Who’s Next?

I’m not going to enjoy waving goodbye to the Pardubice Prince, but as a member of the Oiler fanbase since 1972 it’s a movie that has played Edmonton before. The question then becomes: who’s next?

The most famous trade in hockey history came in 1988, although "trade" is being generous. The truth of the matter is that the great Oiler team of the 80s began to break down via trade previous to the Gretzky deal: Paul Coffey was already in Pittsburgh when they flushed the Great One.

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette account of the 99 deal gives you an idea about how Coffey felt at the time:



The thing about trading really good players is that there’s a skill to it. Glen Sather traded an entire wing of the Hall of Fame, but he also acquired some terrific talent. Now, I’m not saying he won all or most of those deals, but as a fan you could be pretty sure that if one of the Glory Team was heading of town the guy coming back could think and chew gum at the same time.

Last trade deadline, ST dealt off Dustin Penner for a prospect and a pick. I felt at the time (and still feel) the return was good (1st round pick turned into Klefbom and Teubert is halfway through his entry level deal and developing). I think the team mission statement has changed over the last 12 months, owing to the arena progress and the very poor regular season performance of the big team.

A year ago I wrote this about the Penner deal:

I do not feel a complete rebuild was required and would have preferred they keep Penner or deal him for more immediate help. The Oilers under owner Daryl Katz–and make no mistake this drawn out process is his vision–have decided that Edmonton fans will not see a contending team in Rexall Place. You can make up your own mind as to the reasons, but my belief is that the owner and hockey men are convinced this is the proper journey to winning the 6th Stanley.

With that as a caveat, I’m satisfied with the return. Understanding that the organization has decided to rebuild with Taylor Hall as the “franchise” then the organization must acquire both picks and prospects in that general age group. When Hall explodes as a player, the team can cash picks and prospects in an effort to add depth to the batting order, but it isn’t going to happen this or next season.

Things have changed. The Oilers have improved season over season but sending Hemsky away for a pick and a prospect doesn’t do much for 12-13 progress. Sure, they could add a first round pick in 2012 or 2013 that could be used to acquire a player in summer, but I think we can agree that adding picks for the sake of stocking the system has run its course.

The arena deal is progressing, Trading Ales Hemsky is a poor idea from my point  of view because there’s no one to replace him on the roster and because the player has expressed a willingness to see the rebuild through. This isn’t some Johnny-come-lately looking for a free ride on the #1 overall train, the man has suffered through some of the most ghastly hockey we’ve seen in these parts. In fact, there were many nights when 83 was the only real reason to watch the town team.


At some point you have to brave the crosstown traffic and make a trade that addresses immediate need. An organization flush with draft picks and holes in goal, defense and now wing badly needs a deal for now.

With that as the backdrop, and a final distant voice reminding us about the wisdom of trading the best player in the deal, Oiler fans brace themselves for Steve Tambellini’s vision to unfold. And if it doesn’t work out, well, it has to work out. The alternative is failing for a few more years until the #1’s start leaving town.

Perhaps there is still time to find some middle ground.

We wait.

    • Wanyes bastard child

      Heh, you beat me to it, was busy you tubing something good 😛

      I’d still reaaaaalllllly like us to re-sign Hemsky, but I don’t see the two sides coming together for the deal sadly…

          • Stocc

            That’s kind of tricky. You have to view the page source, find the comment id number, and tag it onto the end of the URL with a ‘#’ before it but after the page number.

            The URL for this comment looks like this:

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            how do you find the comment id number? I’ve wanted to do this too…

            While I’m at it… does anyone know how to link to an exact video on the oilers website rather than the video site in general?

          • Stocc

            You have to view the page source. It’s not really set up for users to do so you have to dig through the code of the webpage, find the comment, and find the spot where the comment id number is. It looks like this:

            <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" class="comment" id="comment-270969">

            And then you have to do all that other stuff I said.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    But seriously though, I hope they don’t trade Hemsky and give him a 3 yr contract (5,4,3.5 per with bonus bling in yrs 2 and 3) and hope like hell he really does like the direction of the team is headed in & seeing the noise they could make in the playoffs in 2yrs.

