There is no better trade deadline than the NHL trade deadline. Rumors are swirling everywhere and teams are beginning to make offers. The deadline is less than two days away. The New York Rangers are expected to be very active over the next couple of days. One name that is being linked to the Rangers is Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers.
Hemsky is a talented player who has been linked to the Rangers many times in the past. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and would be a great rental player. Hemsky has a ton of skill but is a player who has had struggled over the past few years. Hemsky went through a stretch when he had point totals of 77, 53, 71 and 66 in four straight seasons. Since that 66-point season he has failed to reach the 45-point plateau.
Injuries have also been a problem for Hemsky recently. Since the 2009-10 season Hemsky has only played in 230 of a possible 376 games. He is also 30 years old and considered to be on the down swing of his career.
However, the asking price for Hemsky isn’t expected to be that high. Apparently most scouts think he is worth a third round pick, but the Oilers would want a second round pick for him. The Rangers wouldn’t have to give up much and if the trade doesn’t work out they can let Hemsky walk at the end of the season.
The Rangers are in desperate need of goal scoring. They are third in the NHL in shots per game, but are 19th in goals per game. A player like Hemsky is a great low risk move that could boost goal scoring. It would also help ease the blow of losing captain Ryan Callahan. Despite Hemsky’s injury history he is still a top six forward when healthy.
There is also the Alain Vigneault factor in all of this. Vigneault has shown the ability to resurrect players’ careers so far this season. Benoit Pouliot is having a career season after many people thought he was nothing more than a player who could never live up to potential. Brad Richards is having a great bounce back season after a horrible season last year.
Vigneault could find a way to get Hemsky’s career back on track. Hemsky would fit in great with Vigneault’s puck possession, fast paced style. If Callahan were to be moved a line of Richards, Carl Hagelin and Hemsky would cause matchup problems for other teams.
The next 45 hours are going to be fun and interesting, especially for the Rangers. A player like Hemsky is the perfect low risk move that could benefit the Rangers down the stretch. He would be a nice fit for this team.