The Elephant In the Room

Pierre Lebrun suggests Ales Hemsky is among the forwards available for trade at the deadline. Lebrun offers Nashville and Detroit as possible destinations, and both teams are aggressive. I wonder what the Oilers might expect in return?

Unlike the Penner return (Teubert, 1st) and certainly like the Smyth return (Nilsson, O’Marra and a 1st) the return for Ales 83 is unlikely to be “multiple assets” at the deadline. The Oilers are going to get offered a partridge in a pear tree. Hemsky’s injury history and the fact that he is UFA suggests two items:

  • a solid young player/prospect who can help now and
  • a conditional draft pick

Nashville finds defensemen in the trash out beyond the Ryman auditorium, and this Josi fellow might make someone like Jonathon Blum expendable. Detroit is extremely unlikely to part with Brendan Smith so maybe they’ll offer a better pick.

Bottom line: Steve Tambellini needs a bidding war and badly needs Ales Hemsky to show up in the boxscores.

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44 Responses to "The Elephant In the Room"

  1. unca miltie says:

    Wonder what the connection is between a Partridge gal and an elephant

  2. rich says:

    A player like Hemsky could position Nashville for a deeper run in the playoffs but the first question Poile has to answer is what happens w/Suter. If you’re not going to re-sign him, do you trade him at the deadline or risk losing him like they did Hamhuis and get nothing back.

    That will also determine how willing they are to trade prospects from the blue.

    I’ll throw one other name out there though from Nashville’s list – Anders Lindback in goal. With Rinne signed for 7 years, there is no where to go for him. DD has not shown an ability to play consistently and Khabi is what he is. Wonder if 3.2 could get Lindback and a defensive prospect (Blum) for Hemsky?

  3. SK Oiler Fan says:


    Nash wouldn’t give that much for an injury prone .5 pts/gm player. Throw in Sutton and it might get it done. I like the theory on this though – target a young undervalued back up goalie stuck behind a premium goalie. There must be a few Halaks out there: Harding, Lindback. Brobovsky, Rask, Scnieder, Greiss, Markstrom, Enroth, Bernier, Neuvirth, Holtby
    NK won’t be here when this team competes and I don’t think anybody is sold on DD.

    I know the other side of the arguement is when you’re ready you can always pick up a cheap UFA goalie or two that could get hot – The Roloson strategy.

    Or knowing ST you wait for Bunz or Roy which may be another 5 years down the road.

  4. Jordan says:

    SK Oiler Fan,
    I like looking at someone like Lindback to come and and platoon with Dubnyk for the rest of the year. See what the kids can do in net.

    Best of all, if you do get another NHL backup caliber player:
    1 – You can see how much interest Khabi has around the league for teams who need a netminder. If nothing else, his run early on showed he can carry a team for short stretches, which as Thomas and other have shown recently, that alone can win you a cup.
    2 – Odds are the Dubnyk-Lindback tandem wouldn’t help the team too much, which could help the Oilers draft position.

  5. DBO says:

    A solid two week run for Hemsky would be great. Of course, with no one to play with right now that is unlikely to happen. I read in a few places that Hemsky and his lady friend want to leave due to the negative fans towards him. Hope that’s untrue, but every major sports reporter has basically said he is gone. Tambellini better go for a bidding war. of course with our luck he will get hurt a few days before the deadline, so maybe you look for a good deal right now while he is healthy.

    An NHL ready dman is a must in any deal.

    Detroit: doubt we get Smith, but Kindl is a solid dman. He has size, in the minors got PIM’s with some gritty play, and in the NHL this year has no special teams time, so on our team he plays top 4 minutes and probably gets a ton of icetime. Kindl and a pick would be a solid return.

    Nashville: Blum is solid. Has more offense and less grit/defense then Kindl. So I guess it comes down to which one you like most, or the pick you get along side the player. Blum is getting PP and PK time, but that is more an indication of the depth in Detroit.