  • Stocc

    What I don’t know:
    – What it takes to keep Hemsky
    – If you can keep him and pay all the new young guns when their contracts come up
    – How likely it is that the shoulder holds up

    What I do know:
    – I sure like that Hemsky fellow
    – It sure looks scary without him

  • Elite teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Detroit, Anaheim a couple of years ago, all built the same way – amass a core of elite talent through the draft, and then add free agents who could tell which way the wind was blowing. Oilers are over halfway there, but trading away Hemmer for picks and prospects makes little sense at this point – unless Hemmer makes it clear he really wants to test the free agent market, leaving ST no choice but to make the best of the situation. Hemmer is exactly the type of player they would be looking to sign as a free agent anyway. Teams that are trying to short circuit the process are spinning their wheels (Toronto, Calgary). I plead for patience.

  • justDOit

    I’ve heard people saying Rick Nash is worth a fortune and Hemsky is worth peanuts in a trade. Hard to compare players, but Hemsky’s been as productive as a player. The same things could be said about Hemsky as Nash that until recently he has never had elite talent to play with. The most I important difference other then size has been Nash’s durability.

    If teams don’t see Hemsky’s value then hopefully we can work towards a cap friendly contract. The thoughts of having Eberle, Hall, Nuge, MPS, Hemsky, Gagner and hopefully Murray or Grigorenko is one heck of a core. Trading a top 6 talent means we will be less talented team moving forward, and if the return is junk, hopefully we can sign him to cap friendly contract of 4 years 4 mil or something.

    I hope Tambo proceeds with caution.

  • jamesemmy

    Long time lurker … first time poster…

    This is the exact reason we need to re-sign Hemsky. If we keep trading away our older players to get younger, the kids will not properly develop and we’ll continue to spin our wheels. We’ll never improve and end up as the west’s version of the Islanders…


  • I’m more than a little tired of this “contender” thing everybody has bought into. It gives the team leeway to Infinibuild™ with the idea that it’s cup or nothing. In fact, that’s a pretty brazen goal for a team as poor as we’ve been.

    Truth is, only a few teams ever really contend. And everybody knows only one team takes it all, right? The rest work on being “competitive” first. You know what, I’d take a regularly competitive team whose goal was to continually improve with the end point being to contend for the cup if all the cards turned up aces.

    Funny thing is, you have to be competitive before you contend. Seems like that tidbit has been overlooked almost entirely. We’ve all bought into contender mode so completely we’re more than happy to suck (indefinitely) in order to instantly become cup winners again.

    Doesn’t happen in the real world man. Ya gotta compete first. That we’re not holding the team to that basic premise is a travesty in my opinion.

    • And a lot of elite teams sucked for 4-5 years (Pittsburgh, Chicago, Vancouver) before their core developed. If the Oilers don’t “contend” next year I will agree with you. Nobody expects instant cup winners. But I would rather do it this way, then paper over my team with waiver picks and aging veterans (a la Flames) and hope to sneak a peak at the playoffs once or twice a decade.

      • The thing of it is, alot of teams make the playoffs on a regular basis. THIS is what I’m getting at. Ya gotta make the playoffs first. To do that you have to be competitive.

        Once you’ve established competitiveness, THEN you go on to contending. It’s a necessary intermediate step.

        • And it takes a core of elite players to become competitive on a yearly basis. And last time I looked, no one is trading elite young players for nothing. Leafs paid a pretty high price for Kessel. Is that the type of deal you want ST to make?). The only way you accumulate elite core players, unfortunately, is to suck for a half decade or so. We are just about through that half decade, and I see a pretty decent core of elite players forming. Next year, we should contend. The prevailing wind starts blowing through Edmonton and free agents looking for a winner start looking north. Then you sign the pieces. (Like Hamhuis choosing Vancouver last year). Thats the plan. ST should stick to it.

