Ales Hemsky returned from the Olympics, but the remaining length of his stay in Edmonton is to be determined. With the March 5 NHL trade deadline approaching, the Edmonton Oilers winger is once again at the centre of speculation. “Every year they talk about trades and it’s something I can’t control,” Hemsky said following his first practice with the Oilers Monday. “I just came back two days ago and I haven’t thought about it. To be honest, I’m just going to play until the deadline, see what happens and enjoy my moment.” The Oilers attempted to move Hemsky this off-season but were unsuccessful. With a $5-million price tag, Hemsky is not a cheap ticket, which may account for the Oilers inability to consummate a deal this summer. Yet, the talented winger still has some offensive upside, with seven goals and 24 assists in 52 games this season. He was skating on a line with Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle at practice Monday, which could be dubbed the Showcase Line as the Oilers resume their schedule Thursday, hosting the Minnesota Wild. Gagner and Eberle have also come up as possible trade bait for the Oilers this year. “It’s been a constant battle this year with the lines,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. “(David) Perron is a top-six guy for me, Hemmer is a top-six guy and there are other guys that we can also put on (Boyd) Gordon’s line. “The more we talked about it over the break, we want to get Perron back there, I think he’s maybe a better fit with those guys than Hemmer and the one thing that we haven’t done with Hemmer this year is put him over on that left side. He says he’s comfortable there, he can play anywhere that we want him to. That’s the great thing with Ales this year, he’s done what we’ve asked of him so he’s got no problem going over there and we’ll see how it goes. As always, you put your lines together and sometimes you get three minutes into the game and sometimes you’re shaking them. But that’s how we’ll start, and we’ll see how it goes.” Eakins denied moving Hemsky up in the lineup was a move to display his talents for possible suitors.
Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky back at practice fresh off Olympics as trade talk heats up
Edmonton Sun | Feb 25