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Hemsky And The Devils - Opportunity Knocking?

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The sudden retirement of Ilya Kovalchuk leaves a considerable space in New Jersey's lineup. The Oilers might be able to lend a hand.

Eight ball, side pocket.
Eight ball, side pocket.
Christian Petersen

BREAKING: Ilya Kovalchuk announces he will retire. "This decision was something I have thought about for a long time."

New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) July 11, 2013

Yesterday, now-former New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement from the NHL. I was surprised, you were probably surprised, safe to say Devils GM Lou Lamoriello was likely very surprised.

Surprise.

By the time you read this, it's also quite possible that Kovalchuk has already signed on to become a member of the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg, where it stands to reason that Kovalchuk will be compensated quite heavily.

While it's a swift kick in the gut for the Devils, it could be high time for the Oilers to do a little business. The Devils are down one on the wing. There's a guy I know...


Ales Hemsky

#83 / Right Wing / Edmonton Oilers

6-0

184

Aug 13, 1983


I've been on the "don't trade Hemsky" wagon for some time now, but with MacT having 'the talk' with both Hemsky and the now-departed Shawn Horcoff, it seems that Hemsky's time in an Oiler sweater is nearing a close.

A third line of Jesse Joensuu - Boyd Gordon - Ales Hemsky doesn't sound all that appetizing, either. Come to think of it, a third line with Ryan Jones doesn't make me the most confident lamb on the farm either.

DO THE DEVILS NEED A WINGER?

This depends on your definition of 'need'. Here are a few things I'd think about if I was a member of Devils brass:

  • How many games of Ales Hemsky would we get in a full season?
  • How do I feel about Ryane Clowe on my top line?
  • Hey, I just remembered that we don't have a first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Stupid Kovalchuk.
  • How do I feel about Hemsky on the off wing?
  • Can Stefan Matteau contribute at an NHL level this year?
  • Oh my God, Ryane Clowe could be on this team's top line.
What do the Oilers need? Help on the bottom six. A top four D.

What's a fair return for Ales Hemsky? Could the Oilers pry Andy Greene (with some extra help) from the blue? Maybe a guy for the bottom six like Steve Bernier? I'd like to think Hemsky is worth more than a third line guy, but I feel confident in saying that he'd be out of Edmonton by now if the market saw it as I do.

The Oilers have a top six guy to play wing, and the Devils need one.

Does MacT have one more bold move in him?