Ales Hemsky has long been the subject of trade rumours so when he was finally moved this season, it didn’t catch anyone by surprise.
If there was a surprise, it may have involved the destination. Hemsky found himself moved from one small-market Canadian team, i.e. the Edmonton Oilers, to another small-market Canadian team, i.e. the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa was already fading from the playoff picture at the time of the trade so it was read by some as a last-ditch attempt to rejuvenate the Senators’ offence.
Did it work?
The Senators remain out of the playoff picture today, but it seems fair to say Hemsky has rediscovered his form in Ottawa. He has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 16 games since joining the club. Hemsky’s best season came in 2005-2006 when he recorded 77 points (19 goals, 58 assists) for the Oilers.
I’m sure the Senators would like to hang onto Hemsky, but he’s a free agent at the end of the season and eligible to leave. Budget considerations – Jason Spezza, Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur and Craig Anderson all become free agents in 2015-2016 – might force them to pass on him.
Having said that, Hemsky may be cheap to resign. His current salary cap hit is $5 million, but he won’t be making that type of money again. He might be inclined to sign a short, inexpensive contract in the hope of proving his true value next season.
It’s hard to evaluate Hemsky’s current value based on a season split between Edmonton and Ottawa.
In my opinion, Hemsky has been a nice addition to Ottawa and he’s definitely played well there. It would be nice to see him return next season. After that, he might once again become the subject of constant trade talk.
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