    Either immediately plays top 4 this year, and probably top 4 next year. Kindl is a bit older, with minor league experience, and I think may fit us better. However, I wonder if the Oil go for a player like Ryan Ellis. They loved him in his draft year, and the Oil are enamored of former WJC players. Wouldn’t shock me to see Ellis instead of Blum.

  6. FastOil says:

    If cast offs are all that is being offered for Hemsky, get that contract signed ST. Trading a player as good as Hemsky for polished turds is not a good resume builder.

  7. itsaleaf says:

    What would it take to get Anders Lindback out of Nashville? Does Hemsky get that done?? With all the talk of how poor the blue is(and it is terrible), the blue line is going to be easier to fix than the problem this team will be staring down between the pipes after next season.

    Unless Bunz is ready at 21, this team will have no goaltending options for the future.

    NK will be gone and DD has proven (at least to me) that he’s nothing more than a backup goaltender.

    Won’t matter ho good the blue looks if there’s nothing to stop the puck from going in

  8. rich says:

    Blum has had issues in Nashville playing Trotz’s system – not defensively oriented enough, but he does bring offense. He’d be a project – this is only his 2nd season.

    My conern w/an Ellis (and I can’t see Nashville shopping him) is size – he’s small and that’s the reason why the Oilers passed on him when they had a chance to grab him and went w/Paajarvi.

    I like the idea of Kindl as a solid top 4 option sooner rather than later. Or another goalie.

  9. Ribs says:

    If Hemsky has to go anywhere, I hope it’s Detroit. He’d do well there and he’d likely stay with them for a long time. I hate seeing players I like move all over the place all of the time.

    The Oilers will likely get hosed in any deal they make for him, so they might as well send him somewhere nice.

    Please don’t trade Hemsky. Sign him soon and end the misery.

  10. shawwwood says:

    I know this is a lot of ifs but if the oilers finish 29th but win the lottery. what do you think would be the return if they traded down to 3 where they would pick the dman they want?

  11. rickithebear says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    Markstrom, Rask Those treams future and Schneider is inter division. No Chancey!

    DD: 6’5″
    Last two years: 1680 Shots 149G .911SV%
    Bernier 6’0″
    Last Two: 880 Shots 81G .908 Sv%
    Holtby 6’1″
    Last Two: 961Shots 83G .913 Sv%
    Enroth 5’10”
    Last TWo: 1047 Shots 89G .914 SV%
    Greiss 6’1′
    Last Two: 682S shots 56G .918SV%
    Harding 6’1″
    Last two: 1278Shots 110G .914SV%
    Lindbeck 6’6″
    Last two: 772 shots 69G .911 Sv%
    Neuvirth 6’1″
    Last two: 1719 Shots 156G .909 SV%
    Bobrovsky 6’1′
    Last two: 2006 Shots 169G .916 SV%

    None of these options are Better. unless ypour theory is shorter goalies improve more than larger ones as they age.

  12. hags9k says:

    I think Ellis is going to be a player despite his lack of size. He may go bust but I don’t think I’m the only one who saw him real good. (as a junior) Lots of skill but it was the smarts, positioning, and competitiveness that reminded me so much of Niedermayer. To be fair I have seen him play zero games as a pro. My two cents for what it’s worth but I think he could end up being the Coffey piece.

  13. oilersfan says:


    i really hope they finish 29th and pick Grigorenko but i have a feelling they will pick Ryan Murray even if they finish 29th.

    I am holding out hope that they sign Hemsky to a Tanguay like contract. 4 years for 3.5 million each. given his injury history and bad season, and his desire for term over dollars, I wonder if he would do that or a bit higher, 3.75 or 4. If he would, I am sure that would be an excellent signing for the Oilers. Yes he is having a bad season but its amazing how quickly things can change in a season. remember a year ago Khabibulin had negative value, now some think he could get a second round pick from a contender for the playoffs…Tanguay had a terrible year in Montreal and the year after his shoulder surgery playing in Tampa. After his shoulder surgery Hossa had a bad year now he is playing extremely well. Look how bad Souray was a year ago and how good he is now. Hemsky will bounce back, no doubt in my mind.

