Does Hemsky Happy Mean Oilers Leaning Toward Drafting Taylor Hall?

A couple of quick posts by the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson and Oilers Nation Robin Brownlee suggests what they thought was an unhappy and likely to be exiting Ales Hemsky, may have changed his tune.

Information presented to them in respect to a year end exit meeting between Hemsky and the Oilers, suggest Hemsky is now not only perhaps not looking to sign elsewhere at the end of his current contract, but excited about the Oilers current plans. If both Matheson and Brownlee were previously under the impression Hemsky was giving out feelers that he'd be leaving; what exactly happened at that meeting?

It's no secret that Ales Hemsky hasn't exactly been surrounded by a winning supporting cast. Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner and other temporary fill-ins have tried, but none have yet to live up to the "superstar" billing that seems to surround Hemsky (even though Hemsky's numbers do not fully suggest he himself is a superstar). Ryan Smyth might be the closest.

As a result, the Oilers have done literally everything in their power to land a scoring winger to play with Hemsky. Marian Hossa, Dany Heatley, Thomas Vanek, even Dustin Penner who has had some mild success, were sought out or brought in to work with Hemmer and create that "top line" the Oilers haven't had in years.

In many cases, this never-ending quest has come at the detriment of the team.

This isn't to say that the attempts at centers like Michael Nylander or Paul Kariya weren't also done for the same reasons; but the publicity surrounding the failed attempts of someone Hemsky might click with, seem to start and end with well known and top level talent wingers. Heck even the Jagr rumors continued to float around until it was recently announced Jagr had officially re-upped in the KHL.

Does that mean that when the Oilers Steve Tamebellini and possibly Daryl Katz (as we have learned spent a good two hours chatting with Hemsky one-on-one over coffee) sat down with Hemsky to end this horrid season, that something like, "Hemmer...we're about to draft you the linemate you've always wanted. This is a big opportunity for you and the Edmonton Oilers" came out?

If anything similar to it was the focus of that conversation, the natural fit might seem to mean that Taylor Hall fits the bill better than Tyler Seguin would.

Hall, by all accounts, will make an immediate impact in the NHL. It won't come as a surprise to anyone to see him get top line ice time in 5-on-5 situations and the powerplay; and the logic behind it being to bury some of the beauty passes Hemsky can dish out. Hall has proven to be a big game player, has the ability to shoot and pass and he along side Hemsky should improve a player like Shawn Horcoff immensely, who everyone knows the Oilers can't and aren't getting rid of.

Perhaps the thought a player like Hall has Hemsky excited. That maybe, Hemsky can be a new leader on this team with a young scoring superstar who has the potential to be just as flashy as he is.

On the other hand, since we know little about what's really going on in Hemsky's mind, perhaps he's more open to the idea of a true first line center?

And, all of a sudden we're back to where we started. I guess, this is why it's fun to speculate, but really know nothing until the parties involved start to actually tip their hands. What do you think?


I'll take "Hemsky Happy" and Hall or Seguin for that matter.

Hemsky has got to be an integral part of this team for the long term.

May 10, 2010 at 5:20 AM comment-delete

Personally i'd like to see them trade Hemmer. He dangles the puck too much. Hasn't learned the skill of knowing how to keep the puck a safe distance from an opposing player. He's constantly skating down the ice floating around only to have the puck poke checked at the most inopportune times... Just coming off shoulder surgery... He has good value. Trade him and get another high draft pick and move on IMHO.

admiral mark
May 10, 2010 at 7:54 AM comment-delete

@ admiral mark, don't watch much hockey I guess do you?

May 11, 2010 at 3:24 PM comment-delete

Kariya would be perfect fit with the oilers! We should try to sign if price is right!!

July 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM comment-delete

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