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.
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.