Ales Hemsky has been an annual talking point at the NHL Trade Deadline. It just seems that every year he’s always just about to be traded and a deal falls apart at the last moment. As a result, he is still a member of the Edmonton Oilers.
Now that we’re within a month of this year’s deadline, it is no surprise that Hemsky’s name has popped up quite a bit. Where will he go? What will the Oilers get in return? All these questions are being asked yet again.
I would suggest that if the Oilers were to get creative in terms of retaining a certain amount of salary that will assist in perhaps getting a better deal for some of their free agents, pending unrestricted free agents like an Ales Hemsky or a Nick Schultz. Case in point, if you were to take on half of the contract remaining for Ales Hemsky, you change the complexion of the deal greatly for a team like Phoenix that has got some financial issues. I think Pittsburgh might be in on Ales Hemsky. I don’t know if you’d get a prospect as good as Henrik Samuelsson – that’s a first round draft choice, I’m not sure you’d get that guy out of Phoenix, frankly. And I think Montreal might be in on Ales Hemsky. I will say this: the San Jose Sharks have been birddogging the Oilers a lot over about the last three weeks, so we saw a lot of the San Sharks Jose pro scouts on the road.
Willis notes that Stauffer’s comments about the Oilers retaining salary is plain common sense, which it is. Retaing salary of a rental player will not hurt Edmonton, it will help them as they will be able to get a better return.
With Stauffer mentioning the Phoenix Coyotes, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Montreal Canadiens and the San Jose Sharks, the Oilers could have a lot of options when it comes to dealing Hemsky. They just have to take the best deal.