        • D

          Florida. Have sucked for a decade. Missed the playoffs since before ice was invented. Spent years accumulated draft picks. Now contending in the weak southeast and may miss the playoffs again if they don’t finish first in their division. What’s your point?

          • DSF

            Dale Tallon took over last May.

            Acquired the talent to take his team from last in he EC to the playoffs in one off season.

            The Oilers have also sucked for a decade and are still years away from being competitive because their GM can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

            Acquiring high draft picks and acquiring veteran NHL talent who help you win now are not mutually exclusive.

          • Bucknuck

            You do realize that Eberle was taken 22nd overall. The team doesn’t have to suck to get great players. They have some great players that they never would have gotten without being terrible for two seasons (Hall, RNH), and they are going to get another one I think.

            Enough already. Get some defensemen and a replacement for Khabby and lets see some playoffs next year, if they don’t then Tambellini had better be gone.

          • jonnyquixote

            Last I checked Florida is ranked 17 in the TSN powerrankings out of 30 teams, by signing a truckload of free agents probably looking to retire in South Beach. Their drafting this decade has been atrocious though they have been better of late (due to the fact they have sucked so bad for so long). At least Oilers made a run at a cup this decade. What’s your love affair with Florida. Until they make the playoffs, I don’t wouldn’t hold their model up as something worth emulating.

  • Would a 4 year deal at similar cap hit numbers to his previous contract get a Hemsky deal done?

    Hemsky must know that given the past few year’s experience his open market value isn’t what it was.

    The Oilers must still realize that his previous deal was on the cheap side of fair value.

    Everyone gets that the Oilers won’t be getting fair value in a trade at this deadline.

    Given Hemmer’s age, cap hit is meaningless in the face of injury. He’s either LTR, in which case the $ doesn’t count against the cap, or he’s retired due to injury, in which case the $ doesn’t count against the cap. Insurance cover’s Katz’s wallet regardless.

    Hemmer at $4-$4.5M per is a great option, in many ways better than any other on the table ATM.

    This team needs Hemsky. Trading him away, IMO, would not be positive from any angle.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Hemmer at $4-$4.5M per is a great option, in many ways better than any other on the table ATM.

      Unless Hemsky and agent are in a firesale mood there is no way he signs for under his current 5M. You might get it down if you gave him a super long term and structured the deal so it was front-loaded.

  • oilbaron

    i think we should deal hemsky for our main team need, DEFENCE. We have allot of good forwards down in the AHL. Is Linus Omark not a potential top 6 forward? He sure as hell isnt a bottom 6 forward. From what ive seen of him play, hes better than hemsky on the half boards on the PP and they both stink at back checking anyhow. Hemsky coast’s most of the game when he doesnt have the puck and when he does have the puck he makes these little plays that usually end up with him turning the puck over. If your not going to give Omark a chance in the top 6 on this team than we might as well trade him too.

    • Wanyes bastard child

      Don’t forget that Omark is already 25 years old. Hemsky already had over 300 career points at the age of 25. He is really only 3 years older than Omark. The question would be, has Omark already reached his ceiling of potential? My guess is he is probably close. So in my opinion, Omark is a long shot to being a top NHL forward on a Cup contending team.

      • oilbaron

        The problem is this: there are only maybe 20 elite dmen in the league. They are rare commodities which is why teams are lined up down the block to get a crack at Suter. In between the hundreds of bottom pairing dmen and these elites is maybe a few dozen decent 3-4 dmen (oilers have maybe 2 or 3in Gilbert, Smid and a healthy Whitney). Very few teams want to part with them. You just can’t get them for a commodity such as Hemsky unless you overpay with prospects in a package. You either grow your own (which oilers hope to be doing with 4 quality prospects in junior), or when the time is right and circumstances permit, try to land a whale (like Boston did with Chara). Landing Pronger so so long ago was a grand slam out of the park trade, but was a freak due to cap circumstances in St. Louis, not likely to be duplicated.