    .Sign Hemsky for 4 years and you will get such a better player than any prospect you trade him for. We all seem to agree on that here. With the love Lowe had for him not too long ago one would think mgmt agrees with us. A year ago Tambo was on HNIC after hours and he said he really appreciated Hemsky’s creativity and had a preference to sign him to the long term rather than trade him. He didn’t say that about Penner (this was before the Penner trade). I hope he hasn’t changed his mind.

  14. Rondo says:


    How about Hemsky + Khabibulin + Edm 3rd round pick ( from LA) for

    Brendan Smith and Ty Conklin.

    Detroit want a backup goalie. Conklin is a means of getting Brendan Smith

  15. bookje says:


    I wonder if there is tension between KLowe’s approach to hockey which might emphasize letting talent do its thing vs Tambellini and Renney’s approach which might be to emphasize systems.

    Its just a ‘I wonder’ type of question, not anything that I have any evidence of.

  16. Jon K says:

    What about the team that manhandled the Oilers last night, and is currently in a three-way race with Detroit and Chicago for top spot in the west?

    They’ve got a nice cluster of prospects with size but who have perhaps lost a little shine: Ian Cole, Evgeny Grachev, Brett Ponich. I could see the Oilers being interested in any of these guys for various reasons. They’ve also got a very well-trusted top scout in Jarmo Kekelainen, and a head coach who has had many opportunities to see Ales Hemsky and has spoken glowingly about him in the past.

    Oh and they also desperately need skill on their forwards to complement the current brigade of knuckle draggers.

    Cole + 2nd or Ponich/Grachev + 1st would probably be fair, at least in my estimation.

  17. Ducey says:

    Trading for a young goalie is a fools game. Look at COL. They traded a 1st for Varlamov and now he is playing second fiddle to JF Giguere. There are always a couple of goalers floating around for cheap around July 15th. Usually at least one of these goes on to have a great season. Sign three and sort thru them in the first 20 games.

    NJ has some nice Defencemen just about ready. John Merrill, Alex Urbom and Eric Gelinas all look pretty good.

    What the F is up with Smyth. He looks about 87 years old out there.

  18. Traktor says:

    Can we sign Hemsky and trade Horcoff instead?

    Horcoff for Gomez + 1st

  19. SoxandOil says:

    With the Oilers in serious lottery contention, i’d like to see a move for a actual d-man who could come in a help the team next year. If Edmonton can select Grigorenko or Yakupov, then who on the front end of the Oilers or the Barons becomes expendable? Also what stud d-men can we realistically expect to pry away from the current clubs?

    Personally I just don’t see the Oilers being a significantly better team with Murray or Reinhart or Dumba in the line up next year, maybe in 3 years time but then Hall, Eberle and Nuge will be long past their ELC’s.

    We need actual defensemen now, or yesterday, 3 or 4 years from now may be too late.

  20. Rondo says:


    So trade Edm lottery pick 2012 to Wash for John Carlson.

  21. oilersfan says:

    i wonder if Phoenix would trade Rundblad for Paajarvi. They already have Yandl and OEL. I don`t see how Rundblad fits into their system. I still have hope for MP but Runblad suits the need better here and MP may fit Phoenix`s needs better. This frees up the Oilers to draft Grigorenko so we have two elite centers and one high end offensive dman to complement the more two way Klefbom and Marincin coming up in two years. One very good second tier (not Shea Weber or Suter as we have no chance so don`t bother ) free agent signing (Beauchemin or Gleason) this summer along with either Petry or Runblad would make this d much better and our forwards elite sooner than later.

  22. SoxandOil says:


    What? No, Trade Omark or Martindale or Hordichuk or Eager. I’m a big Gagner fan but if we have a decent shot at Grigorenko then trade Gags. We need a real d-man. The lottery pick should never be touched. Edmonton has a plethora of prospects we all know the elite ones and its time to start identifing the 2nd or 3rd level ones and move them while we can still get a decent return.

