Jul 23, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT
Though he’s made it clear he’s tried to move Ales Hemsky, Craig MacTavish concedes he’s okay with keeping the Czech forward for this season.
“I’m comfortable with that,” MacTavish told the Edmonton Sun. “Given the circumstances, Ales certainly has the game that would help us moving forward. He’s on a one-year deal and I think both sides would be motivated to make it a very successful year.”
In early June, MacTavish had a different take.
The Oilers GM appeared on Edmonton’s 1260 The Team radio and discussed the future of his club, a future that apparently wouldn’t involve three veteran presences: Hemsky, goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and captain Shawn Horcoff.
“Sometimes change is good for both the organization and the player,” MacTavish explained. “I have a lot of allegiance, loyalty for both Horc and Hemmer.
“[But the] ideal scenario would be to move them on and wish them the best.”
Horcoff was shipped to Dallas in what amounted to a salary dump (Edmonton got a seventh-round pick and Philip Larsen in return) and Khabibulin was allowed to walk, signing with Chicago.
Hemsky still remains.
As MacTavish mentioned, Hemsky is in the final season of a two-year, $10 million deal (a $5 million cap hit) and doesn’t have a no-trade or -movement clause.
The 29-year-old Czech has had injury issues — he’s missed a ton of time over the last four years — but, when healthy, can contribute offensively, scoring 120 points in his last 176 games played.
All of which gives MacTavish hope that Hemsky can contribute to what the GM feels is a strong Oilers team.
“We’re reasonably happy right now,” he said. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to be a very good team. We’ve certainly have a chance to be a good team.”
- Update: Drouin out with upper body injury, not expected to miss preseason 0
- Report: NHL officials to participate in preseason without new CBA 1
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 12
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 18
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 6
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 26
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 10
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (65)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)