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?
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
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
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
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.
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?
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.