When the Edmonton Oilers took to the ice tonight to take on the Chicago Blackhawks, it became clear that Ales Hemsky had been scratched for the contest. Considering that there has been a ton of trade speculation surrounding the player, a healthy scratch only fuels the trade speculation fires.
Ales Hemsky scratched for Oilers here in CHI tonight. That’ll fuel trade speculation swirling around the winger.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) November 11, 2013
The Oilers already made one big splash this week when they moved Ladislav Smid to Alberta rival Calgary Flames to make space to Ilya Bryzgalov. While Bryz will certainly be an upgrade in net (probably), it left a gaping hole on the blue line for a team that simply couldn’t have become much worse on defense.
Now, with Hemsky scratched, it appears that Edmonton could be wheeling and dealing again.
It appears Ales Hemsky is a scratch tonight. Ready twitter … Go #Oilers
— Derek Van Diest (@SUNdvandiest) November 11, 2013
For a team that has spent a lot of time over the last week trying to put out rumor fires, scratching one of the main names that’s been involved to this point is an odd move. Either he sustained some sort of injury just prior to the game beginning, or there’s a bit more going on here than meets the eye.
Again, it’s just speculation at this point, but scratching a player that is involved in a nearly-done deal is pretty basic protocol. We’ll keep an eye on this situation as it unfolds tonight and will keep you posted on the detail.
UPDATE: Kill the speculation! The NHL made an error on Edmonton’s roster sheet, and Hemsky is indeed playing against the Chicago Blackhawks.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 11, 2013