Looks like Hemsky will return to the Oilers

It still makes sense that Hemsky will find a better fit and a trade will happen…

If we put two and two together from Oilers GM Craig MacTavish’s interview with sports radio podcaster Brad Bartko, it looks like Ales Hemsky might just be an Edmonton Oilers hockey player in 2013-14 after all.

To recap, MacTavish made it sound in the interview like he was done making major moves this summer. When asked specifically if he might move Hemsky, MacTavish told Bartko that Hemsky had gone through what Shawn Horcoff went through, seven years of losing.  “That can at times really pick away at a player’s spirit and his passion, and really his ability to believe that our team is going to get ourselves out of it, because it’s been seven years really of some negative reinforcement. So it can be difficult. It’s certainly not something that cannot be overcome by the player or our organization. But when you haven’t won you’re going to try to make some changes and whether Ales will be part of that remains to be seen.”

It sounds like MacTavish wants to move Hemsky — and it’s a solid bet that Hemsky is open to moving on as well — but that no deal has yet materialized and that MacTavish is getting his head around working with Hemsky to “overcome” and have the Czech winger back on the squad.


13 Responses to Looks like Hemsky will return to the Oilers

  1. nordiques100 says:

    Which UFAs are left?

    Top UFA forwards:

    Top UFA Dmen

    Top UFA goalies

    And who has cap space?

    Team: Cap Space
    Philadelphia Flyers » -$2,053,522
    Boston Bruins » -$1,361,310
    San Jose Sharks » -$406,667
    Pittsburgh Penguins » $126,667
    Detroit Red Wings » $1,044,621
    Chicago Blackhawks » $1,183,205
    Columbus Blue Jackets » $2,016,191
    Tampa Bay Lightning » $2,609,523
    Minnesota Wild » $2,784,466
    Los Angeles Kings » $3,103,106
    Dallas Stars » $3,201,389
    New York Rangers » $3,330,833
    Montreal Canadiens » $3,386,667
    Vancouver Canucks » $5,147,222
    Carolina Hurricanes » $5,435,000
    Washington Capitals » $5,665,705
    Nashville Predators » $6,172,024
    Phoenix Coyotes » $7,583,333
    Edmonton Oilers » $7,648,333
    Anaheim Ducks » $7,840,833
    Toronto Maple Leafs » $9,720,833
    Calgary Flames » $9,815,000
    Colorado Avalanche » $10,289,167
    New Jersey Devils » $10,604,166
    Buffalo Sabres » $11,142,143
    St. Louis Blues » $12,974,167
    Ottawa Senators » $13,314,167
    Florida Panthers » $14,082,125
    New York Islanders » $16,328,024
    Winnipeg Jets » $19,716,500

    With teams:

    a) over the cap limit
    b) who dont spend to the cap max
    c) who have RFAs to re-sign
    d) have salary to dump
    e) all of above

    I really don’t know how a lot of these UFAs remaining will get anywhere close to what they were making last year.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Imagine a team gets Lantandresse and Thomas as their goaler!

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        As for the Hemsky part…it just means that no one will take him and his contract. They want to move him, they will have to trade something of value with him.

        • I think it’s more of what they’re looking to get back. For some reason, he’s not viewed as just a salary dump for nothing. I think if they accepted taking minimal back, they could have found a spot for him. Hemsky is a very good player when healthy, has great hands and greats room for everybody on the Ice. The problem is how healthy can he stay and for 5 million, maybe look at taking a 1/3 of that salary while trading him for the a 6th round pick.

          • Sorry, didn’t read Nordiques post before commenting. He pretty much said the same, in a way.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              I assumed that when I wrote that, Edmonton’s asking price would be a given as part of the equation why no one is taking him or his contract. My mistake. Whenever I have had Hemsky in a trade, it is always with a player of quality to get a player of quality.

  2. nordiques100 says:

    There’s a lot of forwards similar to Hemsky.

