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 
                                                  next season.
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. 
                                                  Good pick.
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.

  • Bucknuck

    Buying high and selling low is a BAD idea. Hemsky’s stock will never be lower than it is right now. It’s the wrong time to trade him. Just like trading Souray would have been a good idea after his second season as an oiler, and was impossible the following year. Or signing Brule/Gilbert/Horcoff after terrific seasons only to have them drop off the next season.

    Hemsky is due a season where he plays more games than he sits. I would wait to trade.

    And yes his value is higher than a #8 pick. There are not many players as entertaining to watch as Hemsky. That counts.

  • I’ve said it before, I like Hemsky, he’s an amazing talent an incredible hockey player, and would really like to see him stay an Oiler. However I have said that unless the Oilers don’t sign him before the draft then trade him.

    What happens if Hemsky gets hurt? A lot of you are complaining about the fact that an 8th pick is not enough and that may be true. In fact it is, but what will all you be saying if that does happen? What happens when Hemsky want’s to renegotiate his contract and want’s “fair” value? What is fair value? To me, on the open market it may be 5.0 to 5.5 most likely the last, do you spend that on a player who’s played 69 games in 2 years? That’s an awful risk.

    The way I look at is this; If Hemsky plays and wont sign you just lost Hemsky and the pick, you’re not getting fair value for Hemsky at the trade deadline, most teams are capped out and the Oilers will get something closer to the Penner deal, the 8th still looks better. If Hemsky sign’s an extension and then gets hurt, well, you loose yet another productive body again and another year of ELC for the rest of the rookies. If Hemsky doesn’t sign an extension before the season starts then plays and gets hurt! And won’t sign! You’re completely screwed! ST should be immediately fired for not making the deal for the pick!

  • justDOit

    In the summer of 2008, if we could have traded Hemmer for the #10 pick, there would have been outrage and riots in the street. But that pick (I know, it was ours already, but let me make a point) turned into MPS. Not too shabby.

    The quality of your junior/Euro scouting will make a #8 pick better or worse, depending. I’m sure Tambi has already been talking with his staff about where this draft drops off – what they think they can get out of the #8 pick (if anything).

    A draft pick is not a sure thing, but neither are surgically repaired shoulders! And if Hemmer tries to play any other way than how he does (fearless), then he’s not worth having either.

    I personally hope that this is Howson’s last stand, and that he’s willing to go for broke to land some quality scoring for his club.

    Oh, and trading away Carter is foolish, and I doubt very much that he’s going anywhere.

  • Bucknuck

    It would be great if we walked out of this draft with Larsson and Couturier.

    But Couturier will be in the top 5. I don’t think a team would give up a top 5 pick for Hemsky. He is too expensive and a free agent soon. As well as his age.

  • Bucknuck

    I understand the urge to trade our veterans while they have value. And I love the idea of collecting more prospects for the future of the team. But this team needs more veterans rather than less. There are only a few vets on this team that can help the youngsters develop. I know that Gagner and Cogs have been playing a few years but I really don’t consider them as solid vets.
    WE need the young guys and but we need solid vets as well. We didn’t need to trade Penner but we did and we got a descent prospect who may or may not become a solid NHL d man.

    People have been posting about trading players like Gilbert and Hemsky. But I think that would just help to put us back at the bottom of the standings next year. I wish the Management(I really wish Katz would get rid of the management that put us on the bottom) would start to build up the d men and bottom six forwards with some solid NHLers who can help cover the development of the rookies.

  • CanaDave

    @Action Jackson

    Changing of the guard is one thing, but change for the sake of change is another in my opinion. If the Oilers have major injury concerns about Hemsky then every other team in the NHL does as well, so why would anyone give the Oilers fair or even reasonable value for him at this point?

    I addressed the question of him walking away, and said that if he has told Oilers management he’s leaving at the end of the season and nothing they can say or do will change his mind, then I agree the Oilers should trade him, though I think his value would be higher after 40-50 healthy games played by him in the upcoming season.

    Remember that the Oilers own the rights of all their young players for 7 seasons, so resigning Hemsky to a 3 or 4 year deal after this upcoming season won’t impact their ability to resign any of the young guns at the end of their RFA period, since I’m assuming none of them will want to sign contracts longer than 4 years so they can maximize their free agency window.

    Would a 31 or 32 year old Hemsky be willing to take less than market value to play with 22 or 23 year old Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle and the top pick this year? Hopefully that’s a question we get an answer to in 2015

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I hope Hemsky stays and re-signs long term (4-5yr 5mil front loaded) as a fan Id like to see him retire here, but if Dithers has to trade him for X reason I’d hope he gets back a NHL player + a top 10 pick, they’ll need to replace Hemskys points and the Oilers shouldn’t put possibly 2 rookies into the line up again IMO.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I am with a previous poster who stated Hemsky should only be traded if he has indicated that he will not sign an extension.

    After years of chasing Free agents we have a PPG player who is already here, why trade him just to go looking for a replacement in a few years.

    And if I read Brownlee’s story correctly that Oilers are considering dealing next years 1st plus 19 to get into the top 5, that is even more reason you don’t deal Hemsky unless you have to.

