ALL ARROWS POINTING TO EXIT

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Jason Gregor and Robin Brownlee have already told us they believe Ales Hemsky is headed out of town, and Jim Matheson has been telling us 83 is in play for a long time. If all three say it, does that make it true?

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As a long time Oiler fan, I can say with some authority that if Matheson, Gregor and Brownlee are saying it, then we should move past “smoke” and look for the “fire” immediately.

  • Jason Gregor  Feb 20: I see no other option than trading Hemsky, but I’m still not a fan of
    trading proven NHL talent for just prospects or picks, because there is
    no guarantee those assets will pan out. One of the big mistakes that
    perennial losers make is that they trade away proven NHL talent for 
    “maybes.”
  • Robin Brownlee  today: Count me among those who have Ales Hemsky a goner by the trade deadline, which falls Wednesday next week.MacTavish won’t get great value for Hemsky as a rental, but there’s no
    chance he’ll re-sign here. Getting something for Hemsky is better than
    nothing – a prospect, please, not a draft pick. John Shannon of
    Sportsnet has mentioned Detroit. Makes sense. I can see Phoenix in the
    mix.

  • Jim Matheson  also today: If the Oilers do move winger Ales Hemsky at the March 5 deadline (three
    more Oiler games–Minnesota, Calgary and Ottawa, all at home before
    then), they’re almost surely looking for a good prospect off another
    team not a draft pick. They need people who can play now  not three
    years down the road. Detroit and Pittsburgh would  seem the most likely
    destinations for the Czech Olympic teamer with Ottawa and LA also in the
    mix. 

All three of these guys may be making an educated guess, or may have spoken to various hockey men throughout the industry. For all three to reach this conclusion? Hmmm. I suspect Hemsky’s name is out there (that’s happened before) and that one side or the other (player or team) has decided to move on. You may recall this was on the way to happening in 2012 before the Oilers signed Hemsky for two more years. 

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VALUE

Back then, the trade rumor I heard was ‘Hemsky to Nashville for a 2nd and a 4th’ and I suspect that’s about the value Edmonton might be looking for now. It doesn’t mean they’ll get it—maybe they’ll find two teams interested and get more.

Two things we can talk about: both Matheson and Brownlee mention players instead of picks so let’s take that into account. Next, the teams mentioned are Detroit, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and LA.

Let’s go shopping.

WHAT CAN YOU GET FOR 83?

We have to remember none of these teams are likely to give up a contributing player at this time. Why would they trade a guy they might need in May? Edmonton dealt Marty Reasoner in 2006 spring and then Marc Pouliot got mono, forcing the club to bring in Rem Murray. It’s unlikely any of these teams are going to deal an NHL player of any sort at the deadline. Edmonton may have to choose between an NHL contract that is an overpay married to a player deemed useful (like another Matt Hendricks) or an AHL player who is not yet established (an Anton Lander type).

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

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I don’t think the Oilers are going to get full value, and would prefer MacT sign 83 to a reasonable contract. He’s not scoring like before, but is having an effective season. If he’s sent to Detroit for Joakim Andersson we should be thrilled, if he’s sent to LAK for Kyle Clifford some will be pleased, if we find out he’s in Pittsburgh for Simon Despres we should be confused.

It won’t be long now.

  • Arius Mumin

    I’d be pumped to see a Hemsky trade just to give us a glimpse of the player that we know is there. I always felt that Hemmer needed a big scoring centre to complement him, much like Iginla needed a playmaker all those years in Calgary. Where Iggy and Hemmer are different is that Iggy learned to do things by himself whereas Hemmer, well we wish that he would have worked on his shot to become a more complete offensive player. It’s a wart but it doesn’t mean that he isn’t a high calibre player.

    • 24% body fat

      I don’t buy in anymore that player A from team B can be player B on team A. Hemsky is what he is and he will be that on any team he plays for. The guy you saw in the Olympics has shown up on the Oilers over the years. The player who is injury prone and will turn the puck over will also show up on a team like Detroit.

      The only time this works is in radically different systems, such as Perron coming from a defence first system to the high flying one here in Edmonton.

