Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky knows the clock’s ticking — there are 28 games left until the March 5 trade deadline, with his club limping along in 28th place and absolutely in sell-off mode. “You know, I always used to pay attention at the deadline,” Hemsky said Monday in Los Angeles as the Oilers prepared to face the host Kings on Tuesday. “You check Twitter, you listen to what you guys (media) are tweeting. It can get you in your head. “There have been rumours for so long, but I have to say this is the first year I’m not really thinking about it,” said Hemsky, whose two-year, $10 million contract ends July 1 when he’ll be an unrestricted free-agent — for the second time as an Oiler. In 2012, he kept hearing he was going to be traded to the Nashville Predators for a draft pick and a player, but instead, the Oilers — almost out of the blue — re-signed him to a two-year, $10-million contract. Now? The Oilers would be crazy to not take something for his services. He would have about 20 per cent of his salary left to any interested club, and you would think a team with cap room would take a run at him. Take the Phoenix Coyotes, for example — he’s done them lots of damage with 35 points in 34 career games. Or maybe the Ottawa Senators, if they’re still in the playoff hunt and owner Eugene Melnyk wants to spend the money. But again, Hemsky is putting his future on hold for the present. “I talked to MacT (GM Craig MacTavish) before the season about what they wanted from me, and I’ve tried to do that,” said Hemsky, who’s had 18 points in 34 games. On Tuesday, he’ll dismiss his sore ribs to play against the NHL’s heaviest team, the Kings, after sitting out Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks — his first absence from the lineup in 35 games this season.
Edmonton Oilers forward Ales Hemsky takes NHL trade rumours off his mind
Edmonton Journal | Dec 17