Edmonton Oilers’ winger Ales Hemsky has sat in a barber’s chair recently and his hair is so short you’d swear he was going for a job interview. Which, in a way, he is, although how his hands look might well be more important than how his hair looks to any rival general managers if they have a hankering to trade for the unrestricted free-agent.

As much as the Oilers have noticed the buy-in from Hemsky, who has had no gripes about being a third-liner this season, often playing with centre Boyd Gordon, with some second unit powerplay gravy, anybody watching Hemsky roar around the best defenceman in the NHL, Duncan Keith, Sunday night in Chicago, had to be impressed. Great rush, and a nifty tuck under the pads of Hawks’ rookie goalie Antti Raanta, who was flummoxed on the play.

“We were supposed to sign him (free-agent), right?” said Hemsky, playfully.

He empathized with Keith. “The puck was bouncing and I had the speed and went around him but he was flat-footed for sure,” said Hemsky, who knows exactly how good Keith, the first pairing Canadian Olympian is.

The goal ended a 16-game scoring drought. He’s now got seven goals in 83 shots, which matches his jersey number.

“That was a long time between goals but I don’t play the same role as I used to. I’ve never scored a lot of goals, but my ice-time is down and you don’t get as many chances. I don’t mind. I just focus on the defence more,” he said.

“I’m older and wiser a little bit and I knew the situation going into this season and I knew I’d be OK with it. I don’t mind (averaging 16:12 a game),” he said. “How many chances a game do you get in a game? Two? Three? But this is a different role for me so I have to focus more.”

The short hair has maybe made him faster. So will he be getting a trim before the Dallas game Tuesday night? “Nah, I’m not superstitious,” he said.

Hemsky was belted by Brandon Bollig in Chicago, and shrugged it off.. He seemed to get energized by it, but again, he dismissed any extraneous motivation. “I had a talk with him at a face-off later. He was laughing.”

The Penguins, who fell to the Oilers 4-3 last Friday and the Blackhawks, who won 5-3 Sunday, would seem to be similiar clubs, but Hemsky disagreed. “I think Pittsburgh is more free-wheeling. Chicago is more structured,” he said. But neither is a banging machine as LA is or St. Louis. “I think Chicago can play positional and a heavy game. Pittsburgh doesn’t.”