March 22, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Edmonton Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky (83) attempts to shoot as Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson (30) defends during the third period. The Lightning won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Top 10 Oiler Stories Of 2011-12: #6- Ales Hemsky's New Contract


He’s going to the Wings.

He’s going to the Stars.

He’s going to the Sabres.

He’s going to the Kings.  Or maybe the Rangers.

No one was on the middle of the fence in this one.

You were either an ardent supporter of Ales Hemsky, or the guy was the plague.  Whether you love him or want him gone, his two year contract ranks as my number 6 on the top ten Oiler moments of 2011-12.

Step back to a time not so long ago.  You and I, we’ll call it ‘February’.  The Oilers had long escaped playoff relevancy, and the man on everyone’s mind was #83.  I would’ve put 100 cents on the dollar that Hemsky was going somewhere for near nothing.  Hemsky had worn out his usefulness to some.  It was no secret that Hemsky was going to be an unrestricted free agent come July 1st, where he could walk for nothing.  Add to this, that Hemsky was having a statistically meagre season.

I had come to grips with the fact that Hemsky was going to be traded.  Get something for him, I thought.

Some in Edmonton media had him going for a first round draft pick.  I had him going for less.  Maybe a pick and a prospect.  A paltry return on a top six guy I thought.  As the trade deadline came closer to a reality, I was beginning to doubt that management could get any substance for him at all.  It’s not like this wouldt be the first time a player had been left to twist in the wind.

Then, out of nowhere, the contract came.

A two year deal for Ales Hemsky?  Really?  It actually happened?

Ales Hemsky took a hometown discount to stay in Edmonton for two more years.  A 2 year, $10M deal it was.

Two comparables you might find interesting:  Tuomo Ruutu ($4.75M hit for four years), and that God-awful Ville Leino deal ($4.5M hit for six), and you should feel good about this deal whether or not you’d call yourself a fan of Ales Hemsky.  In case you’re keeping score, Ville Leino finished with 25 points this year.

So while management decides what to do with that number one draft pick (this team is making the playoffs next year, remember?), love it or not, Ales Hemsky will be along for the ride for the next two years.

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