Oilers GM says Hemsky’s place with team ‘remains to be seen’

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About six weeks ago, it was clear the Edmonton Oilers wanted to part with players such as Ales Hemsky. With most NHL teams’ cap situations being the way they are, the Edmonton Journal points out that Hemsky’s likely to stick with the team – at least for part of 2013.

Whether that’s a good thing or not is a matter of debate. Last Sunday, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish provided a vague reading of the 29-year-old’s future on Brad Bartko’s podcast,* highlighting the toll that multiple years of losing can take on a player.

“That can, at times, really pick away at a player’s spirit and his passion and really his ability to believe that our team is going to get ourselves out of it, because it’s been seven years really of some negative reinforcement,” MacTavish said. “So it can be difficult. It’s certainly not something that cannot be overcome by the player or our organization.”

“But when you haven’t won, you’re going to try to make some changes and whether Ales will be part of that remains to be seen.”

With a $5.5 million salary and $5 million cap hit in the last year of his deal, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hemsky become trade fodder. At the moment, it seems like the Oilers might need to wait to make a move, though.

Some believe that might end up being a blessing in disguise.

* – Transcribed by the Edmonton Journal.