NHL Canadian Corner – September 5, 2013.

The Oilers take Ales Hemsky off the trade market, Brian Burke reportedly talking with the Calgary Flames, plus updates on the Sedins, Carey Price, Devin Setoguchi and more.

Oilers take Ales Hemsky off the trade block.

Oilers take Ales Hemsky off the trade block.

EDMONTON JOURNAL/EDMONTON SUN: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish held a press conference yesterday announcing he’s taken winger Ales Hemsky off the trade market. Hemsky is in the final year of his contract paying him $5 million and could end up playing on the Oilers third line, but MacTavish said he’s giving the winger a “fresh canvas”.

The Oilers GM acknowledged Hemsky’s injury history and salary hurt the winger’s trade value. Hemsky, who also attended the press conference, claimed he was happy to be returning with the Oilers, though his body language betrayed the awkwardness of the moment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers really had no choice but to bring back Hemsky. They opted not to buy him out, and don’t want a $5 million player skating in the minors. Hemsky will have a tough time out-playing Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov. If he does, it’ll improve his trade value. One way or another, this is Hemsky’s final season in Edmonton.

CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN: Rumors emerged last night claiming former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke talking with the Flames about a hockey operations job with the club. Burke is currently a pro scout with the Anaheim Ducks. Burke, who flew to Calgary on Wednesday, declined to comment but didn’t dismiss the rumors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll hopefully learn more today. If Burke does join the Flames, he’ll be seen as GM Jay Feaster’s potential successor.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Contract talks between the Vancouver Canucks and the Sedins could get complicated. The Sedins are eligible for UFA status next summer and won’t be cheap to re-sign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I addressed this last week in my THN.com column, based on a a report from the Vancouver Sun. Ultimately, I believe the Canucks will re-sign the twins because ownership and management aren’t prepared for a major roster overhaul.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will be counting on goaltender Carey Price to rebound from last season’s inconsistent performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he doesn’t, the Canadiens could struggle to make the playoffs.

WINNIPEG SUN: New Jets winger Devin Setoguchi is looking forward to his debut with the club this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Setoguchi’s stock tumbled in recent years, which explains why he’s bounced from San Jose to Minnesota to Winnipeg over the past three years. This is also a contract year so he’ll need a strong performance to earn a new contract with the Jets.

OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: “Veteran rookies” Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone (who both spent part of last season with the Senators) will be attending the club’s rookie tournament in London, Ontario.


  1. The Flames have called a press conference for Noon ET today. As a life long Flames fan, I don’t know whether to think this is a good thing or a horrible thing. I have never held back in the past saying that Burke’s ego is bigger than his abilities, and that on the whole I feel like his abilities are over-hyped. Also, every time he opens his mouth to speak I want to shove a dirty gym sock in there and shut him up. There are few people that grate on me the way he does. Put simply, he is a prick.

    That said, if he can straighten out the Flames, then I would welcome it. One thing is for sure about Burke, he knows what he wants to do, and he really doesn’t let anyone stand in his way of doing it, regardless of whether or not it is the RIGHT thing to do. Something the Flames have seemingly suffered from for years is too many people in management with an opinion, and everyone acting independently which has destroyed any sort of focused plan or path forward. I could see Burke coming in, devising and laying down a defined plan, and everyone getting on board. That’s not saying it will be the right plan or path forward, but at least it will be a defined one.

    • Some won’t agree, but I think he did well in Toronto. He got them turned around.

  2. Oppa Hemsky Style 😉
    Let’s hope he can just focus on having a productive season and puts up some good numbers. With any luck he’ll help this young team make a push back to the playoffs?
    At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.
    They’ll be more pressure on the younger lads now to make more of an impact, so Hemsky should be able to just have nice quiet season to play his game without feeling any pressure from the die hards.
    I’m more interested to see how Gagner performs as well as the new additions.
    Wondering too, if a rookie can make the team as well as make an impact.
    The Sedins ought to see how the current management handled Luongo. And wonder if they want any part of that? It would be cool if they spent they’re entire career with the Canucks, but, if they decided to move on, I couldn’t blame them. The Sedins in Detroit seems like an interesting scenario. Why not go were many swedes have gone before :)