    • oilbaron

      I’d suggest that most people on either side of Hemsky would agree somewhat with a trade if it meant helping our d by way of a good solid asset.

      But all the speculation is about Hemsky for draft picks. Which is the point of lowtides article. Shipping out Hemsky at this point for another magic bean or two who MIGHT pan out in a few years isn’t really a ‘plan’ or is at least as risky as locking up Hemsky long term and hoping he doesn’t get injured. I’d argue it’s more risky.

      How will a draft pick help our d in this decade? It won’t. 18 year old d take 5-7 years to develop.

  • Reality Check to the head

    I think Hemsky will get traded. ST should only be looking at a 2 yr deal with Hemsky and less than what he was earning. 4yrs is too much for anyone with his injury track record.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        Apparently the CBA doesn’t allow players like Hemsky to get bonuses. Brownlee pointed that out comment 83 (ha! Hemsky!) over here:


        Here’s the language:


        What players may earn in performance bonuses?

        Performance bonuses will only be permissible for the following types of players: (1) players on entry-level contracts; (2) players signing one-year contracts after returning from long-term injuries (players with 400 or more games who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve in the last year of their most recent contract); and senior veteran players who sign a one-year contract after the age of 35.

  • oilbaron

    I dont believe Omark has “peaked” as a player. He’s taken a total different route to get to the NHL than hemsky has. His on ice vision is on par with hemsky and in my opinion his creativity and skill with the puck is above hemsky’s. I dont think that we would be a better team with Omark on the 2nd line and 2nd PP and with the added defensive depth that a potential Hemsky trade could bring us.

    • oilbaron

      I really haven’t seen enough of Omark at the NHL level to say he is ‘on par’ with a guy who has averaged over .90 PPG through the last few seasons. Very few legitimate top 6 forwards crack a healthy NHL lineup for the first time after the age of 25.

      If you can actually get a proven top pairing d-man for Hemsky, then you make that trade. But I doubt that is the case right now. I would rather keep a proven top 6 forward at age 28 than “hope” a 25-year old prospect can produce at an equilavalent pace.

  • oilbaron

    I would also add that a top 6 consisting of Hall, Eberle, RNH, Gagner, Paajarvi, and Hemsky would be very appealing in a couple of seasons from now. Hemsky at 30, if healthy, would still be able to produce, and all those other guys would be under the age of 25.

    I have seen some much better play out of Paajarvi lately that makes me think he could be in the process of taking that next step. I would put a lot more hope in him than in Omark.

    • oilbaron

      Agree that Hall and Eberle have shown enough to be pretty confident that they will NHL stand outs for years to come. RNH looks promising but a small body of work.

      What would have you said about Gagner three weeks ago? I hope he keeps it up, but his body of work prior to his recent hot streak had him a marginal second line center.

      Paajavi is a top 6 forward? 1 goal every calender year says not. He might show a quantum improvment but I see him as a solid third liner if he learns how to use his size better.

      Hemsky has 4 goals is what 40 games? Less than 30 points the two previous years. You claim that Hemsky will be able to produce at 30, I’d be more convinced of his top 6 stature if he could produce at 28.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        I would have Gagner slotted in as a 2nd line center. He has shown flashes of being a solid top 6 guy, he just needs to find the consistency that most 22 year old players (outside of the blue chip prospects) struggle to find.

        I don’t think Paajarvi is a top 6 forward today, but I disagree on him turning out to be a solid 3rd line player. He has shown the ability to score at the NHL level (15 goals in his rookie season), and again, he is going to take some time to develop, but all the tools are there.

