NHL rumor monger Eklund is reporting that several teams are looking to acquire Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky via a trade this offseason. The Vancouver Canucks are one of the teams supposedly sniffing around.
Would this move make sense for the Canucks?
Vancouver needs to find some additional scoring to match up with Ryan Kesler on the second line and Hemsky could be an intriguing fit.
Hemsky has spent eight seasons with the Oilers and has shown that he can light the lamp at times. Twice he has topped both the 20-goal mark and 70 points (2005 and 2007).
What would that production look like next to Ryan Kesler?
On some level this seems like a no-brainer for the Canucks. However, there are some red flags that might make this rumor not very realistic or prudent.
For one, Hemsky has been injury prone the past two seasons. He only appeared in 22 games in 2009-2010 and 47 games last season. Do the Canucks want to gamble on a player who has not come close to playing a full season the last two years?
Secondly, last year the Oilers were reportedly shopping Hemsky at the trade deadline, asking for the moon. Eventually they held onto him.
Were they over-valuing Hemsky? Are they still?
What would Vancouver have to, and want to, give up to bring in Hemsky? One of the Canucks' biggest trading chips is goalie Corey Schneider—you would assume that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini would bring up Schneider’s name.
Is Schneider worth Hemsky?
Simply put, no.
Giving up a 25-year-old, soon-to-be-superstar goal tender for a second-line winger who can’t stay healthy would be a big over pay.
So, who might the Canucks ship out for Hemsky?
A more likely candidate would be Cody Hodgson, or even someone like Mayson Raymond. Hodgson is young, but is trapped behind three good centres in Vancouver and will find a hard time getting off the fourth line.
Raymond has been an up-and-down player. Last year he was a disappointment; now with his back injury, he may be expendable for Vancouver.
The question then becomes, Would Edmonton be willing to accept Hodgson or Raymond for Hemsky? It doesn’t seem likely, which makes this trade rumor seem like a bit of a long shot.
While Vancouver has to be looking to pick up a forward via the trade route, they are not desperate. They should not overpay for marginal players. With Ales Hemsky’s injury history, he is nothing more than a marginal player.