NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Monday, May 20, 2013.

The latest on Ales Hemsky, Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg and Ray Emery.

Will the Oilers trade Ales Hemsky this summer?

Will the Oilers trade Ales Hemsky?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Ales Hemsky’s days with the Oilers are numbered, doubting new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish will pay $5 million next season for a second-line player with world-class talent like Hemsky. TSN analyst Craig Button doesn’t think there’s much of a market for Hemsky, especially with the salary cap dropping to $64.3 million next season. Still, Matheson speculates “the Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes”, along with soon-to-be Western Conference club Winnipeg Jets, might have interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky could be dealt this summer, but his salary and UFA status next year could be a tough sell.The Predators, Coyotes and Blue Jackets need more offense, but I’m not sure they’ll take on a $5 million player. Hemsky doesn’t strike me as a Red Wings type, but Mike Babcock has a good reputation for getting the most out of his players.  Still, that salary might make them balk. As for the Blues, I’m not certain Hemsky would be a good fit on a team coached by Ken Hitchcock. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis recently suggested the Oilers should pursue Chicago Blackhawks power forwards Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg if they hit this summer’s UFA market.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said contract talks with Bickell, Stalberg and fellow UFA Ray Emery are on hold until the playoffs are over.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Stalberg was a healthy scratch in the Blackhawks opening two games of their series against the Detroit Red Wings, he could be available this summer. I expect the ‘Hawks will try to re-sign Bickell and Emery.


  1. These Edmonton writers are idiots.

    Matheson is complete moron, who knows zero about hockey and players. St. Louis, with their budget being interested in Hemsky, just laughable.

    I would hardly call Stalberg and Bickell “power forwards;” grinding forwards maybe, but they don’t score enough to be power forwards, nor do their penalty minutes or style indicate that they are power forwards. By all means sign them to huge contracts, Edmonton.

    • Good point, hardly a power forward with those numbers. I’d still like to see both with the Oilers next year though or Matt Hendricks.

  2. I can see teams having interest in Hemsky as long as the Oilers retain some of the $5.5 mil salary. It’s a better option than a buy out.

  3. I can’t see Hemsky in Columbus. JD andf Jarmo are stressing players with character, not just skill. Plus they’re building for the long haul and trading for a player who would be a UFA after one season isn’t the long haul. About the only way I see Hemsky coming to Columbus is if he agreed to sign a contract extension and, even then, I would doubt it becuase of salary issues.

  4. If Grabovski has trade value so does Hemsky. There value is upped if salary is retained at WHS mentioned.

    Stalberg has potential to play in a teams top 6 which is why he will find a decent contract somewhere. I am still sad the Leafs traded him away.

  5. If the oilers can’t trade Hemsky then maybe he becomes a buyout. I seriously doubt they would but who knows. Surely there are better players to spend 5 million on. Hemsky is still young but his injury history is fairly extensive and he just can’t seem to bust out of his funk, maybe the wings would take a stab but at 5 its doubtful. Surely he would be signed by someone else at a reasonable rate if bought out but I think he would skip to the KHL. At any rate its time the Hemsky ship sailed out of Edmonton.
    Both Stalberg and Bickell are useful players and I think if the hawks were to choose one to keep it would be Bickell. However, both are expendible because the hawks have players waiting in the wings who can replace those guys at a lot less money. Both players would not have any problem signing with others clubs.

  6. I’m sure the Oilers would like to replace Hemsky with a more physical player that can score but they aren’t readily available. They would also cost as much as Hemsky makes. Hemsky’s stats are similar to players like Erat, Okposo, Heatly, Stastny, Burrows and Clarkson – .5 points per game. Most of those guys make or will soon make similar money to Hemsky. Since the Oilers don’t have anybody ready to take his spot, don’t need more rookies in the line-up and the Free Agent pool is shallow, I suspect Hemsky will play out the last year of his contract.