        As for Hemsky, his production is there when he is healthy for the most part. This year has been a struggle, but he has 7 points in his last 7 games. He has proven he can produce at the NHL level, it is just a question of health.

  • I see keeping or dealing Hemsky depending on what type of team the Oilers want to ice. Hall, Eberle, RNH are great and have bright futures, but you add Hemsky and Gagner to that list and I think you have to make this a puck possession team like Detroit. Size isn’t everything, but there’s a limited amount of grit that group can display. Personally that’s why Hemsky maybe hasn’t been as effective as he would be in a different system.

  • DSF

    Trade hemsky and get the asset. If its a late first round thats fine. The rate Columbus is going thier primary target going into the draft will be Grigorenko. Carter will out the door for a boatload of prospects. Gagne lines up with MP and Yakupov. I’ll take that line everyday. The late pick can be packaged with something else to get the dman we want. Or we keep the pick and have 3 picks in the top 32. 2015 is the year I see this team taking the strides it needs to be a top level team.

    The other deal that I would do is Ryan Whitney. If the Oilers can get something for him now I would be estatic. I think that moving forward that he becomes a 3-4 dman rather than a 1-2. The foot injury is too much of a wild car. Trade him for value now.

  • CaptainLander

    I am on board with moving Hemmer for picks, some say a good d pick is 5 years from being being a good NHL’er and as I see it the only way the Oil become the contender is to have a top D-man. There are 2 ways to get one, draft a crap load of d and hope 1 turns out to be one of these people. Or you trade for one, usually giving up good prospects and draft picks. Sadly the Oil are still 4-5 years from being a contender, so if you can continue to get those picks this year you may find the top d-man for the contending team 4-5 years from now. Or is the big trade is available today then you need the picks for that.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Dear Ales, please accept our offer to pay you 2 million a year less than Horcoff. I know we promised to make it up to you but instead we surrounded you with pylons to keep your numbers down to justify what we are about to offer you. Sorry for the inconvenience…..ST.

  • vetinari

    I think Hemsky and the Oilers are just playing a game of “contract chicken” right now– Hemsky says there were no serious discussions until recently so fans became upset; Tambellini starts talks but it seems like its for only a short term deal at or around his current salary; Hemsky wants a long term deal because he “loves the city”, however, the Oilers have concerns regarding his health and want another year or so to assess his recovery and level of performance.

    If the parties are both serious about meeting in the middle, give Hemsky a one or two year contract around his current salary to prove himself and earn a bigger contract BUT give him a NTC or limited NTC (list of 10 teams) so that he can somewhat control how and when he leaves.

    If Hemsky really loves the city, really wants stability and the right to prove he’s healthy and deserves a bigger paycheque in the near future, this should do it. If the Oilers really want Hemsky and really consider him part of the future, this should also address their concerns.

    If Hemsky gets traded, the Oilers’ official position will be that Hemsky wanted too much money given his medical issues or wanted too long of a contract.

    From Hemsky’s standpoint, I would have some resentment that the Oilers agreed to pay Horcoff an average of $5.5M per year until 2015 with a NMC for most of the contract and yet are dragging their feet on his contract.

    However, I think the reality of the situation is that the Oilers have long ago decided that they cannot rely on Hemsky as part of their future and getting something back for him is better than getting nothing– especially if Hemsky can land them another building block or two.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      A one or two year contract isn’t meeting in the middle for Hemsky. He wants a long term contract in case he suffers another big injury. His recent injury issues have already most likely cost him a lot of money.

      He will be looking for something that is at least 3 years in length and probably more. If he signs a one year contract, it could end up costing him 10-20 million dollars if he ends up injured. No matter how much you love playing in Edmonton, I doubt any of us would be willing to take that kind of risk.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    This last ditch effort negotiating looks to be pretty effective, so much time has been wasted to date.

