Hemsky On The Move To Columbus?

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Normally I don’t like to perpetrate rumours I heard on the internet, but this one might have legs.

Ales Hemsky has one more year on his contract. It’s difficult to put where both the Oilers and Hemsky will be in a year’s time.

Will Hemsky have a resurgent 11-12 season?  Will he score 70 points?  If he does, you can bet that his bank account will be chirping. What if his next season contains another injury that will keep Hemsky on the IR?

According to Peter Adler of the Edmonton Journal, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson would be interested in acquiring Ales Hemsky.  And if I’m Steve Tambellini and I’m thinking about dealing Ales Hemsky, I’d better get a deal.

I like Ales Hemsky.  I think when healthy, he’s the best player on the Edmonton Oilers right now.  But, as much as I like Ales Hemsky, I’m finally coming to grips with his durability issues. For the first time since watching Ales Hemsky, I’m having serious doubts as to whether or not he will ever have a healthy season again.

2005-06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 81 19 58 77 64 -5
2006-07 Edmonton Oilers NHL 64 13 40 53 40 -7
2007-08 Edmonton Oilers NHL 74 20 51 71 34 -9
2008-09 Edmonton Oilers NHL 72 23 43 66 32 1
2009-10 Edmonton Oilers NHL 22 7 15 22 8 7
2010-11 Edmonton Oilers NHL 47 14 28 42 18 3

Stats courtesy of HockeyDB.com

When the wheels fell off for the team in 2009-10, they just about fell off for Ales Hemsky.  Limited to just 22 games in ’09-’10 and 47 last year, injuries are a big reason why Ales Hemsky has the possibility of being dealt.

When he plays, he’s almost a PPG player.  When he’s injured, he’s as good as a fourth line winger that sits on the bench for the entire game.


  • Injuries- Hemsky has played a total of 69 games over the past two seasons out of a possible 164.  While I think Ales Hemsky is a top right winger when he’s healthy, he can be the King of Spain for all it matters if he’s injured.
  • Contract-  Ales Hemsky is in the final year of a deal that’s worth $4.1M in cap.  It’s a giant gamble whether or not Hemsky will be healthy in 2011-12, especially seeing as how he’s been in a little more than 40% of the games over the past two seasons.  If Hemsky is healthy and scores 70+ points, then he’ll likely look for a new (and possibly bigger) contract.  If he suffers another injury and plays in only 30 games, then you’ve got another lost season on your hands.  Who would want to sign a guy to an extended deal if he’s been injured the past three seasons?
  • The 8th overall pick-  Don’t look now, but the chance to draft what could be two dominant Swedes in the first ten picks might just be too much to pass up on.  If Hemsky goes to Columbus, there’s a significant chance that the 8th overall pick is in play.  The Oilers may opt to draft Mika Zibanejad if they pick fellow countryman Adam Larsson.  This is all a bit of ‘if’ and ‘when’, but the eighth pick’s allure may be a prime reason that Hemsky is moved.  I’d expect a player also back in return, but the eighth overall pick would be the rub.

Ales Hemsky is an electrifying player when healthy, and I’d like to continue to see him in an Oilers uniform for years if he can remain healthy.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t been very healthy over the past two seasons, and the chance to grab the eighth overall pick in a week and a half may be too bright a light for Oilers management to stray from.

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