As the Florida Panthers continue to compile their ‘wish list’ for the upcoming free agency period, they may have another name that they will have to complement on whether or not they will pursue has presented itself.
A trade deadline ‘rental’ last season, Ales Hemsky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Ottawa Senators to help in their unsuccessful playoff push. In 20-games for the Senators, Hemsky scored 17-points (4 G + 13 A), nine points less than he scored with the Oilers in 35-less than games.
The 30-year old Hemsky has scored 494-points in 672-career games including two 20-goals seasons and 50-assist years.
After failing to come to terms on a new contract, instead of letting him walk for free the Senators appear to be looking to trade his rights for a draft pick in the upcoming draft.
Hemsky is coming off a contract with a $5 million cap hit, and after nearly a point-per-game stint with the Senators, it is no wonder that he would turn down the rumored 3-year $10 million contract he did.
With money to spend, the Panthers could be an ideal team to make a move to add the rights of Hemsky. He can provide speed and offensive skill from the wing that the Panthers certainly don’t have.
The Panthers currently have three NHL right wingers under contract for the upcoming season in Scottie Upshall, Brad Boyes, and Tomas Kopecky. Hemsky could then slide in as the team’s top winger with Boyes sliding down to second. Boyes was the team’s leading goal scorer last year, and the only player to break the 20-goal plateau.
Florida needs offensive help, and Hemsky could provide it, but at 30-years old he will be looking to cash in one more big deal while he still has some ‘prime’ years in him. If I was Dale Tallon I would at least call to find out what the Senators are looking in return.
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