    I don’t see any harm in offering him 18 over 4 yrs just so they can retain some value that he could bring if he does get it turned around. That Horcoff contract really flung poo into the fan for this hockey club. One can’t deny that according to that Horcoff deal, 83 looks like he should be in that 5.5-6.5 per range. Get him signed and then trade him if need be.

    • Bucknuck

      Agreed. This is the entertainment business. Smitty, Horcoff, Gilbert and Whitney don’t exactly bring me to the edge of my seat. It’s possible when Hemsky has the puck. That should at least warrant their kind of $$$.

  • Naughty

    To be a contender we need a goalie and 2 Dmen for sure.

    It seems daft to trade our best player over the last ten years at his lowest value in those ten years. Though listening to his interview yesterday, it is blatantly obvious to me he will only stay for a long term big money deal. We HAVE to have cap money / room for the kids in 2/3 years or we are never going anywhere. Unfortunatley i think we have to take what we can get in this case, as we cant comprimise our cap space for the kids. That is the key to our success at the forward position, if we could sign hemmer to 2 years, i would, if he wants more, he has to go. His value will increase on deadline day, as teams realize the price tag for getting nash, not to mention a 7.8mil cap hit. Then a suitable plan B would be Hemsky. I would love to see him do well, i just don’t think the dollars and term make sence here in Edmonton. If we could get a young goalie for him, that would be great, as good defencemen are a expensive currency at the trade deadline and we would only get another plug or a pick that is 5 years away.

    • jonnyquixote

      Cap space should not be a issue with the signing of Hemsky. Hall and RNH are already nearly 4 million dollar cap hits with their bonus structures. Smyth’s 6.25 million will come off the books and I would assume that contract will be significantly less going forward. Khabby comes off the books next season, as does the Souray cap penalty. Gagner is currently making 2.275 million. He is probably going to be worth around 3 mill per season.

      Even with Horcoff’s awful contract, there is room for Hemsky at a cap hit of 4-5 million with the kids resigning after their entry deals are done. It is just a matter if the Oilers want to keep him.

      • Naughty

        The cap hits are less than 4 mill for the kids, the entry level deals for them is not what i am concerned with. It is the next deal at who knows, could be 5 mill each, all depending, we need cap space to add decent players outside of the group of forwards as well, as that is currently not the case with our D and G.

  • jonnyquixote

    Hemsky can certainly be replaced on the roster – maybe not “literally” but his ice-time can go to young players like Omark and Paajarvi who need primo minutes.

    I’d agree that the Oilers are better off keeping him, provided he can be signed to a reasonable contract that reflects his risk/value.

    But absent that possibility, you trade Hemsky now for what you can get.

    Right now, he has all the leverage and he’s simply not a player that you want to be leveraged by. Unfortunately, his injury problems made it nigh-impossible for him to be extended then. Now, in order for him to re-up, he has to want to play ball.

    And it doesn’t sound like he does. Which is fine. But it’s also fine that the Oilers don’t want to bend over for him, not when Hall, Gagner, RNH, and Eberle are forming the nucleus of a damned hot Top 6, and Smyth is going to stick around to pop in 20 and stick his ass in goalie masks for another season.

    So get more assets for the bank and then think about that 1st/2nd line RW spot in the off-season.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Someone mentioned Hemsky would make 5 mil in free agency. I don`t think GM`s are going to be taking that kinda risk. With the Horcoff, Gomez, Drury, Redden, Rolston, Khabby albetross`there has been, I think GM`s would be smarter then that. 5 mil puts him in company with the Hossa`s, Sedin`s, Zetterberg`s, Datsuk`s, Gaborik`s, I just don`t see a GM paying 5 mil unless its 1-2 years. Hemsky may get term from a team, but it will come at the cost of money or visaversa. I see 3.75 to 4.5 over 4 maybe 5 years. I`d be happy if he got a 4.25/5 year deal or 4.75/ 3 year. GET ER DONE TAMBI…

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      after all these years you should know better than to think GMs would be smarter then that.

      given the thin crop of forwards that will be UFA this year, and Hemsky’s career stats thus far, someone will be stupid and pay him.

