I find myself very on the fence when it comes to the future of Ales Hemsky. On one hand he undeniably the best hockey talent the Oilers have. On the other hand, you just wish his work ethic and his cerebral play would take another step. But here we are, heading into another season and now Ales Hemsky is going to have become a veteran leader, age and salary say its time.
The reason why I bring up Born & Bred vs Hired Gun is I'm a firm believer in draft and procurement. Ales Hemsky is Born and Bred Edmonton Oiler, its all that he knows and all that he's been over the last seven years. That in itself is a plus to have. But with the "new youth" rolling in and a need for more foot soldiers, where does that leave Hemsky? Will he be alright with taking a backseat role if one of the kids emerge? Its a tough question to answer right now, Hemsky has been the offensive catalyst for the last 3+ years. I guess common sense says he should get one more year to see how he fits.
The only thing for me is that there seems to be moons aligning right now. Nathan Horton, who I feel will be dealt this year by the Florida Panthers, could be the better fit with the kids, in the Hemsky spot in the roster. So now the quandry becomes, Born & Bred vs. Hired Gun, Power forward vs. Playmaking forward, Size vs Speed. Which of those will be important to the Oilers going forward. Contract length and value are essentially a wash, I would think it would just be a matter of whether Florida thinks hemsky fits well in their roster without Horton.
Just a thought that has been on my mind for awhile. If I was the Oilers and that deal was on the table today, knowing full well I'm taking Hall at the draft, I think I pull the trigger on this deal.