Category Archives: Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers’ winger Ales Hemsky has sat in a barber’s chair recently and his hair is so short you’d swear he was going for a job interview. Which, in a way, he is, although how his hands look might well be more important than how his hair looks to any rival general managers if they have a hankering to trade for the unrestricted free-agent.
As much as the Oilers have noticed the buy-in from Hemsky, who has had no gripes about being a third-liner this season, often playing with centre Boyd Gordon, with some second unit powerplay gravy, anybody watching Hemsky roar around the best defenceman in the NHL, Duncan Keith, Sunday night in Chicago, had to be impressed. Great rush, and a nifty tuck under the pads of Hawks’ rookie goalie Antti Raanta, who was flummoxed on the play.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal believes Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets is exactly what the Oilers need. Staples considers the idea of the Oilers trading Gagner for Ladd, Blake Wheeler or Dustin Byfuglien. With Mark Scheifele and Brian Little solidified at centre on the top two lines, Gagner could have to play on the wing in Winnipeg.
The Edmonton Oilers are likely moving Sam Gagner — to the wing on Friday and, if the buzz is true, out of Edmonton before the trade deadline.
It is only a matter of time before we start seeing casualties of a rebuild gone horribly wrong, and speculation is that it will begin with him.
But it probably won’t end there.
He has to resist the temptation to make a deal, any deal, simply for the sake of doing a deal and trading future for the present to appease the fan base.
That does not mean he’s going to do nothing.
“The next deal is going to be an important deal for us,” said the rookie GM who returned from the World Junior to watch a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Sam Gagner: He was not eligible for a no-trade clause when he signed his three-year extension last summer (It kicks-in next season). Craig MacTavish graciously promised to honour it this season, but as Edmonton searches for answers, it sounds like both sides believe it is time for a change, not that anyone is commenting. Should a deal happen, no doubt MacTavish will try to make it a soft landing.
I know the trade deadline is two months away, but what would the market be for unrestricted free agents like Ales Hemsky, Nick Schultz and Ryan Jones? Second or third-rounders because they are players contenders would want? What about Devan Dubnyk/Ilya Bryzgalov and Corey Potter?
Most people think the Pittsburgh Penguins will dangle defenceman Simon Despres to get a forward at the NHL trade deadline because they have Derrick Pouliot, who was outstanding in the world junior hockey championship, coming and they like blue-liner Brian Dumoulin, who they acquired in the Jordan Staal trade.
Intriguing to see #Oilers Scott Howson in press box in LA. Couple that with word EDM VERY active to move now, Hemsky/Gagner in mix.
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 5, 2014
Hemsky is an unrestricted free agent and will be traded to a team looking for a top-six winger. With Pascal Dupuis out with a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, Hemsky is in play along with Mike Cammalleri of the Calgary Flames.
Another thing MacTavish will do – if he hasn’t already – is call Nashville Predators capo David Poile and say, “If you decide to trade No. 6, I’m in. I’ve got what you want. There’s no better fit in the league.” The Predators had no choice but to match the Philadelphia Flyers’ offer sheet for Shea Weber. They needed control of the asset and credibility among the fan base after losing Ryan Suter. But things are changing in Tennessee.
It’s likely, if not a certainty, that Ales Hemsky is down to his last two months in Edmonton.
Of course, the Czech winger has been rumoured to have one foot out the door for about five years now and still ends up at Oilers training camp every fall.