Oilers at Wild, G60 ’10-’11

It always feels weird to see your favorite players in the wrong uniform. Gretzky in St. Louis, Messier in Vancouver, Hemsky as a King.

What now?

We’ve been talking about Hemsky and Penner for a month now and I’ll be happy when the deadline is done. I’d be thrilled if both Hemsky and Penner were still Oilers but wouldn’t bet a plug nickel on it.

There are 45 NHL players with 20 or more goals so far this season; the Oilers have two (Hall & Penner) and there’s a chance more Oilers could reach that plateau (Hemsky, Gagner, Jones, Eberle). Theo Peckham is among the top 10 in the NHL in pims this season, and Penner is among the top 20 or so in SH% this season. Other than that, it’s hard to find black ink on this team. RED ink is everywhere, however.

It was a lots of fun to watch Taylor Hall the other day. Scoring three goals and taking the game into his own hands has happened before in Oiler history, but it was awhile ago. I’m glad for the opportunity to watch this young man in his rookie season. Remember it, these gifted kids don’t come along every year.

Seriously.

Minnesota Wild players will wear custom-designed camouflage jerseys during warm-ups before tonight’s game to honor the National Guard.

Eric Duhatschek has a new column up and it’s Hemsky-heavy. Here’s the article and here’s a quote:

  • Weirdly, the best destination for Hemsky might be the Washington Capitals, who reinforced their blueline earlier this season by acquiring Scott Hannan from Colorado. But the Caps are suddenly only middle of the pack offensively after running away with the league’s overall scoring title last year. Hemsky could play a top-six role on a Washington team that was considered a Stanley Cup favourite going into the season, but may not even earn home-ice advantage in the opening playoff round.

Unless John Carlson is involved in a Hemsky deal, I don’t see Washington fitting the bill in terms of return. Maybe Alzner, but he and Carlson are a big part of the current team. Then there’s that elite Russian kid (Kuznetsov) but I’m not sure the Oilers would even trade for a Russian–they won’t draft them for fear of not getting them to come over.

Since Jim Matheson hinted that the Oilers prefer Adam Larsson, it’s probably about time we started paying attention to him. Here’s a quote from his WJC partner Fredrik Styrman:

  • “I think Adam is better than Hedman in his draft year, but that’s my opinion. He’s more stick handling and can move the puck quick. That’s the big thing, and he can hit too. He’s a strong guy and he’s big. I think he has a great future (in North America).”

And Robin Lehner:

  • “Hedman was big, of course, and strong and Adam is smaller but he makes up for that with smartness. He’s really smart with the puck and tough. He won’t back down from anything and even fought a 30-year-old in Swedish league. He just has this glow in his eyes … you know he’s going to be a great player.”

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