Be The General Manager: Hemsky & The Trade Deadline

Quite a while back, Robin Brownlee offered fans a chance to work through a couple of hypothetical scenarios where they played the role of Steve Tambellini. I thought it was a great idea at the time, and filed it away in my mind for reference and stealing purposes.

So, presented with the following deadline scenarios, what would you do in the shoes of Steve Tambellini?

Ales Hemsky

Naturally, Ales Hemsky is item number one with a bullet for your consideration. You’ve been talking to his agent, as well as to other teams, trying to get a sense of your options. You have a couple of firm trade offers on the table, and Hemsky’s agent has given you a pair of contract options. Which course do you take?

Re-sign Hemsky short-term. Hemsky’s agent has indicated that his client will accept a one-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.25 million and a firm no-move clause, and he won’t go down on those terms because he wants you to…

Re-sign Hemsky long-term. This is Hemsky’s preferred option. He loves the city and the team and he wants to sign a five-year deal. He’s willing to accept a salary slightly higher than the one Tuomo Ruutu just signed – $5.0 million per season. In exchange for his concessions on salary, he wants a limited no-move clause – at the start of each season he’ll submit a list of five teams he’s willing to accept a trade to. Additionally, if he scores a) 20 goals or b) 65 points in any season, he may not be demoted to the minors at any point in the following year.

Beyond the contract talks, you’ve been talking trade with three teams – the Predators, Kings and Red Wings.

Trade Hemsky to Nashville. Nashville refuses to even discuss Ryan Ellis, but they’re willing to trade Jonathon Blum. After some maneuvering on your part, they say they’d also be willing to swap their second round pick for your third round pick as part of the deal.

Trade Hemsky to Detroit. The Wings held firm for a long time on Brendan Smith, but you held your ground and they’re now willing to move him. However, they’re demanding that you sweeten the pot by also tossing in your third round draft pick.

Trade Hemsky to Los Angeles. Dean Lombardi’s wary of you after the Penner fiasco, but he’s also desperate for scoring and his talks with the Blue Jackets have fallen through. He has two proposals: he’s willing to swap Vyacheslav Voynov straight across, or he’s willing to move Jack Johnson in exchange for Hemsky and Magnus Paajarvi.

Then again, you could always do nothing on the Hemsky front.

Before you make a final decision, another choice has come up.


There really isn’t much of a market for goaltenders right now, but you have had talks with a pair of teams that seem kind of interested: Minnesota and Toronto. Oddly enough, they’re interested in different goalies.

Trade Khabibulin to Toronto. Brian Burke, your old boss, is all too happy to help you out by taking that ancient Russian off your hands. The only thing is that he needs to clear cap space too, and hey, don’t you need defensemen? He’ll give you Mike Komisarek, straight across. In fact, he’ll do you one better – Mike Komisarek and a sixth round pick for Khabibulin and that healthy scratch Theo Peckham. Whaddya say?

Trade Dubnyk to Minnesota. The Wild are hoping to add another body to their lineup, and they know you’re interested in pending UFA Josh Harding. They propose to send you Harding in exchange for Devan Dubnyk and Linus Omark.

The Columbus Option

More out of curiosity than anything else, you also called Scott Howson in Columbus to see if Rick Nash had any interest in being an Oiler. (He doesn’t.) But, since you were on the phone Howson pitched you Jeff Carter. Basically, he really likes Sam Gagner, but he needs a little more than that. So, if you want to trade for Jeff Carter he wants Gagner, a second round pick, and to swap Curtis McElhinney for Yann Danis for the rest of the year. Just to make the deal a little more palatable, he’ll let you throw in Cam Barker – throwing in more bodies should also confuse the fans and help him keep his job.

What do you do?

Naturally, the above is entirely hypothetical.

  • Quicksilver ballet


    A)Khabibulin to Toronto for their second rounder. No thanks to a 4.5 third pairing D’man for 2 more yrs in Komisarek. How about Hemsky and Khabibulin to Toronto for Luke Schenn?

    B) Hemsky and Khabibulin to Washington for Thomas Vokoun,Darren Knuble and the Caps/Col first round selection in june.

    C) Hemsky to Los Angeles for their middling first rounder and Dustin Penner. If Penner wants to hang around after seasons end, offer him 5.5 over 2 yrs.

    Dubnyk and Martindale to Minny for Josh Harding.

    Petrell and a 2nd/3rd rounder to St.Louis for Ben Bishop.

