According to CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio, a Western Conference scout says Edmonton might have not one, but two potential trading partners for Ales Hemsky.
It’s believed the New York Rangers and L.A. Kings are in the mix for the playmaking winger. Given that both teams have been linked to the Rick Nash sweepstakes (L.A.’s also dabbled in the Jeff Carter lottery), the rumors make sense. Hemsky’s a more affordable offensive injection than Nash or Carter, though obviously a less dynamic one.
It’s easy to overlook because he injures his shoulder every third week but, when healthy, Hemsky has been close to a point-a-game performer since the lockout. One of his finest seasons came during Edmonton’s Stanley Cup run of 2005-06 (77 points in 81 regular season games; 17 in 24 playoff games) and he had 42 points in 47 games last year before — surprise! — undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
Hemsky has gotten lost in the shuffle this season with the Oilers offense focusing mostly on Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner. That said, he does have nine points in his last 11 games.
The 28-year-old Czech is in the final year of a deal that pays $4.1 million annually and, perhaps most importantly, doesn’t have a no-trade clause.