The Senators and Oilers have reached a deal, one that will send Ales Hemsky to Ottawa in exchange for a pair of draft picks, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
Hemsky, 30, is a pending UFA with a $5 million cap hit. According to ESPN, the Oilers will retain half of his salary for the remainder of this season, while Ottawa will receive a third-rounder in 2014 and a fifth in 2015.
The skillful, playmaking winger has 26 points in 55 games this year, but has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons and is several years removed from his career-best 2007-08 campaign, in which he scored 20 goals and 71 points in 74 games.
In a telling twist, the Sens acquired Hemsky shortly after he scored two goals against them in Edmonton’s 3-2 win Tuesday night. It was one of Hemsky’s best performances of the year, and may have pushed Sens GM Bryan Murray to make the deal, especially since other suitors were believed to be in play (Sportsnet reports Phoenix also had interest in Hemsky.)
Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.
Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.
Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.
Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.
“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.
“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”
The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.
He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.
When the Los Angeles Kings announced they’d settled with Mike Richards, it didn’t take long for the accusations of salary-cap circumvention to materialize.
And though NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was adamant that the settlement was “far from” circumvention, apparently not everyone agrees with the league in that regard.
“Privately, other teams are screaming bloody murder and are threatening to make an issue about it at December’s Board of Governors’ meeting,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.
Friedman goes into more detail in his story, so click the link to read more.
But remember how we wrote that the issue in this case was precedent, and that the “NHL and NHLPA can’t allow teams to escape onerous contracts through a back door”?
Well, one agent posed a good question to Friedman: “What’s to stop other teams from trying this?”