    RJ Umberger is making 4.6 mil and is someone the Jackets would like to part with. He’s been unproductive.

    Tuomo Ruutu has been ok, but not good enough for 4.75 mil and not healthy enough it seems to earn it. (only 17 games last season).

    Brooks Laich at 4.5 mil is another like Ruutu. The style of play means a more worn down, oft-injured player who could be looked at as a salary dump, perhaps in an effort to infuse more skill.

    Mike Cammalleri at 6 mil per isn’t signed as long term as those above, but still is a hefty price to pay for below average production.

    Marty Havlat is someone the Sharks would love to unload with a 5 mil cap hit and 2 years left on his deal. And its likely he won’t play 2 full seasons for SJ with his chronic injuries.

    David Booth is another oft-injured well paid individual at 4.25 mil for the Nucks. Much of the talk was Luongo and his deal, but Booth, being never in the lineup is a tough contract to have around.

    Olli Jokinen was a bust in Winnipeg. at 4.5 mil, he’s been a waste. The Jets would love to get rid of him, but with their lack of depth at centre, they need him.

    Paul Stastny isn’t necessarily hurting the Avs with his play. But at 6.6 mil, its a bit excessive. With him signed for 1 more year, he’s definitely someone to look for to be traded by March. In the Avs case probably well before to save money.

    Eric Cole was a contract the Habs were happy to get rid of. If he doesn’t rebound in Dallas, that will be their albatross on their hands.

    At 3 mil, not overly rich, but Mikael Samuelsson is redundant in Detroit and much younger, cheaper options could be lost if they don’t find a home for this player.

    Ville Leino has simply been bad for Buffalo. at 4.5 mil until 2017, they’d love to find a way to move him, anywhere!

    Ryan Malone is someone the Bolts have been trying to move with no success for a while. With 2 more years left on his deal, they could be waiting a while longer.

    Hemsky has an advantage of being signed for just 1 more season. While a decent player, Edmonton already has the smallish Eberle, Yakubov, Perron on the wings. Hemsky is just another soft guy and seems redundant in that lineup.

    He could be a decent rental, like some of those above such as Stastny, Cammalleri, who also have just a year left.

    But still, these players will be hard to move now simply because there are so few teams with the cap ability to fit contracts like that in.

    Edmonton may have to take some salary back, like trade Hemsky but still pay 2 of the 5 mil owed. Or else take a really limited return like what they got for Horcoff. That i think is not what they are looking for with Hemsky. I think they’re trying to get full value for his skill level, which is very high, but they cant IMO due to his injuries, salary and production, or lack thereof.

  3. DannyLeafs says:

    Managing the cap is going to be such a large part of being a good GM going forward. A team can work around one overpaid guy, as long as he is still contributing something of value, but get 2-3 guys making way too much, with little to know way to hide, move or alleviate the pressure (well at least until the cap starts to go up again), you will see a lot of teams in trouble who mismanage the cap. I think certain GM’s are more susceptible to these types of problems. Holmgrem comes to mind as a guy that could really bankrupt an organization with his management of the cap.

    Carter gets a 10 year deal, then he deals him before he ever plays a game of it. Pronger debacle, not realizing how the 35+ rule works, consistenly overpaying free agents like Briere and Bryzgalov. Even under the new CBA, he used the buyouts immediately, then immediately signed two veterans in their mid 30’s to deals that will take them to age 39, one of which is under the 35+ rule so he won’t come off the cap if he retires. Even the Giroux re-signing was pretty massive. I think they had to do it, and it’s not as if the money is an insane over payment, but considering he still had time, he didn’t get anything of a hometown discount.

    If Pronger officially retires, then Streit does as well in the next couple of years, that will be over 10 million in cap space for several years they will have tied to defensemen that are not playing for them. They could be seriously facing a scenario where they have just Giroux, Hartnell, Simmonds, and Lecalvier actively playing with just a shade under 28 million in cap space used. Considering Lecalvier will be 38 and Hartnell will be 35 at this point, that could be a scary proposition.

