With the 2014 Winter Olympics over with, NHL fans have now moved their attention to the looming trade deadline. Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers played quite well in Sochi, prompting speculation that the trade-bait forward could be moved within the next few days.
Fueling that speculation: The Oilers have shifted Hemsky to the left wing, allowing him to take on a top-six role for the club.
Ales Hemsky switched to LW by Oilers today. Unclear if that was a personal request from Dean Lombardi.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) February 24, 2014
This could simply be a move by Dallas Eakins in response to Hemsky’s level of play in the Winter Games. It could also be a possible showcase for the forward, giving him a chance to prove that he could help a team in search of a top-six winger. There are several squads that need either a wing or center, so bumping him up to the second line makes sense if Edmonton hopes to trade him.
It also makes sense if the team is looking to try to motivate him to continue to play well.
The NHL trade deadline is March 5. Edmonton is currently one of the worst teams in the NHL and is all but eliminated from playoff contention, barring a Disney-worthy comeback attempt.