It seems like Ales Hemsky has been on the trading block for about five years now but a deal has finally been done:
TSN is also reporting that the Oilers will pay half of Hemsky’s remaining salary this year.
Ales Hemsky (F)
There are some media who rip Hemsky for being “disengaged” in games, in fact as I’m writing this, that fact is being discussed by Mike Johnson on TSN’s Tradecentre coverage.
Let’s face it, the Oilers have been a terrible team for several years now. It’s can be hard to be engaged game in and game out when you’re perennially a doormat. Hemsky is still a very good possession player who is going to a team that preaches puck possession. Presumably, Hemsky would slot alongside Jason Spezza in the hopes that Ottawa can get their captain going.
Ottawa really didn’t have to give up that much to get Hemsky and only have to pay half of his salary. This is also part of Edmonton’s plan to just keep stocking the cupboards.
The only question I have out of this is who is going to score for Ottawa on the Spezza line; from 2010-2013, Hemsky found himself nestled between Mike Richards and Stephen Weiss in goals/60 minutes at five on five. If this leads to Spezza shooting more, though, this is could be a very good move.
Ottawa is still missing a couple of defensemen to be taken seriously in the East but the load for the playoffs has begun.