Ales Hemsky is a tough player to value. When healthy, he’s a point-a-game player. Unfortunately, he always seems to be hurt.
And that’s just one factor Oilers GM Steve Tambellini will have to consider before choosing to sign or trade the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent. He’ll also have to decide if Hemsky is a fit on an Edmonton team with a plethora of young talent up front, but not much in the way of top-six size and grit.
“I think as a manager you always have to have your feel for what’s happening right now and what the team looks like,” Tambellini said, as per the Canadian Press.
“You also have to have a plan in place for the organization of identifying what your core is going to be and what that’s going to look like, what it’s going to cost to keep that core.
“Things can change along the way in the next few years. We’ve got a lot of high-end, talented, skilled players that we’re excited about and I know people are excited about. There’ll be issues. When it gets to that point, there will be hard decisions, but those are good problems. It means you’re getting better.”
Hemsky has just four goals and 20 assists in 42 games as he’s taken a backseat to the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
TSN’s Darren Dreger believes a trade prior to the Feb. 27 deadline is “likely”, though what the Oilers could get in return is a mystery.
From 2005-06 to 2008-09, Hemsky was one of the more dangerous players in the NHL on the power play; however, he’s seen his PP time fall dramatically as the young guns have established themselves. For a team that’s struggling with the man advantage (Blues? Rangers? Kings?), perhaps he could provide a boost.
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.
Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.
Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.
This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.
As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.
In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.