Robin Brownlee has an article over at Oilers Nation tonight regarding Ales Hemsky and his future with the Edmonton Oilers. Brownlee discusses Jim Matheson’s EJ article from earlier today and I think we all remember Matheson suggesting Hemsky wasn’t going to be a long term Oiler earlier this spring (by that I mean after the current contract).
If the Oilers retain (and then re-sign) Hemsky it gives the team all kinds of opportunities. They can run a true top line (with a strong 2-way C like Horcoff and Penner on LW) against the toughest opposition or they can give Hemsky a soft line role (ala Selanne in Anaheim) possibly with one of the new kids (MPS, Seguin/Hall). If the Oilers are going to draft Seguin, having a true skill RW on his line would ease the transition in a big way.
The big item for me is that Ales Hemsky makes the Oilers watchable. Even though next season is going to be brutal, there’s not a hockey fan alive who isn’t entertained by the Pardubice Prince. If Brownlee’s article is true, this is a very good day to be an Oiler fan. MPS announces his arrival at the WHC’s and Hemsky’s exit interview indicates he’s going to stay.