      Hemsky, no matter where he goes, will never be an elite level talent. His best year is 77 points, and while impressive, one good season does not an elite talent make. Hemsky is a good player that could have been a dominant one.

      • I disagree with that. Players will adjust their game based upon who rhey’re playing with and the game plan for that line. But an individual player will be most effective in a situation where their top skill sets are best utilized.

        A big winger that can crash the net, that’s an extremely useful skill, one that is high on the Oiler wish list. But how useful is that skill set to us if his line mates cannot put the puck on net? If that big winger wants to be effective, he’ll do other things, but you’re missing out on his primary skill.

        • 24% body fat

          hmmmm, not sure where the big winger debate came into play? What I’m trying to argue against is this prevailing idea that if only Hemsky were on a good team his true skills would shine through and he’d magically be an 80 point guy. That narrative is not true. Look at Iginla, everyone said that about him for years, if only he was on a better team. Then he went to a better team and his production is not the same. Reason being his ice time got cut.

          Hemsky, no matter which team he is on and who he plays with, is never going to be a different hockey player than he is now. That hockey player is someone with nice offensive creativity and skill, a player that goes to tough areas, but someone who is injury prone, does not really back check, and can go stretches of the season looking disinterested.

  • oilerjed

    Eberle and Klefbomb for Lecavialier and Mezjaros? (spelling I know).

    Resign Hemsky or perhaps offer that truck ton of money to Callahan.

    Trade Gagner for…? Something I guess. Bit of a day dream as I know a lot of these guys have clauses and such.

    More asking if that is good return for both teams.

  • 24% body fat

    I like to commend evryone for refraining from mentioning a trade for Shea Weber. I know it was difficult for some of you.

    I wonder if the Kings would take Hemmer and our first rounder and Arco for Drew Doughty?

  • oilerjed

    Im curious, on another article it was suggested that Boston would be a good match for a Hemsky trade. I mentioned Hamilton as an option and got lit up with trashes but no feedback. Anyone have any ideas?

  • With all respect to JG, RB, BS, JM predicting a Hemsky exit does not merit “scoop” material. If one of them piped up and said Hemmer was going to be resigned and was right that would be impressive.

  • His value jumps because of his play at the Olympics? Sorry, what did the Czech team win?

    What did we win in 2006? What have we ever won with Hemsky?

    No. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. In that order.

    Hemsky is one of those constants that has seen this team be the worst that it can be.

    I’m thrilled if we get a 2nd rounder.

  • This sort of stuff is great. After years of apparently trying to unload Hemsky, and getting no realistic response from any other team, this is the season that finally, some playoff bound Stanley cup contender is going to look at him and think he’s the missing piece? Why now? It’s just not going to happen. Edmonton won’t trade him for a 7th round pick, and no one will offer more than that. They’ll re-sign him for $2.5/yr in the off-season.

  • toprightcorner

    – N. Schultz for a 2nd rounder.
    – Potter for a 3rd rounder
    – Hemsky for a 1st rounder
    – Bryzgalov for a 1st rounder
    – Gagner for Couturier
    – then trade our 1st and the other 1st picks to Buffalo for their #1 overall (assuming they win the lottery) and draft Big Bad Ekblad

    • Spydyr

      This has to be sarcasm?

      Doesn’t it. No one can be that out of touch with player value.

      Anyone could of signed Bryz for nothing now you are getting a first rounder for him?

      Gagner for Couturier – wow just wow.

  • Spydyr

    The more I read the responses put forth by Oiler fans, the more they sound like irrational Leaf fans who grossly over value their players.

    Also sad is the pie in the sky fantasizing about getting Shea Weber for any combination of Oiler players. Poile is not a moron and knows what Weber brings to his team. He is not going to be traded.

    Please listen to those in the know and stop dreaming out loud. It is becoming boring.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    I think that we all have to realize that getting a 3rd rounder for a proven player like Hemsky just means that you’re giving him away. Let him stay and finish his season as an Oiler. He’s a class act and has support this team.

    Remember that MacT is the GM that took two 2nd rounders and traded them for 3rd rounders. Hard to understand why all the media think the guy is so smart now that he has his mail order MBA.