Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/16/13 at 08:22 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
What do you do with a $5 million third-line right-winger? You swallow hard.
It’s looking more and more like No. 83 will be at Edmonton Oilers training camp which opens in less than a month. Ales Hemsky, who turned 30 two days ago, is surprisingly (for me) still an Oiler, three games from 600 in his NHL career. While GM Craig MacTavish quickly found a taker for captain Shawn Horcoff and his $5.5 million cap hit (Dallas, who sent the Oilers defenceman Philip Larsen and his $1,025 million salary), as MacTavish says because centres are hard to come by, MacTavish hasn’t come close to finding a new home for the right-winger Hemsky. He is, ironically, one spot ahead of Horcoff, who turns 35 in a month, in the team’s media guide bio section....
On the nights, he’s on he’s an electric player. Joe Sakic always loved Hemsky when he was playing for the Avs, not running the team as he is today. On the nights he’s on, he makes the game look ridiculously easy as he blows by checkers. He’s got world-class talent, the kind of talent that gets him in the Olympics with the Czech squad. But, he’s also a stubborn player with the puck, at times, trying to force plays through people on the powerplay, rushing down the right side, circling the net and parking himself on the left wall even-strength, rather than cutting to the net.
Will he accept a defined third-line spot? Will he put on a happy face and soldier on? He’ll probably say yes when he shows up at camp, but I just don’t see this working long-term. He’s a proud guy, also an expensive one, as the Oilers know only too well.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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