Is Patrick O'Sullivan the Answer for Ales Hemsky?

Faiz-Ali VirjiCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2009

The Edmonton Oilers seemed like they were going to stand pat at the 2009 NHL Trade Deadline. The 3:00 PM EST deadline had passed without a mention of any deal.

At 3:53, the Oilers announced they had acquired Patrick O'Sullivan, in exchange for Erik Cole, in a three-team deal with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings.

Is Patrick O'Sullivan the answer to the Oilers' problem of finding a scoring left winger for Ales Hemsky?

Well, O'Sullivan has proved he can score at every level, with 148 goals in 234 games in the OHL, and 65 goals in only 119 games in the AHL. He scored 22 goals last year in his first full NHL season, and has 14 already this year—good enough for third on the Oilers.

We must remember Dustin Penner scored 29 goals the season before he came to the Oilers, and while he scored 23 last year and has 14 this year, he never seemed to fit well with Hemsky. There would be games where they did have some chemistry, but there were also lots of games where they couldn't get anything going.

Penner may actually benefit from this trade, as there will be less pressure on him to produce. More likely, he will find himself on a line with one of Andrew Cogliano or Sam Gagner—still very good linemates.

As for Hemsky, he's had to do it all by himself. Lately, Hemsky hasn't been producing as much—only two points in his last seven games. With the addition of O'Sullivan, it may take the pressure off of him as well, allowing him to make even more highlight-reel plays that Edmonton fans love.

It will be wait-and-see for the Oilers on O'Sullivan. Hopefully, the Oilers have finally found a match for Hemsky, and the OHH line will live up to its name.