    As some point this rebuild needs to be a team or it will just be a constant cast of players rotating out. If we deal Hemsky for 8, assume it will take said player 3 years to make it to the NHL, 4 or 5 to make an impact and then we are staring at Hall MPS and Eberle being unrestriced in a year or 2 after that. Well I guess we would deal those guys for picks, and on and on it could go.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Would Columbus even do 8th for Hemsky straight up? I love Hemsky as much as the next guy but I am trying to look at this from a non Oilers fan perspective and I just don’t see it. Yes Howson needs to win but if he trades 8th for Hemsky and Hemsky gets hurt (Likely), Jackets miss the playoffs (Likely) and then Hemsky walks away from the jackets in the off season (again probably likely) Howson is for sure out of a job and might be tough to get another after that.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I think there is value in keeping one of our few veteran players in Hemsky. Management needs to at least make it look like they care a little bit about winning in the meantime even if the long-term is our biggest focus.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I think it will take a very very sweet deal to pry Hemsky from the Oil. When they traded Penner they really committed themselves to Hemsky as their only veteran who has any legit scoring ability. They would need something like a number 8 and a solid roster player for this to make sense.

  • Clyde Frog

    Hemmer needs to come out and play well for 75+ games next year, until we see that there’s not enough information for us to go on, to sign or trade him. Trading him now is a bad idea, the return couldn’t justify it. I like Omark but he can’t hold a candle to a healthy Hemmer- yet. Let’s see where Hemmer’s at come Christmas next year, then talk sign or trade.

  • Peterborough

    Say no to trading this guy. To trade him for a pick will get us another top three pick in next years draft and more ELPH. Then maybe next year we trade Whitney and Dubnyk for a picks that could possibly in 4 #1 overall picks??? This is madness people. Sheer madness.

  • Peterborough

    I am all for trading anyone but Hall, Eberle or Gilbert if it has a good chance to upgrade the team.

    For those who mention you shouldn’t trade away the good players – you should qualify and say don’t trade them for poor or risky return.

    Good trading is absolutely key to building a great team. Waiting to draft every need on the team, barring rare luck, is a generational approach to improvement – not for me. The best teams stay on top by making good deals and signings as needs arise.

    Hemsky should only be traded for a current equal value player in a more needed position – top pairing D or C, or a top 5 pick, preferably 2012 draft (this year will be a write off anyway, sadly).

    Out of top 5 is too low and too risky for a player of his abilities and fan appeal, despite his health issues. It would be better to keep him unless they have info about him not signing. In which case he should have been dealt before Penner while he had max value.

    If he goes for diddly it’s incompetent management.

  • Peterborough

    The draft could unfold like this – and if it does, trading Hemsky + #16 (while sad to see him go) for the #8 and a player/prospect would make sense for the future of the Oilers:

    1 – RNH/Larsson
    2 – Landeskog
    3 – Larsson/RNH
    4 – Hamilton
    5 – Huberdeau
    6 – Murphy
    7-10 – Couturier/Strome/Zibanejad/Siemens

    If this went down, and the Oilers had 1 and 8 in hand before the draft starts, I’d go Larsson at 1 and one of the centers (hopefully Couturier falls) at 8.

  • This team has virtually no proven veteran players left and people are talking about blowing it up further? We easily got last place in 2010 WITH Hemsky (Sure, only part of the season but still). You’d have to think if we trade our best player for a spin at the roulette wheel/magic beans (8th overall – really??) that we’ll be a lock for the lottery again in 2012.

    Is that what people want??

    If you ask me its pathetic. Fans in this city seem to be addicted to rebuilding. Its like a drug addiction that has replaced the desire to win. People have become absolutely obsessed with draft picks and cap management and mind reading if players will want to be here in 3 years to the point that it has replaced any desire for the team to win. A few years ago (before the addiction set in) this city would have burned to the ground if management traded Hemsky for any draft pick outside of #1. Now its all cool cause it fuels the rebuild crack addiction.

    • Lofty

      Hemsky has never been worth a 1st overall pick. Not at market value, at least. There are years when worse players than Hemsky were drafted at that position but he was never worth that much.

      @Lofty: If you don’t win with a certain veteran group, you trade them for assets and bring in another veteran group through trades and free agency. Not to say the Oilers can’t win with the Penners, Hemskys and Horcoffs. But turnover in any business happens. It’s whether or not you replace people in those roles or at those positions.

      Other cities do it all the time.

      And they’re not DFL, either. That honor is ours alone for two straight years.

  • Lofty

    I would say that Hemsky is no longer the Oilers best player, he is a great player but I think Hall will top him next year, and Hesmky just can’t stay healthy, I would argue that he doesnt make players around him better either (Horcoff excluded) if we got 8th pick for Hemsky I wouldn’t complain in the least, yes it would suck to lose a proven verteran but if he leaves anyway then we got an 8th overall out of it, and if he gets hurt then what difference does it make, and depending on what he wants for a contract after. If the Oilers walk out of the top 10 with RNH and Couturier/Strome then our Center depth has been solidified for a long time, and if they get RNH and Hamilton or Murphy then we have our future top pairing D and Number 1 center, we probably won’t make playoffs next year so I see no harm in getting a future piece for him.