Deadline Debate: Gambling on Hemsky?

One of the names that has been in the air vis-a-vis the trade deadline for literally weeks is that of Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky. The Oilers have been out of the playoff race for a long time and, with a stable of young forwards trying to learn on the job in Edmonton, it has seemed clear for some time that Hemsky doesn’t fit into the team’s long-term plans there. At age 28, Hemsky will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He is blessed with jaw-dropping talent and is one of the very few players on the market who is both a straight rental and could, in theory, pay immediate dividends on a team’s power play or playing with other skilled players.

The problem is that, well, he’s Ales Hemsky and that means he comes with more than a little baggage, including a stunning lack of durability and a questionable work ethic. Hemsky is one of those trade-deadline gambles who has the potential to make a general manager look like a genius or a bum. The upside of Hemsky is that his asking price is going to be fairly modest now that he has gone 16 straight games without a goal as of Tuesday morning and collected 10 assists during that period (he’s also minus-8 during that stretch). Hemsky wouldn’t require a roster player and would likely command a small collection of mid-round draft picks and/or a prospect.

In comparison, a player like Tuomo Ruutu would draw a higher price, and his status remains in limbo in Carolina. Ruutu is expected to discuss his contract with Carolina GM Jim Rutherford in the next day or so and isn’t expected to return to the lineup from injury until the second week of March.

6 Responses to Deadline Debate: Gambling on Hemsky?

  1. thisgamewelose says:

    He scored last night. IMO, I think they should try and find a decent 4th -5th d-man for Hemsky and hope a team jumps on that offer. 

  2. albertateams says:

    Given the lack of available players I would be shocked if the Oilers moved him for anything less than a 2nd and a level prospect. No team that would want Hemsky is giving up a roster D man at the deadline. If a bidding war occurs then he could go for a 1st plus.

  3. mapleleafsfan says:

    Plus when you consider the returns already. Gill got a 2nd + decent prospect… Not a chance in hell Gill returns more than Hemsky. Gill has his appeal to a playoff team for sure, but hemsky is far more talented and if not injured, could be a steal. 

  4. dumbassdoorman says:

    You would think there is noway, gill, would but I guess it depends on the demand, really. If he is healthy and gets going he has the skillset to make a difference, IMO.

  5. MystifoLeafs says:

    Defenseman always bring more return than Forwards. Gill may be not as talented as Hemsky but if previous Trade Deadlines is any indication to prices then I would not be surprised if Gill goes for more than Hemsky. 

    Also to Gill's credit he is gold in the playoffs. When Montreal went on that run towards the cup finals I payed close attention to them. Gill was one of Montreal's better defensemen in that run (Along with Subban.) So yes in the regular season the guy is a pylon but for some reason in the playoffs he turns it up a notch. 
  6. TimTheBone says:

    yeah Gill really doesnt get quite enough credit… He is without a doubt a top 4 defenseman,,, not just depth… yeah sure he's slow…. doesnt pivot very well and has at times been blown past by faster forwards.. but much better D-men have as well… His one glaring deficiency (his speed) somehow makes people think he isn't all that great…. the way he uses his size to his advantage because of his lack of speed is a thing of beauty…. he is a HUGE reason why MTL PK has been tops in the league for years…. and in the short term rigours of playoffs he is golden… plus his incredible leadership is invaluable….. He may not put up fantastic point totals… he may be the slowest player in the league (foot speed)… and his shot is laughable …. but the guy gets it done where it counts.. in his own end….

    to a team like Nashville with a great defense already, he makes it near impenetrable…

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