    At the June Entry draft you have that Kings pick (16th’ish if the Hemsky to LA deal goes through) to pedal and try to move up. Whitney,Gagner,Omark,Jones,Eager,Belanger,Gilbert,Potter etc etc etc all there for the asking.

    Offer Paajarvi and the 32nd selection to Florida for Gudbranson.

    July 1st you offer Hemsky 20 million over 4 yrs.

    Even if only two or three of these scenarios were to occur, it would be a step in the right direction for the Oilers

  • A-Mc

    Ok Here is my breakdown.

    I broke all players down in excel to show Points per game, +/- overall and +/- Per Game.

    In this Mach scenario, i decided to keep it relatively simplistic and i went with the idea that +/- is extremely valuable because it’s not how many points you score, but how many points you score in relation to how many points are scored on you. (ex: Scoring 8 goals in 1 game does you no good when the other team scores 9).

    With that said, Ales Hemsky’s +/- per game was actually fairly decent at -0.046. Almost everyone else has significantly more ranging from -0.333 to -0.107. Voynov was the only person who had a positive +/- (+0.121) but its over a relatively small sample size of 33 games. Mike Komisarek was slightly better than Hemsky, @ -0.036 +/- per game.

    Komisarek is older than i would like and so for that reason alone i wouldnt trade for him.

    given this scenario i dont like any of the trade options presented with respect to moving Hemsky.

    So the question is: 6.25M/1Yr or 5M/5Yr?

    I would sign Hemsky to a 5M/5Yr deal. My reasoning is that i could move him before that 5 years is up if i need to, and at 5M/yr i dont think he has out priced himself to the point where no other teams would even play ball to get him. Signing him to a $6.25M 1Yr deal is an option for me because with this price tag, he HAS out priced himself and there is no way i’m able to move him before he hits UFA status. So essentially I’d be losing a top 6 forward for absolutely nothing.


    I didn’t like any of the options.

    Moving Khabi for Komisarek might be doable, but not at the expense of Peckham. Again, he’s another promising prospect that IMO will have much more value next year. In this scenario i would hold onto Khaby for the remaining year in his contract and let Peckham develop more so we know what we have there.

    Josh Harding is only slightly better than what we have now but the difference isn’t worth losing Omark. Omark is one of our top prospects and i would argue he already has more value than the difference between Dubnyk stats and Harding stats.

    Essentially, the A-McTambolini moves are non-existent. I would sit on my team and work at bringing in a FA. If FA doesn’t work out, then i would give my team 1 more year (12-13 season) to develop further and make the player moves then.

    The pieces i would move build D and/or a Goalie outside of FA market:

    Petrell, Hordichuk, Hartikinen, MAYBE Eager, 2nd round pick(s),Pitlick.

  • A-Mc

    Ok with the 6.5 for one year. Leary on long term unless its in the 4 range for 4 years. Id be fine with Jack Johnson or Blum and a pick for Hemmer, but MPS is not in the conversation. 5 mil/5 year is what he will get, and its the kinda contract that could be ok, or really bad for a club. I think if Hemsky can play 65-70 games a year, it would be great to have him fill a Hossa role for the Oilers.

    Carter can stay in CBJ for that contract and term. I would not do Samwise for Carter. That Albatros is the type of contract that could hurt a team if the guy is injury prone, or he does not produce and eats your cap. (Whiffcoff)

  • justDOit

    “Maybe if he went to a different team it would be like a new start,” Jagr told the Journal. “Maybe he gets 100 points.”

    “He’s that skilled.”

    Intersting quote from Jagr on Hemsky. I personally don’t mind either of the options that resign Hemsky. The short-term dollar figure doesn’t matter because it won’t effectour ability to sign the kids and it might give both management and Hemsky to push the reset button on their relationship.

  • justDOit

    Keep Hemsky . Trade Belanger . Wins over 50% of his faceoffs . Trouble is Tambellini overpaid and the fans think Hemsky isn’t worth $5 mill . I would trade Tambellini.

  • #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...

    I trade hemsky for voynov with a close second being to sign him for one year, i do neither of those goalie deals because although we might be able to use a guy like komisarek the contract is worth more and is lomger than Khabby’s and at some ppint we gotta give contracts to the kids, and i woukd never trade that package for a upcoming UFA goalie at this point of the rebuild, if he was an RFA then maybe but still probably not, and no i wouldnt do that trade for Carter, Gagner probably wont outscore Jeff Carter in his career but i believe when Gags hits his prime he’ll be almost as good as Carter and gagner’s character is 1000x better than Carters so no deal

  • I only like the 1 year deal today if the 5x5M deal is too rich for me (today and after a good run i in June). And if there’s a real chance I can extend the 1 year deal over the summer.