      Ville freakin Leino got 4.5mil per year for 6 years..GMs are always stupid

  • Spydyr

    Not sure is Omark would be able to replace Hemsky on the power play.The thing I am sure about is Omark would look a hell of a lot better on the power play then Belanger.

  • Spydyr

    As you wrote not long ago LT, many writers complain about the management, but what really is the solution? Do they have enough skill now to move to the next phase?

    Are they are in a position to trade for everything they need without poking holes elsewhere? Could they sign enough quality vets to avoid sideways trades?

    I am wrestling with the fact that a huge talent is two drafts away and the Oilers are likely going to miss the boat. The timing of sucking so long and getting good just in time to miss a shot at the next uber player pisses me off.

    I am thinking a strategy to at least try for a potential 2013 lottery pick through a trade would be well taken. That is assuming they already aren’t planning to have their own.

    Being into the draft and such LT, I am interested in your thoughts on MacKinnon and not being in a position for a crack at him. Do we get better now at the risk of being a special player short of a realistic shot at the Cup? Are the four talents left standing after Hemsky goes good enough to carry the team?

    I am sure about Hall ……..

    • RexLibris

      I have wondered about how they might do the same thing, ie: load up on picks in a future year to try and increase your odds of a lottery pick. The only assets I can see being available at this time that might return those picks would be Whitney, Gagner, Smid, and Hemsky. Or perhaps an uber-hot Ryan Jones. I’m not considering any of the kids like Paajarvi, and only reluctantly include Gagner in that mix.

      It is tempting to think, what would it have been like if Tambellini had offered up Hemsky to Chiarelli at the start of the season for the Toronto 1st rounder straight up? Hall, Seguin, Eberle. RNH, Paajarvi, Omark. Yeah, that would’ve been nice.

      If Hemsky is re-signed, in my opinion his contract must absolutely NOT have a NTC or NMC. Tambellini has to be free to move him to make cap space available in an emergency.

    • Lowetide

      I don’t think the Oilers can go another two seasons without showing progress. Maybe they trade one of their lottery selections from 10, 11 or 12 but it seems counterproductive.

      Plus if MacKinnon is what they say he is, who would trade the pick?

      • Stocc

        Thanks for replying. I would think a deal for a pick would be post season, based on a hopefully educated guess on who will be at the bottom in 2013.

        If there is a season next year the MacK hype will be the biggest we’ve seen since Crosby (assuming nothing happens to him) and true no picks will likely move, especially as the season rolls on.

        Dealing Hemsky now is not smart because the buyers are good teams (bad magic beans). He should have been signed without a NTC, and dealt in the summer when someone who needs to improve soon might deal a pick before it’s value is known. I would shoot for the Isles, Av’s or CBJ. Perhaps the Av’s might be a bit gunshy at the moment.

  • Naughty

    Do you think the Blues would be interested in adding Hemsky? They need offence, especially if Andy MacDonald cannot come back. Chris Stewart is underperforming and could take Hemmer’s spot on RW. A bit of a risk for both teams, but it might be good for both.

    I would only move Hemsky if it filled an immediate need. I want to make sure our current group of kids are exposed to a winning environment next year. Fans grow impatient and so do hockey players.

  • Stocc

    Hemsky’s been my favorite Oiler for a while and he will help any team offensively, including the Oil. But Nobody should be signed long-term right now outside the young guys, because the team’s complexion hinges on them and their contracts, and they are the priority, imo. I think many (majority?) of people supported Horc’s contract back when, and that is a burden right now.

    Not suggesting that the situation would be the same with Hemmer, but why take the risk? Every player contract should be supportive of the young core, imo, not taking presidence. I think management should only take a high quality offer for Hemmer at the deadline – young tough forward imo – or wait until the off-season and get a 2 yr deal.