NHL Trade Deadline: Edmonton Oilers Sign Trade Target Ales Hemsky to Extension

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

EDMONTON, CANADA - FEBRUARY 15: Ales Hemsky #83 of the Edmonton Oilers of the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 15, 2012 at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Ales Hemsky to a two-year contract extension worth $10 million, according to TSN, likely taking him off the trade market.

Ales Hemsky agrees to contract with Oilers. 2 years, $10 mil total.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 25, 2012

UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 24 at 8:33 p.m. ET

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca, Hemsky's deal does not have no-move or no-trade clause. 

Hemsky deal includes neither a no-move or no-trade. That means freedom for #Oilers to move at end of deal. #SNTrade

— Mark Spector Sports (@SportsnetSpec) February 25, 2012

Hemsky was one of the few top six forwards available on the trading market leading up to Monday's NHL trade deadline, and his commitment to the Oilers certainly will make things more interesting over the weekend.

What Does it Mean?

A lot of people thought that Hemsky was going to become an unrestricted free agent this summer instead of re-signing with the Oilers, who are a young team that won't compete for a Stanley Cup for several more years. 

However, Hemsky likely would have gotten far less on the open market than what he got from the Oilers on Friday. He's only scored five goals this season with 26 points through 47 games.

Teams were interested in Hemsky, but the Oilers need to have some veteran forwards on their team to mix in with their abundance of young talent. They also don't have a ton of depth on the right wing and would have had to find Hemsky's replacement in the summer if he left.

Edmonton overpaid, but it was a move they should have made and it looks good for the organization because it shows they are willing keep their own players around long-term.

Hemsky's loyalty is also nice to see.

What's Next? 

Hemsky's contract and the new deal Tuomo Ruutu got from the Carolina Hurricanes this week (four years, $19 million) will forever change the free-agent market going forward. 

Ruutu and Hemsky are not worth between $4.5-5.0 million per season, but since they have received this money, other players who are 50-65 points scorers will demand this kind of money in free agency. When they're negotiating with teams, they can point to these ridiculous contracts Ruutu and Hemsky got as proof that mediocre players can earn a very nice salary. 

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun is also puzzled by the contracts given to Hemsky and Ruutu, saying via twitter:

The NHL needs a new CBA so GMs can be protected from themselves. How else do you explain ridiculous money for Ruutu and Hemsky?

— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) February 25, 2012

Now that Hemsky is likely off the trade market, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash will probably be one of the few top six forwards available at the deadline.

Follow Nicholas Goss on Twitter for NHL news and analysis. 

Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals in Boston.