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January 23, 2012 | 10:37am ET
Bait for puck-moving defenseman

With more than half of the teams in the NHL looking to acquire a top-six forward by the trade deadline, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is taking a lot of calls on veteran winger Ales Hemsky.

According to the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers need a puck-moving defenseman to help young stars Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins generate offense up front.

Although several teams could offer a draft pick in exchange for Hemsky, the Oilers are likely to prefer immediate help on the blueline.

The Nashville Predators could present young defenseman Ryan Ellis as a tradable option, however, since Hemsky would only be a two to three-month rental, the Preds might be more interested in veteran winger Ryan Smith.

"I think the Predators would rather have Ryan Smyth if he was available than Hemsky," one NHL scout told the Journal.

However, Smyth is not expected to waive his no-trade clause to go to another club at the deadline and the Preds would likely pass on Hemsky.

The Ottawa Senators might be a wild card for Hemsky as they have become buyers now that Paul MacLean is a likely candidate for the Jack Adams trophy as a first-year NHL coach.

More Trade Deadline Info 
List of Trades |
No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

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