  23. commonfan14 says:

    oilersfan: i wonder if Phoenix would trade Rundblad for Paajarvi.

    If they would, why didn’t we just trade Paajarvi for Turris?

  24. Rondo says:


    Washington would not do the trade anyway at this time, they may consider it if Edm had the guaranteed #1 or #2 pick in the 2012 draft.

    BTW John Carlson has a higher upside than Ryan Murray in my opinion.

  25. bendelson says:

    Did anyone else note Eager’s reaction to Hemmer NOT dumping the puck in for Eager in full stride at the St Loius blue line last night? Hemmer needed to get off but refused to dump it and Eager gave him a long look of anger/disbelief. These types of things tell me that Hemmer is absolutely gone (in his mind he already is) so lets see what return we get.

    Ellis would be a steal – if Tambo gets that done its a coup. More likely Hemmer and Sutton for Blum and their first… Like it or not.

    In Detriot, Kindl is possible but not to exciting in my estimation. Crazy as it may be – Abdulcator and their first would be a deal. Whatever the deal – if the team signs Hemmer (and Det likely would) it will mean another pick in 2013 as well.

    YES! whether it involves Hemmer or not, Tambo should be working towards a Rundblad trade (unless Ellis is on the way)

  26. Ducey says:

    Rondo: SoxandOil, So trade Edm lottery pick 2012 to Wash for John Carlson.

    Washington is going to trade one of their cornerstone young Dmen right before the playoffs? Come on man.

    It makes way more sense for the Oilers to target a D man who is just about ready to contribute in the NHL, not a guy who has made it. Unlike the Oilers, some teams are actually concerned about winning the Cup this year.

    Anyway, Grigorenko/ Yakupov for Carlson would look pretty bad on the Oilers in 4 years.

  27. Oilcountry says:

    honestly take the best offer for hemsky whether its a player or a pick, if we can somehow get a second first that would be perfect.

    Then if we end up with a top 2 pick i would see about trading gags for schenn and pick grigorenko , you can then use the second 1st for a d man.

  28. oilersfan says:

    i doubt Gagner could get Schenn, although if any of Philly`s forwards got injured before the playoffs maybe he could. There has been some discussion that CHicago is interested in Gagner. I wonder if Gagner and Khabibulin could get back Mark McNeil and Kyle Beach. that would give the Oilers two top6 power forwards to complement the 4 elite skill of Hall, Eberle, RNH and Grigorenko.

    Stiill hoping they re-sign Hemsky. Kypreos seemed to think that was a possibility last night and he seems to be pretty plugged in. I am sure Tambelini is using that as bait anyways,t hat if the offers aren`t good enough the Oilers will just sign him. Of course, the other GM`s must be talking to Hemsky“s agent who would say how close negotiations are going.

  29. Acumen says:

    I’ve always felt that Ryan Ellis gets criminally underrated among media and fans. He’s done nothing but succeed every step of the way, and I’d argue he’s much closer to a Brian Rafalski than a Marc Andre Bergeron.

    If we can get him for a few months of Hemsky, we’re laughing all the way. He won’t be that #1 all-situation guy that everyone wants. He will, however, be a very valuable piece of a 6-man unit who can play top 4 minutes and absolutely destroy other teams on a power play with the likes of Eberle, Hall, and Nugent-Hopkins. I hope Mister Dithers is exhausting all options for him.

    I think Brendan Davidson would also be a great pick-up, but the ‘all-tool’ appeal of someone like him makes it a little less likely that they’d trade him for a rental. The dealing off of a young D-man is also much more believable in the case of NSH who are a veritable Defense factory.

    If it’s someone like Kindl, I would actually hope that Dithers keeps sitting on his hands. We have a lot of players bubbling under who will replicate the Kindl skillset and talent level, and they’re easy enough to find.

