Edmonton, AB, Canada (4E Sports) – The Edmonton Oilers have removed forward Ales Hemsky from the trading block, saying he will play a prominent role with the team this season.
“He’s off the market,” Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish told reporters. “We want Ales to come in and make an impression. We want him to play a prominent role.”
The 30-year Hemsky, who was mentioned in trade rumors all summer, had nine goals and 11 assists in 38 games last season, his 10th in the NHL and with the Oilers.
He has been to the postseason just twice in those 10 seasons. He has missed the playoffs since the Oilers went to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
With MacTavish’s decision, Hemsky will return for an 11th season, the final one of a two-year contract he signed in the summer of 2012.
“It’s important to me that when you walk through the door, you have a fresh canvas,” MacTavish said. “We’ll offer Ales that.”
Hemsky expressed elation over the news that he’ll still be part of the Oilers.
“I take this as a new fresh start,” Hemsky said. “I’ve been through the good and bad and I just want to help turn things around.”