Life after Hemsky is becoming a real possibility for the Oilers. The trade deadline is fast approaching and Tambillini knows he needs to do something with the star winger. The question is what is the right decision for the Oilers long term future? To determine the answer to this question we must look at the past, present, and future.
In the past Hemsky has always been the bright spot to the Oilers lineup. Hemsky has shown he can be a top playmaker in the league.When healthy he has proven he is a point per game player in the NHL (or very close to it). But there lies the issue. The past few seasons the Oilers have not seen a healthy Hemsky. Just 22 games 2 seasons ago and 47 games last season. This season hemsky has also had shoulder problems and admitted he was not 100 percent until just after Christmas. Since then I see Hemsky again as the high skill player he has been throughout his career. The points may not show it but his play does.
Everyone in Edmonton knows Hemsky has not been a happy Oiler this season. Being dropped down to 2nd and sometimes 3rd line duties has hit his ego and effected his play. It wasn’t until the Oilers put Hemsky back into important roles that he started to shine once again. Hemsky has also shown his displeasure with Edmonton media, once even walking away from an interview basically telling the media to (insert word here) off.
Could Hemsky once again become happy as an Oiler? I have to say yes. Playing a bigger role and seing the coaching staff have faith in him again he has already looked much happier on and off the ice. In order to sign another contract with the oilers though Hemsky is going to need to see a commitment from the team. He will want to know the team is behind him and will continue to put him in a role where he can help the team succeed as well as have success himself.
Having said all that I do still believe the Oilers will move Hemsky at or before the deadline. In my opinion teams in play would be LA, Det, Pitts, and Nash. I could see the Oilers offering up Hemsky and a pick or prospect to Nashville for Suter. Some will say im crazy, that Nashville would never do that but lets remember that both players are UFA at seasons end and both players are what the other team in the deal needs.
My final thoughts regarding Hemsky is the skill is there, the will on the otherhand has yet to be determined. The “will” can only be determined after a trade or a commitment from the Oilers to his long term future.
You can follow me on twitter at @friesennhl