Only the Valiant

Being a fan of the Edmonton Oilers means a few things: you can easily draw a line from the current team to the Boys on the Bus; the organization has a mammoth impact on how stories are covered and therefore public opinion; and when it comes to trade rumors over a long period of time, where there’s smoke there is fire.

Trading Ales Hemsky isn’t a new idea. Matty mentioned it a year ago. However, this spring the rumor has legs and is being reported both inside and outside the market. This tells me one of two things is happening: either the Oilers are floating the idea to see what kind of reaction they’re going to get from the ticket buying public, or the Oilers management group under Tambellini has as many leaks as it did under Kevin Lowe.

Trading Ales Hemsky wouldn’t be the crime of the century, but there are real questions about this management group in terms of their ability to get 100 cents on the dollar in return.

  • Advantages of Trading Hemsky: The club could acquire a more physical player, allowing some of the smaller forwards (Gagner, Eberle, Brule) more prime time and 5×4 minutes.
  • Disadvantages of Trading Hemsky: None of the players listed here are as good as Hemsky. I think Gagner will end up being a superior player and that Hall/Seguin are clearly going to be potential impact players. But let’s be clear: no one on the roster currently will be posting better numbers from RW than a healthy Hemsky in 2010-11.

I think this is a terrible idea. Steve Tambellini and Kevin Lowe are unlikely to deliver full value in return. In simple terms, the people we’re thinking the Oilers will acquire for Hemsky are unlikely to be the names in the news on 83′s trade day.

I’d bet money the Oilers are at least strongly thinking about dealing Hemsky. Penner has had a strong season, Gagner has improved and Hall is coming. Dealing Hemsky for a big, strong center or a physial winger with plus skills can be justified for a rebuilding team. However, we’re as likely to see Hemsky dealt for a player and a pick, or Hemsky dealt for some guy they liked in 2006, or some guy who has been nursing an injury for 24 months.

It reminds me of the times my Dad would load up the family and drive to town in search of a new car. We’d start the day with such hope, but we drove a Valiant home every damn time.

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