He arrived as a skinny teenage boy, and leaves us today a man. Ales Hemsky is the most beautiful, least understood Oiler of his generation—an icon’s talent with a pauper’s memories. It is the saddest damn thing.
KEVIN PRENDERGAST ON HIS FAVORITE DRAFT PICK
- “Our staff works as a team and whomever the player is that we take we’re taking him as a team and there might be three or four scouts who don’t like the player but the other nine guys on staff do like him. My first pick was Ales Hemsky, and you certainly want him to play and I’m yearning for him to be a success and so far I think Ales is going to be.” -Kevin Prendergast to Guy Flaming, HF interview, August 15, 2003.
I don’t know where Hemsky is going—hell, maybe they’ll sign him later today—but San Jose is ideal and Ottawa fits but after last night’s game I don’t know if they’re buying. The Rangers keep getting mentioned and the Penguins have confirmed their interest.
- Larry Brooks: Sather — seeking depth on defense, and who isn’t? — has had conversations with the Oilers regarding rental winger Ales Hemsky, but the Rangers, who were first offered Hemsky during early-season inquiries about Nail Yakupov, are reluctant to yield the second-round draft pick sought by Edmonton.
Looks like it could come down to what happens with Callahan in NYC.
On December 27, the Oilers were 39GP, 12-24-3. In the 24 games since, Edmonton is 9-10-5. In their last 10: 6-2-2. The Corgi’s are still barking and the power play is mule stubborn, but the goaltending has been sublime. It won’t work long term, but it’s been a nice 10-game run in the results department.
- MacTavish: “If we had an opportunity to do something that I thought was fair and legitimate we would have done it today but we’re going to be pushed to the deadline tomorrow. when that happens there’s a certain amount of risk at stake but right now we’re prepared to take the risk rather than settle for what’s been offered so far. I think, from talking to quite a few of my colleagues, that this is fairly standard practice right now.”
I believe the Oilers will move Hemsky, Nick Schultz and Ryan Smyth today. In my wildest dreams they would re-sign Hemsky and Smyth today, but if is for children.
MacTavish is satisfied with his goaltending, and it’s interesting to look back one year ago to the Ben Bishop deadline. Edmonton was very interested in the big goalie but lost out to a seemingly mediocre deal offered by Tampa Bay. One year later, the season lost, MacTavish added and signed Ben Scrivens and then traded yesterday for Viktor Fasth.
There’s 100 miles of difference between Steve Tambellini and Craig MacTavish. The turnover in net is a clear indication.
- MacT: “We have two really good options next year. It’ll be a competitive position as it always is. Driving into the office (Tuesday), I thought if we could stabilize it for next year and check that box off. That was my objective going in.”
He also mentioned Richard Bachman (doing well in the AHL) and Laurent Brossoit (the future). The two NHL goaltenders and Brossoit are the major items in the Oiler goaltending arsenal. I think the NHL bets are solid, and Brossoit is dominant in the ECHL. We’ll see if he can cut it in the AHL (likely) beginning next season.
TRADE DEADLINE VALUE TABLE
- Ales Hemsky: First-round draft pick (or a second and a fourth).
- Nick Schultz: A third round pick.
- Ryan Smyth: A fourth round pick.
- Corey Potter: A fourth round pick.
Anton Belov: A fourth round pick.
- Ilya Bryzgalov: A fourth round pick. **correctly predicted value**
- Jesse Joensuu: A fourth round pick.
- Taylor Fedun: A fourth round pick.
- Mark Fraser: A fourth round pick.
- Luke Gazdic: A fifth round pick.
- Ryan Jones: A sixth round pick.
- Denis Grebeshkov: A seventh round pick.
- Ben Eager: A seventh round pick.
There may be some movement too among the minor league players, depending on how big these deals get today. Montreal was following OKC around all week and are apparently hot to unload Rene Bourque (can’t imagine why!) which may bring in Corey Potter or similar into the equation.
There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Gagner leading up to the deadline, but there’s a pulse after last night. He played well to my eye, and had his passing ability on full display. I doubt he’ll be dealt, but wanted to mention just in case.
TODAY, ALL WILL BE REVEALED
This morning at 10 on TSN 1260, Dave Jamieson will host a four hour special at the deadline. I’ll be part of a panel that includes Jason Strudwick, Jason Gregor, Guy Flaming and a cast of several. We’re devoting a lot of effort in order to bring you an Oiler focused deadline and will of course cover all of the big deals. Please ignore your work and listen!!!