If GM Craig MacTavish makes good on the suggestion he’s looking to move Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, assuming he’s still around when next season begins, will be the lone player remaining from the playoff run that took the Edmonton Oilers to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final.

Seven seasons – without a single playoff game to show for them — after the MacTavish-coached Oilers snuck into eighth place in the Western Conference and knocked off Detroit, San Jose and Anaheim on the way to a showdown with Carolina, every player from that team is gone, except Smyth, Hemsky and Horcoff, with the latter two officially having one foot out the door.

If that doesn’t drive home the transitory nature of today’s NHL, at least for a team that has struggled mightily as the Oilers have to rebuild and return to contention, then nothing does. And, as we already know, Smyth also headed for city limits during that span before returning for a second tour of duty.

Flying home from Raleigh in June of 2006 after Game 7 seems like the blink of an eye for an old scribe like me. Looking ahead, it makes me wonder, as I pondered a while back, how many players who were on the roster last season will even be around by the time the new downtown arena complex opens.

Time flies.


. . . There’s not a chance, none, MacTavish opened up about moving Hemsky and Horcoff on the Mark Spector Show today without having already run the scenario past the players and their agents and I’d be willing to bet he’s had, at the very least, preliminary talks with other teams about both of them.

MacTavish would be a fool to paint himself into a corner by saying anything on a radio show he hadn’t already expressed to the parties involved and other GMs around the league, and MacT is no fool. I’m not saying he’s got a deal in his hip pocket for either of them right now – I’m certainly not inside enough anymore to know of one – but I can’t see this dragging on into training camp.

. . . As for what the destinations for Hemsky and Horcoff might be, and what the Oilers can reasonably expect in return, I’ll leave the crystal ball stuff and the deals that see MacTavish hose another gullible GM – the rights to Omark and Horcoff for insert-name-of-second-line-centre — to those so inclined. I’d resist the urge, however, to expect a windfall return for either of them.

. . . Maybe I missed it if somebody else mentioned it, but I hadn’t heard anything about Horcoff selling his house until Jason Gregor told me about it today. Given the dough Horcoff put into that joint, a For Sale sign should have been a big tip-off MacTavish’s revelation has been in the works awhile.

AND . . .

. . . So, with Horcoff on the way out, who will Oiler fans anoint as the next whipping boy on the team? History shows you must have one, so who will it be? Sam Gagner seems like the favorite to me because he’ll get a fat raise and a long-term deal from MacTavish.

Way too many people whine about what Gagner isn’t, instead of appreciating what he brings to the table as it is. Wait until Sam gets that big stack.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • bazmagoo

    Horcoff for Scottie Upshall from Florida makes pretty good sense to me. Exact same dollar amount left on their contracts, both guys could use a fresh start. Horcoff comes with a higher cap hit, maybe that is appealing to Florida?

    Haven’t been able to think of anything for Hemmer yet.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I just read a blog (R. Pilgam at Copper n Blue) of which that he proposes Hemsky, Marancin and Lander also the 2014 first rounder for Keith Yandle and Henrik Samuelsson.

    I would do this deal as GM only but that I would offer Gernat instead of Marancin and seek out a 2013 – 3rd pick (62 or 73)as well.

    Then with the Hemsky issue he proposes Hemsky, Musil, the Oil’s owned Anaheim 2013 – 2nd rounder, and also…the 2014 Oilers’ 2nd rounder for Tyutin and Jenner.

    I really like the second proposal better myself.

    • Spydyr

      The 2014 first rounder added in sounds like an over pay to me.I’m not big on trading assets that you have no idea what they will be.The first rounder could be another lotto pick.Let’s hope not but you never know.

  • OilersBrass

    Nikolay Zherdevs contract will more than likely be terminated in the KHL, he would make a good second or third line guy.

    If Hemsky was to be traded i’d trade him for picks and try to sign Zherdev to a one year contract. Flame me all you want for saying it but Zherdev is better than anyone in the bottom six.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Couturier and Hartnell to the Oilers, in exchange for the 7th and the 56th in this years draft.

    See Brad Richards getting another chance in Philly.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I want the Oilers to go out and get Bickel and Horton this offseason. Throw a 3 year 3.5 mil at Bickel, 4 year 22.5 at Horton, offer Gagner, N. Schultz and 7th overall for Couturier, Hartnell and Coburn. Buyout Horcoff and trade Hemsky for Dubinsky. Sign the Russian backup from Boston, Scuderi and Lapierre, roll with these lines….

    Hall RNH Yakupov
    Horton Couturier Eberle
    Bickel Dubinsky Hartnell
    Smyth Lapierre Paajarvi

    Coburn Schultz
    Smid Petry
    Belov Scuderi


  • OilersBrass

    Watching the Bruins/Penguins go into double overtime the other night in a 1-1 game I asked myself “Could Dubnyk play 80+ minutes straight without letting in a soft goal?”. My answer was “probably not”. Even though his league save % may be above league average, to win in the playoffs you need the consistency. I used to be a Dubnyk fan, using the save % argument, but the game the other night was a bit of an epiphany for me.

  • vetinari

    We seem to have too many armchair GM’s who think that if a trade works in an EA Sports video game, it should work in real life, no?

    I love the Eastside Hockey Manager video game/simulator and was able to move Hemsky for Ben Bishop, a second round pick, a fourth round pick and a couple of AHL prospects (one defenceman and one centre) but guess what, that ain’t gonna happen in real life!!!

  • Steve 1982 : You want size and toughness like Coburn , then just draft Nurse . Same projection for his development as Coburn’s, but like Coburn ofensively challenged and weak shot. Good tough stay at home defenceman , however .

  • OFF TOPIC > NEW PROPOSAL FOR THE NHL ; Add 1-2 additional exhibition games to be played in communities outside their city . Example : Oilers play 1 or 2 exhibition games in Ft.McMurray /Red Deer / Grande Prairie/Lloydminster , etc.. Good or bad idea ?

    • @Madjam.

      Well Played…. send the entire Oilers Roster down the Highway of Death a few times just so we can see if we have really shaken the bad luck or not yet? Why not just load em up on one of those Russian Cadillac Aeroplanes they use over there and take them for a spin to Moscow and home a few times instead?Sounds like about the same risk valuation to me,ha ha ha.

      Ha ha ah Ha.

  • Horcoff will be bought out imo. Thanks for the memories Horc and here is 5 million for your trouble. Hemsky in a package deal at the draft for a middle round pick that see’s the Oilers draft Horvat or Lazar. Take Nicky if he is there or Nurse. Hopefully Nicky.