    In any case, I think it is definitely wishful thinking that Hemsky resigns. The loyalty he had to this team was cultivated when we were fighting for playoff spots early in his career. I doubt he has the patience to ‘see this thing through.’ If I were him I would be circling the day I could get the hell outta dodge.

  30. DBO says:

    Not for nothing, but Darren Dreger had an interesting comment when posed a question on his mailbag about the Oil making a deal for a goalie. he mentions that without Bulin they need another goalie. the question was could they make a deal to Bernier or Schneider. his response:

    “It’s hard to imagine Vancouver and Edmonton coming together on a trade that includes Schneider, but Bernier is interesting. If the Oilers included Hemsky in a bigger deal…Bernier might make some sense. ”

    So maybe Bernier and a dman for a bigger package. Short of our top 3 kids I think all should be considered. Bernier alone is worth making it happen.

  31. Traktor says:

    What is so good about Bernier? 0.895 sv% this year and 0.913 sv% last year on one of the most defense-oriented teams in the league. He has had a couple good seasons in the AHL but so have many goalies. I imagine if he was an Oiler this year he would be getting lit up.

  32. SK Oiler Fan says:


    Agreed on Smyth. I’ll pose the question – Is he done? I haven’t heard any injury issues, but his usefulness has been reduced to within a 6ft radius of the opposition net – and this team can’t get teh puck there often enough for him to matter. Every where else he’s 3 steps behind. What a drop off. Start of the year I thought he was skating as good as when he got traded from the Oil. Now every stride looks like it might be his last.

  33. rickithebear says:


    Carlson Was a WJC Allstar like Klefbom, Gormeley, Orlov, Ellis, Pietrangelo, Subban. Karlsson, Hedman, Doughty, Johnson, letang, Johnson, bourdon, Suter, Phanuef.
    Remeber they all Played in the NHL the next year.

    Smid 6’3″-Gilbert 6’3″
    XXX”-Petry 6’3″
    Klefbom 6’3″-Potter 6’3″
    Whitney IR 12-13

    Peckham 6’2″, tuebert 6’4″, Musil 6’2″.

    Who are we trading for Were?

    Harti 6’1″-RNH 6’0″-Eberle 5’10”
    Hall 6’1″-Gagner 5’10”-MP 6’3″
    XXX-Horc 6’1″-Omark 5’10”
    Eager 6’2′- Belanger 6’0″- jones 6′-0″
    Lander 6’1″-Omara 6’2″

    We need that 6’3″ to 6’4″ forward who scores and eats space.. Trite Request!

    Reality out of 30 teams these players may be avilable or UFA.
    Jokinen, Penner, Hunter, Wolski, JVR, Fehr.

  34. rickithebear says:

    DBO: did you not see the young Goaltender wish post shoewing all of them are no better ton vastly superior teams. they would all be a step back.

  35. Doogie2K says:

    Can we sign Hemsky and trade Horcoff instead?

    Horcoff for Gomez + 1st

    You already shit bricks on a nigh-daily basis over the Oilers “carrying” a possession-driving veteran centre who gets paid for offensive production he’s no longer capable of due to role/age/injuries.

    Gomez is that but more so: he hasn’t scored a regular-season goal in a fucking year. Your brain would actually explode.

    On that note: I support this trade proposal. 😉

  36. Rondo says:


    I’ve been saying for years Martin Hanzal, thay ship has sailed

    Next Brandon Sutter.

    Oilers have no game plan, look at St Louis big team.

  37. Traktor says:

    Doogie2K: You already shit bricks on a nigh-daily basis over the Oilers “carrying” a possession-driving veteran centre who gets paid for offensive production he’s no longer capable of due to role/age/injuries.

    Gomez is that but more so: he hasn’t scored a regular-season goal in a fucking year. Your brain would actually explode.

    On that note: I support this trade proposal.

    Gomez could be sent to the AHL this year. Horcoff cannot be sent to the AHL until 2013/2014.

