Numerous reports indicate that the Edmonton Oilers will be open for business coming up to the February 27 trade deadline.
Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini could be taking calls on a number of players.
I would say he most definitely will be traded at the deadline. This guy is a pretty good hockey player… but for whatever reason, this season he simply hasn’t been able to get it done. His durability comes into major question.
MacLean adds that the Oilers may not receive as much as they think for Hemsky.
I don’t see teams paying a big price.
Fellow SportsNet analyst Nick Kypreos suggests that the pending unrestricted free agent could be much sought after since as many as 15 teams are looking to add a top-six forward. The list includes the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and the Washington Capitals.
There’s a lot of teams right now looking for a top six forward and he certainly fits the bill.
The Edmonton Journal believes that the surprising Senators — looking to bolster their offence for a playoff run — could be a major player for Hemsky.
As for what the Oilers would want in return Hemsky, the consensus is that they need a puck-moving defenseman — someone like Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators.
However, the Predators may not want to move Ellis because a) of fears they may lose Ryan Suter via free agency this summer and don’t want to deplete their blueline, and b) Hemsky is a rental.
The Edmonton Journal quotes an NHL scout saying that the Predators may have some interest in another Oilers forward — one with more grit.
I think the Predators would rather have Ryan Smyth if he was available than Hemsky.
Ryan Smyth is unlikely to go anywhere, though. There’s very little chance he waives the no-trade clause in his contract to accommodate a trade.
The Oilers are also said to covet Buffalo Sabres’ Drew Stafford. However, the Sabres are looking to add a top-six forward and the Oilers don’t have anyone to trade them that would qualify. Including Hemsky, who is more of a depth player now than a front-line player.
Meanwhile, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Nikolai Khabibulin could also be on the move. While Tambellini isn’t shopping the veteran goalie, teams in need of an upgrade between the pipes could come calling. Garrioch expects the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs to be among the teams interested.
Lastly, Edmonton Journal’s Jonathan Willis suggests that veteran defenseman Andy Sutton could pique the interest of teams looking to shore up their depth to their blueline with some sand paper.