Although the “Olympic trade freeze” is now in effect in the NHL until the 23rd February 2014, many trade rumors will surface as this is the time for general managers to continue negotiating with other teams. Today we look tat what the Oilers plan to do with Ales Hemsky and where Nashville predators David Legwand may end up.
Where will Ales Hemsky end up?
The Edmonton Oilers chances to make the playoffs are pretty much over pending a long winning streak starts right after the Olympics. Although the Oilers have made some deals this year such as acquiring Ben Scrivens, and hiring Ilya Bryzgalov, the Oilers find themselves with players of the same type even with all the talents they have forward. They have nifty players such as Sam Gagner, David Perron, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins but they seem to lack grit which Ryan Smith can add to a certain degree but at his age, this task needs to come from someone else and this someone else they don’t have him.
As they are to enter in the final stretch of the season, the Oilers will need to unload some of those players of the same brand and this brings Ales Hemsky as potential trade bait. Hemsky who is on a final year of a two-year 10 million contract makes him the ideal trade bait for the Oilers. Hemsky has been injured often during his career and that is the element that scares other teams away. But in order to add this certain depth to a contender, Hemsky may prove to be not as costly as a Thomas Vanek or a Matt Moulson.
According to Jonathan Willis from the Edmonton Journal, he reports that radio analyst Bob Stauffer, who has obtained the insight on Hemsky’s future with the Oilers, are looking at trading the forward by March 5th. Hemsky who currently has 7 goals and 17 assists for 24 points and minus -11 rating is rumored to interest some teams wishing to add scoring from a third line perspective.
The San Jose Sharks were known to have been scouting the Oilers for a few games prior to the Olympic break and the latest rumors from Stauffer states the Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins are showing interest in Hemsky. For Pittsburgh, they could add a forward capable to replace injured Pascal Dupuis done for the year and for Montreal it would be additional offense to replace the lack of offense a Rene Bourque is not providing. Bourque has been linked to this rumor as well and for the Habs, it is known that Bourque is on the trading block. For the Edmonton Oilers, this would mean some size upfront.
Editor’s Note: Of the Oilers who will depart prior to 5 March, Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner are the most likely candidates to depart. Hemsky could help many teams on a third line and provide some scoring on the power play. I wouldn’t count the Phoenix Coyotes out just yet in the race for Hemsky. As for Sam Gagner, the Oilers may be close to move him to los Angeles, if the Kings can find the cap space they need. This transaction may be just temporarily on hold until trade season resumes.
David Legwand being shopped but not at any price
The Nashville Predators who needs offense and to make the playoff are shopping veteran and lifetime Predators, David Legwand. Legwand who leads the Predators with 40 points in 59 games is currently on the last year of a six-year 27 million dollars contract and is 4.5 million cap hit. Legwand has also a no-trade clause and would need to approve any deals and team he would be traded to. According to the Boston Globe, Fluto Shinzawa reports that David Legwand would be a nice fit for the Chicago Blackhawks or the St-Louis Blues.
Editor’s Note: Although Legwand is set to become an unrestricted free agent, the Predators may want to keep him. He has been offered but for the Predators to let go their best scorer to get more offense may be far fetched. Nashville is only 4 points out of a playoff spot and are not sellers at this point. Should they lose more games leading to the March 5th deadline, then Legwand may be an option to let go for prospects or draft pick. Legwand likes to play in Nashville, the team that drafted him 2nd overall in 1998. In addition, I disagree with Shinzawa trading Legwand to a rival team such as the Blackhawks or the Blues. If they were to trade Legwand, it would be an Eastern Conference team.
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