    We would basically be trading junk for junk and gaining a 1st round pick. Horcoff needs to go though if Edmonton is ever serious about winning. Zero accountability in this org.

    What does it say about the team when Edmonton will likely trade Hemsky instead of Horcoff because Hemsky is a better player than Horcoff? Loweballeni loading up on players nobody wants

  38. RexLibris says:

    Hemsky to Detroit for Jurco with a conditional 1st round pick if they win the Cup or re-sign him prior to July 5th?

    We need wingers. I’ve said it before, but it just worries me how shallow the depth is after our top three on this team and moving Hemsky isn’t going to make us any deeper unless we target a winger who is close to NHL-ready.

    Perhaps we need to stop thinking of Hemsky as some sort of lottery ticket that needs to be cashed for maximum return. He’ll be worth what he’s worth to other GMs and after he is traded Brian Burke will show up on TSN with his tie fashionably undone and bluster about the ridiculous deals he was pitched that day and why he stood his ground. In the end I imagine we’ll all read blogs about how Hemsky’s talent was wasted on the Oilers and that we all should thank him for making the last decade of Oiler hockey watchable in spite of ownership and management piddling away the years in a race for mediocrity. My preference of Hemsky to Detroit is partially due to the desire to see a sublimely skilled player work in his “natural environment”. It would be heartbreakingly beautiful, but I’d still watch it and enjoy.

    As for Smyth, one year contracts from here on out and then probably offered a place in the organization replacing Steve Serdachny as the skating coach. (god, I hope I’m being sarcastic there) And for the record, I love the fact that he came back and I think he has some lessons to teach the young core group.

    Smid is outscoring Gomez right now, so I’d leave that one well-enough alone, thank you.

  39. bendelson says:


    I couldn’t agree with your assessments of Ellis and Kindl more… Ellis would be a wonderful addition and I too suspect Kindl would not provide a long term solution.

    The ‘wishful thinking’ in terms of signing Hemsky however… I know he gets a lot of love here for his skill set and potential offense etc… But my belief is that he has gone out of his way this season through indifference, frustration, and flat out awful hockey to push the Oilers into a trade. Maybe it’s too many years in the basement but things such as that effort in Chi on the icing call that tell the tale.

    Some are fearful he will regain his mojo in Det and make trading him seem foolish but I for one am convinced that level will never again be broached in an Oiler uni. Extend him only if benefits a sign and trade deal – otherwise, for better or worse the time has come. He NEEDS to be moved. Given the need for a top 6 winger around the league, a component GM should be able to address a need or two with the move. Tambo needs to make the right move.

    Every game he plays is a risk at this point. Hoping for 20 pts in the next 25 games is foolish – injury is far more likely.

    A near ready dman should be the goal – someone that can break the lineup soon and bridge the gap between Smid and the fearsome foursome.

  40. DeadmanWaking says:

    Long ago I read that Dey was chosen for her special look more than anything else, and she was a bit limited in her role as a result. Then she developed one of the all time cases of (mostly) unrequited love for a certain other cast member.

    The way the elephant is cropped, you can’t tell it has curly red hair.

    There’s what you want, what people think you want, and what you finally get.

  41. Lowetide says:

    I admit to having a major league crush on Susan Dey 40 years ago. Man that was a long time ago.

  42. jb says:

    Hemsky +pick/prospect for Suter

    Fills a need for both teams and Hemsky would come much cheaper than Suter.

    Can’t stand the negativity from so many Oiler fans.. Assume Hemsky’s gone, no even a chance he’ll re-sign, yet Suter’s a lock to re-up long term with big dollars from Nashville?

    Clearly the majority of Oiler fans have lost faith in their management…

  43. Ducey says:


    So the Oilers are going to give up Hemsky and a pick for 3 months of Suter. Yeah right.

    Suter isn’t going to sign here. He has no affiliation here at all. He would almost certainly go UFA.

  44. art vandelay says:

    So trade Edm lottery pick 2012 to Wash for John Carlson.
    What gives you the idea that George McPhee is brain damaged?

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