    Also, is there anything in place where a player is considered retired after so long of not playing? I mean will Chris Pronger, the Flyers and the NHL in general have to continue pretending that he plans on coming back to the NHL until he is 43?

    Also, will Marc Savard be doing the same thing. He isn’t under the 35+ rule, but the recapture rule would be harsh for the Bruins were he to retire this year, or worse yet at the end of next year.

  4. razer1818 says:

    Why would Pronger retire? So he can loose out on his remaining contract, not to help Philly ease up on cap space. They cant buy him out cause he is injured and Pronger’s Salary will never be a cap hit as he is on injured reserves

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      How does the cap management recapture work?
      According to NHL numbers, Kovalchuk who retired at 30, his CMR is only $250,000 a year against the cap, hardly anything for NJ to worry about.
      Can it be worse somehow?

      • DannyLeafs says:

        The recapture mecahnism and retirement rules are different. 35+ players retire with their full cap hit no matter what.

        The recapture rule is pretty well designed. If any player retires, every team that received a cap “benefit” from that player having a long term deal will have to repay that benefit. So it’s not necessarily at it’s worst early in the deal.

        For example, with Kovalchuk, he was getting paid about 6 million in his first two years, and 11 million in year three. His average cap hit at the time of retirement was 6.66 million per year, however his average salary over the years he played was 7.66 million. So New Jersey got a cap benefit of 1 million a year for 3 years, so 3 million dollars. That gets spread out over the duration of that contract, so 12 more years.

        If Kovalchuk had played next year, then retired, he would have made 11.3 million, then he would have made 34.3 million over four years, for an average salary of 8.575, which is a cap benefit of 1.915 a year for 4 years, so 7.66 million. Now this amount is spread over just 11 more seasons, so the recapture would have been 700k instead of 250k. So an extra year or two played could have really put New Jersey in a bind if Kovalchuk retired later.

        The way it works is that for players that got paid much more than their cap hits over their careers, the team will eventually have to pay back that cap space.

        When you think about it it’s a very fair rule. I mean it ensures that over the long run, a team’s cap hit and a team’s salary paid will be the same. Since the cap is meant to put some guarantees on salary paid, it made no sense to have a system where a team could pay more salary on average then they paid in cap hit by having those fake years.

        I am somewhat surprised that the League got away from having to grandfather in those existing contracts (I.E. making it so the recapture rule didn’t apply), but I guess in the long run the buyouts make up for it in terms of increasing overall player salaries.

        On a side note, the reason Jersey was so willing to void that contract now and let Kovalchuk walk, was that, had Kovalchuk retired in 2019, which is when he would have been 37, he would have stuck Jersey with a 4.35 million dollar cap hit for another 6 years. The risks involved in keeping some of those insane contracts on the books is massive.

        • DannyLeafs says:

          Also, to clarify, I mean the players who fall under the 35+ rule, meaning players whose contracts took effect after their 35th birthday. This obviously doesn’t apply to players who turned 35 during their current contracts, otherwise it would be kind of silly to have a recapture rule.

    • DannyLeafs says:

      That’s my point. Why does the NHL want it to be this way. Why not just make an amendment that says any player that retires due to an injury on the advice of his doctor can retire, still get paid just like he was supposed to, and have the team get freed up from the cap hit.

      Why have him as an active player every off season so they can place him on LTIR and have him continue to tip toe around questions about him ever playing again?

      I think it’s stupid that the NHL is just playing along with a loop hole. I am not saying they should make him retire, or Savard or anyone else. Simply come out and say that players who don’t have medical clearance to play can officially announce they are done playing hockey, but will will continue being paid as compensation for having their career ended by an injury, and absolving the team from the duration of the cap hit.

      It’s just stupid that a guy with the career Pronger has had will have played his last NHL game in 2011 but won’t be eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame until 2021.

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