    In reality I press for a 3-4 year deal a little North of 5M. If I can’t do that I look for a 5 year deal with less movement restriction towards the end. I don’t object to the no minors clause as you can’t bury injured players. Burying a player who can still do some 3rd line duty would take us out of the UFA destinations just when the core should put us on it.

    But if all I have is JW’s options. I do his 5x5M and pass on all of the other deals. Carter is too much risk to the core in cap room and in getting stay together deals like Toews/Kane.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Only the Detroit option looks almost worth a second look. Jack Johnson is a no go, terrbile career +/- on a decent team.
    I think patience with Hemsky is the key. Guys recover at different rates…look at Gary Roberts. Hemsky isn’t the same as Roberts, but everyone thought Roberts was done with the neck injury but then went on for what another 8 years as a solid contributor? We need to give him time… He’s starting to look better and we need secondary scoring.

    Is that worth $5M/season…. for 2 years, ABSOLUTELY. For 5 years….ouch….. could put ourself in a pickle cap wise. If he believes in the team and wants to win…. we give on the term, he gives on salary and we can work on the limited no trade, no move. Say $22.5M for 5 years…. $5.5 Mil x 3 years, $3.0 Mil and $3.0 Mil …cap hit of $4.5 Million….. We get a decent cap hit and makes him attractive to others in year 4 & 5… big cap hit to get to basement, but lower salary.

    On the goalies….don’t want Komisarek back. We have Sutton. Will not trade Omark within conference for an UFA who can be had for free this summer!

  • Wax Man Riley

    While Richard Cloutier isn’t the best read all the time (I tire of his writing about fan mail all the time, I get it, he’s a blogger that gets ragged on, but he signed up for it)…anyways, as much as I don’t necessarily like his blog, I sure have to agree with his comments that he posted on here. I don’t like any of the deals proposed by Willis except Voynov for Hemsky (unless I missed some in the comments section).

    Personally, I think if we hold out another day or two the price will continue to rise for Hemsky.

  • Truth

    @ Willis:

    What sort of contract do you estimate that Hemsky signs as a UFA if not signed by then?

    The reason I ask is that it appears that he is perceived throughout the league as a max second line winger and 5yrs x $5M/yr would seem like the right price he would be signed to as a UFA. If so, maybe it is possible for the Oilers to do the always talked about never accomplished deadline trade away and off-season re-sign. It has to happen one of these days…

    • My guess is that Hemsky either gets a short-term deal with a contending team, or that he signs a long-term deal in the $5.5 MM range.

      I haven’t run a full list of comparables, but Martin Havlat’s deal – adjusted to today’s dollars – is what I’m thinking.

  • misfit

    5 years @ $5M is fine with me. The only other option I would consider is the Smith deal, but ultimately, I’d keep Hemsky.

    I don’t make the other trades. Burke can keep Komisarek, and I’m not trading Omark/Dubnyk for a UFA goaltender.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    If Gregor’s right about Hemsky signing for 2 yrs closer to 5.5 per than 5 per, I’d be looking for a 3 year deal 5.25.

    Some intentional and unintentional Twitter humor:

    rdcloutier: @drunrau @JasonGregor I didn’t read Gregor’s Hemsky post, if that helps. But he’s more in the know than I am.

    drunrau: @rdcloutier So are you just RT @JasonGregor’s post about Hemsky..without actually RT…or do have your own “Sources”

    rdcloutier: Hemsky could be re-signed before the end of the day. Hearing 2 years at $5mil per.

    JasonGregor: @timschneider @mc79hockey Be better Tim. I don’t pass on garbage for fun. Ideally he’d want longer, but would consider at closer to 11.

    timschneider: @mc79hockey @jasongregor source = @FakeOilersGM

    JasonGregor: @mc79hockey Both actually…not from managment.

    mc79hockey: With that said…I’ll believe these leaks when they’re coming from Hemsky’s side.

    mc79hockey: An amazing deal if the Oilers get Hemsky to sign that.

    JasonGregor: Hearing Hemsky would consider a 2-year deal at $10-11 million. If I’m the Oilers I sign him to that. Win-win for both prior to RNH new deal.

    FakeOilersGM: Working on a complex 4-way trade in which I deal AND acquire Ales Hemsky. Stay tuned.

