So, word is that Ales Hemsky might be willing to come off his position of wanting a long-term deal and sign for a shorter term with the Edmonton Oilers if the money is right. Fine. Unless the Oilers aren’t interested.
Given how GM Steve Tambellini has dragged his feet in negotiating a new deal – with the trade deadline looming Monday, no formal contract offer has been made in writing, according to Hemsky’s camp – it doesn’t seem a stretch to question the Oilers level of interest in getting the Czech winger’s signature on the dotted line.
Would Hemsky consider a two-year deal worth $11 million to pass up becoming an unrestricted free agent July 1, as Jason Gregor suggested today? Gregor thinks it’s a possibility based on a conversation he had and I heard exactly the same term and numbers – at just about the same time, it turns out — from a person I consider a reliable source this morning.
This comes after Bob Stauffer over at Oilers Now on 630 CHED was the first to hint Hemsky might be willing to take less than a four or five years in a new pact a couple of days ago. Then, this afternoon, I was told that a three-year deal, another option floated in recent days, was a distinct possibility.
Seeing as I haven’t heard either term or a dollar amount come directly from Hemsky, Crha or Tambellini, both scenarios can be written off as speculation and hearsay, but the question remains: even if Hemsky is interested in two or three years, are the Oilers interested in keeping him?
OPTIONS . . .
All of the above can be framed – or contrasted, depending on your point of view – by a Tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger this afternoon. Dreger, who is as connected as anybody in the business wrote on Twitter:
"Plenty of teams circling the Oilers. Going into wknd, Edmtn will have multiple trade options for Hemsky. #TradeCentre"
That was before Jeff Carter came off the market when the Columbus Blue Jackets traded him to the L.A. Kings. While the biggest fish, Rick Nash of the Blue Jackets, remains available, that also might add to the "multiple trade options for Hemsky" Dreger refers to. Then again, it might take Los Angeles, considered a destination for Hemsky, out of the mix.
While there’s lots of legitimate debate out there about whether Hemsky would be wise to pass on UFA status for a shorter deal to stay on as part of the rebuild, I keep coming back to one question: are the Oilers interested?
We will find out soon enough.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.