The Edmonton Oilers and Ales Hemsky made no secret, after the fact, that the team was looking to trade the veteran winger. General Manager Craig MacTavish said after the trade deadline that he was surprised that Hemsky didn’t fetch a second round pick on the market.
The Oilers got a 3rd and a 5th round pick for Hemsky instead and MacTavish said that it was how the ‘soft’ rental market shaped up. However, the Oilers were happy to get a return rather than let Hemsky, an unrestricted free agent, walk without gaining assets.
Hemsky’s two-goal performance last night against the Ottawa Senators not only boosted his stock for Ottawa, who would trade for him, but also among other teams.
“We had made a lot of phone calls to other of my colleagues, about Ales over the last numbers to see,” MacTavish said. “We all kind of felt we were going to move him. I spoke with Ales about that too. There were a lot more calls today. After the game that he played last night, he really backed up most of the things I was saying to my colleagues.
“It was that, at some point, Ales has been devalued far below what my expectation is of him. I told many of my colleagues that my expectation is, whoever gets him is going to get a real good player and that’s what I would recall of Ales’ game. He gets the puck on the fly in the neutral zone… he’s very dangerous, one-on-one on the fly through the neutral zone. That was really backing up what I was saying. Obviously, he hadn’t scored much up until that point but the potential of getting a player that could do those types of things, opened up the market.”