  • Brownlee loves the word meow

    You have to get quality back for Hemsky. It isn’t likely to happen as your ideas show. I would sign him but limit the LNMC to two years and pay a bit for that, front loaded a bit.

    I don’t see any player I want listed, or that even has better than a slim chance of evening out a deal for Hemsky. Subban is good but I don’t see anything uniquely special and I don’t like erratic players or big attitudes that don’t come with league top play in perpetuity. If we take some of the top consistent players over the last while – Crosby, Hossa, Thornton, Toews, Sedins, Lidstrom, Chara, Webber, Hamhuis – pretty nice guys. Being mouthy or difficult isn’t required or desired.

    As for Carter, Gagner is younger, has the same PPG essentially even without Glory Days Nite and no Nash, and isn’t a malcontent so why do that for a few extra goals?

    Unless I can swing a few deals that solidify the team and puts the roster at the point it makes sense to push forward, I will ice the same team again next year because I want the crack at the two great centres. If there even is a season. Plus my owner and most fans don’t care!

    Well I might clear a little deadwood out to let younger players have a chance to get games in. The team will still lose, but at least something is getting accomplished. For eg. there is no point in Petrell or Hordichuk taking minutes. In fact it’s harmful.

    If there is no legitimate shot at a playoff run, why give up the quality picks now? Accumulate and when the time is right at least there are enough shiny baubles to trade without poking more holes. And the right time won’t be next season sadly IMO. I can take hours of pain.

    • Old Soldier




  • Old Soldier

    Bear in mind that if we do trade Hemsky, we will need to find somebody to replace him to play in our top 6. When Ryan Smyth was traded, we need to fill his spot on the roster and chased after Vanek and Penner with offer sheets. We landed Penner and gave up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The 1st we gave up was the 10th overall pick which Burke traded down to Buffalo. Buffalo took Tyler Myers, Anaheim took Jake Gardiner.

    Steep price to pay to fill the top 6 forward spot vacated by Ryan Smyth in 2007. Just something to be wary of.

  • Bucknuck

    Sign Hemsky long term but with a front loaded deal so that if his production tails off then he might be attractive to low income teams trying to get to the cap floor.

    I would trade Khabibulin, but I would not make the Gagner trade.

      • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

        I would take the so called average goalie Ryan Miller any day over Bulin or Dubby.To me Ryan Miller is one of the better goalies in the NHL but just having an off year.If the oilers trade there 1st pick for Miller and Myers they help themselves in 2 position they desperately need help at.Even if they don’t make that trade I would still draft a dman(Murray)over a second line player just because 2nd line players are easier to get through trade or free agency.

        • Oilers4ever

          I am not sure if I missed anything with the rest of this thread… but there is NO WAY in hell the Oilers first round pick would be enough to get both Miller and Myers out of Buffalo unless their GM is drunker than a skunk when accepting that trade. The first plus a player will get you one of those.. not both.

  • Oilers4ever

    I am not taking any of those trades for Ales… Sorry.. but when he’s on his game he’s one of the best wingers in the league, and those three trades.. who’s blowing sunshine ups who’s arse here. Yer all out.. I resign.. 5 years takes him to 33.. I might even look at 6 or 7… for that amount of money and he can play with Hall and Grigorenko for a number of years.

    I’ll take the trade for Komisarek with TO… big contract but he’s better than Peckham by a country mile and we shed Khabby’s contract. Forget the Josh Harding trade.. he’s as equal as Dubby and has proven nothing and to lose Omark when we can trade him with someone else a little higher up to get a better dman hopefully, no way I make that deal.

    Finally, I do the Jeff Carter trade. Forget everything else, Carter is a pure goal scorer and will have more numbers that Gags in his career. Bless Gags soul cuz he’s awesome but Carter will get you more… top lines now are:


    Maybe Carter can play wing.. who knows.. unfortunately this means MPS is out of the picture and I package him with Omark, next years first round pick and Jeff Petry to Nashville for Shea Weber and a 2nd round pick next year and see if they bite.

  • Mike Modano's Dog

    Trade Hemsky, Khabibulin, Belanger and Hordichuk

    I would be looking for:

    Anders Lindback, or another pro-ready NHL goaltending prospect

    Tim Erixon, with bonus for pissing off the Flames, or another good d-man prospect, hopefully NHL ready or close to it.

    Draft picks for MBS. I know we want/need players who can impact our line-up sooner than later, but keep building up our prospects. (We can use UFAs in the summer to get more immediate help.)