a concussion.
2005 S.J Devin Setoguchi. Has had three 20-goal seasons. 159 points in 267 games.
2004 CBJ Alex Picard. He has a whopping two points in 67 games.
2003 ATL Braydon Coburn. A solid pick, top four D-man, in one of the deepest draft
in NHL history.
2002 MINN Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Had three 57+ point seasons before suffering a
2001 CBJ Pascal Leclaire. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued him.
Only played 30+ games twice.
2000 T.B Nikita Alexeev. Was out of league by 2007 with 37 points in 159 games.
1999 NYI Taylor Pyatt. Solid NHL career as a role player with 245 points in 682 games.
1998 CHI Mark Bell. Played 445 games and tallied 182 points before flaming out.
1997 BOS Sergei Samsonov. Solid career with 571 points in 888 games.
1996 BOS Jonathon Aitken. Big D-man only played 44 NHL games.
1995 MTL Terry Ryan. 50-goal man in junior, but only played eight NHL games.
1994 T.B Jason Weimer. Was a good grinder for 726 games, and totalled 202 points.
1993 NYR Niklas Sundstrom. Played 750 games and scored 349 points.
1992 TOR Brandon Convery. Skated in 72 games and scored 28 points.
1991 North Stars Richard Matvichuk. Solid D-man for 796 games.
Concussions hurt both Bouchard and Mueller, while Samsonov and Setoguchi have been the most offensively productive. Coburn is a very good D-man and Matvichuk was a great stay-at-home defender. Even though scouting has improved immensely the past ten years, the eighth pick hasn’t been overly productive in that span. How many of those guys would you trade straight up for Hemsky? One, maybe two.
Unless Columbus is offering up more than just the 8th pick, I wouldn’t trade Hemsky at this point. I like Hemsky’s game, despite his recent injuries, but his shoulder will be healed properly by fall and I’d expect him to play 70+ games next year.
I know there is a risk he might leave as a UFA, but if the Oilers take a decent step forward this year I have a feeling Hemsky will want to be part of the upward turnaround after five uneventful, playoffless seasons.
If you are wondering about Sheldon Souray’s status, the buyout period doesn’t officially start until 48 hours after the Cup final. So the earliest we see any buyouts is probably late Friday night or early Saturday morning. I’m sure the Oilers will look at possible trades, but how many teams would be willing to take Souray’s contract combined with his rash of injuries.
Mike Commodore has two years left on his deal, and if the Rangers are considering buying out Drury, he has a no-movement clause, so a trade might be hard. I don’t think either move would really help the Oilers. If Commodore had only one year left on his deal I’d trade for him, but that second year is hard to overlook.
I wonder if the Oilers will say goodbye to Gilbert Brule. They could buy him out for just over $308,000 a year, which would save them almost $1.2 million in actual dollars.