Hang on just a minute. Photo courtesy Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers

What to Do?

Due to a confluence of events the rumours about Ales Hemsky have started to fly. First there’s his upcoming UFA status, combined with his injury history and his uninspired play of late. Add to this the fact that he’s been passed on the depth chart by some of the younger players, and it’s no wonder many are questioning if he fits with the long term plan for the team.

If his uninspired play is because he has checked himself out and wants to move on, then absolutely trade him. If it’s just that he’s in a bit of a funk, and he still wants to play here, then I’ld still trade him before I move Gagner, but I wouldn’t be as eager to ship him out. Regardless, I don’t expect a trade to happen this week, or even this month (I don’t think anyone believes Tambellini to be a fast mover when it comes to trades), but I do think it is highly probable that something does happen before the trade deadline.

With Taylor Hall possibly coming back this weekend, some kind of change to the lineup will be necessary. I’m sure many will suggest moving Hemsky to the third line, and I would suggest that as well, but there are other possibilities. One that I haven’t seen anyone suggest is starting Hall on the third line. This was where Gags started when he came back from injury, but of course the top two lines were all playing great at that time. Gagner may also be dropped to the third line but in my opinion he deserves his place among the top six. I would like to see Hall with Horcoff and Gags,  and RNH between Eberle and Smyth. but we’ll have to wait and see.

As far as trading Hemsky goes Jim Matheson suggested Detroit as a possible destination, and I’ve also heard Nashville suggested. If the argument is that the Oilers would be looking for a defenseman in return who would you ask for? What would be a possible trade? When it comes to Nashville I’m sure many fans would love to see Weber or Suter coming here, but is Hemsky enough? I doubt Nashville would be willing to part with either of them, but I would guess that Suter is at least less impossible. What about Hemsky and a pick/prospect for Suter? Would you make that trade? What if you were a Predators fan?

Things are a little different with Detroit; as unlikely as it is that there will be a trade involving Weber and Hemsky, there is no way the Wings would trade Kronwall. So who would you ask for? Would you ask for an up and comer like Jakub Kindl, or a more established player (though still only 27) like Ian White? I think I would be happy with a straight up trade of Hemsky for White, but would that really work for either team? Maybe Detroit would also be interested in a veteran goalie to work with Howard (Yep, I’m promoting that yet again)? Howard has been playing well this season (top ten in save % and GAA), but Conklin has not played well as his backup. Would they be interested in Hemmer and Khabby, and if so who could we get for them?

Well, I’ve had my say, what do you think?

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Tags: Ales Hemsky Jordan Eberle Nikolai Khabibulin Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Ryan Smyth Sam Gagner Shawn Horcoff Taylor Hall

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