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Daily Rumour Analysis

Daily Rumour Analysis: Should the Oilers move Hemsky?

Should the Oilers move Hemsky? As well a look at both the Hawks & Oilers.

Despite the misleading title, this is not my much anticipated review of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest album. Instead, I will discuss the rumour that the Hawks and Oilers are talking and whether the Oilers may consider moving Ales Hemsky.

First, that the Hawks are talking is no surprise. They have an impending cap issue and need to move salary. The Oilers are floundering again and need to make some changes or else risk missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

As with yesterday’s post, we are left with finding a potential match.  The Oilers are deep in puck moving defensemen and small forwards. The Hawks also have a lot of good puck movers so that seems like a dead end.  Deep and skilled at forward, the Hawks likely have very little need for whatever the Oilers want to cast off, unless its draft picks.

Cap wise, the Oilers and Hawks are in the same boat.  Both at or near the cap, they could use to shed some salary and some dead weight contracts, but swapping problems gets people nowhere.  The need for prospects and UFA’s is also slim, so to me, this seems like a non-starter.

On the other hand, I could get behind the Oilers dealing Hemsky. Despite him being the most skilled Oiler forward, his tenure with the team has been largely unsuccessful save for the miracle run in 2006.  Not really a take-charge player, Hemsky best showcases in a role where he is the guy that gets the puck all the time, but the responsibility only some of the time.

Much like I thought the Wild would be better off for trading Gaborik (be patient), the Oilers may benefit from getting a solid return from Hemsky. It seems to me that too many players on the Oilers look to Hemsky for goals whenever they need it, and are loathe to take the initiative themselves.

While supremely talented, Hemsky is often prone to defensive lapses and glimpses of petulance if things are not going his way.  He produces consistently on the Oilers top line but is not the game breaker his talent suggests he should be. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of his and have watched him play lights out for extended stretches (2006 playoffs) and tear up the Blue Jackets once a season.

But, he isn’t helping the Oilers get to the next level and they aren’t providing a supporting cast for him.  So why not turn Hemsky into a couple big forwards?  I would bet enough teams have seen displays of Hemsky’s talent and could be persuaded to make a deal.  What about Wheeler + from Boston.  Horton and something from Florida?  Any other ideas?  My point boils down to this, in 7 plus seasons in Edmonton, Hemsky has yet to establish himself as a top flight player (commensurate with his talent) and the Oilers continue to languish as a bubble team or worse.  Turn the page on the Hemsky era and see what happens, the status quo isn’t working.

Lets hear it in the comments.