Morning Hits II: Toews and Kane, Some NHLers have KHL offers and MacTavish talks Hemsky

  • Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun: With getting Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson locked up long-term, GM Stan Bowman will look to extend Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane next summer. Both currently have two years remaining on their deals that pay them both $6.3 million per season.
  • Andy Strickland: There are some free agents that still have lucrative KHL offers in their back pockets. Some players will choose the KHL over a non-guaranteed tryout.
  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish and Ales Hemsky held a little media conference yesterday:

    “At the end of last season, Ales and I sat down and I advised him that it might be in both our interests to move in separate directions,” MacTavish said.

    “It wasn’t a negative reaction to how Ales was playing. I had a similar conversation with Shawn Horcoff. Players who’ve gone through the seven years of losing here, it’s emotionally tough to overcome that. In this game you need energy to play well … the losing and the frustration of losing can sap the energy level.”

    “So this summer, there was a potential to move Ales and Horc. I found, at the end of the day, I had a greater appreciation of his skill set than most people I talked to … I’ve seen him at the best. Albeit it was seven years ago (playoff run), but he was spectacular when we went to the finals,” MacTavish said.

    “Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make and I view this as potentially that,” MacTavish said.

    “I know how good a player Ales is. If this team turns it around and there’s lots to do, Ales will have a prominent part.”

    “At the end of the year we could be doing another contract with Ales but that will be determined over time.”

    When asked if Hemsky is off the trade market:

    “Yes, he is,” MacTavish said.

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