Sam Gagner has garnered all the attention these days for the Edmonton Oilers.
But Ales Hemsky has been on a quiet run of his own, scoring five points in his last four games, and just in time for the NHL trade deadline.
While Edmonton fans have been debating what to do with the rejuvenated Gagne – trade him or keep him – the sense with Hemsky is that he will be moved soon, perhaps to the Los Angeles Kings or Detroit Red Wings, to name but a pair of interested rivals.
Hemsky is just 28 and is in the last year of a contract that pays him $4.1 million (US). And while his injuries woes are well documented – right and left shoulder, groin, a concussion – he remains close to a point-per-game player.
In 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, Hemsky played only a combined 69 games yet scored 21 goals and 43 assists for 64 points. In his three most productive seasons, he averaged 71 points in 76 games. Yet the feeling in Edmonton is Hemsky is too old to be part of the Oilers’ youth movement and too injury prone to be counted on moving ahead.
Packaged with another player, or moved separately, Hemsky is the biggest chip the Oilers have to play in the final weeks leading up to the NHL trade deadline.
The Oilers play the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Monday.