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February 17, 2012 | 10:25am ET
Oilers won't jeopardize young core at deadline

The Oilers are unofficially confirmed sellers at this point, but the Edmonton Journal reports that the team will be very particular about which players it deals.

Of the Oilers believed to be on the trade market, forward Ales Hemsky is expected to net GM Steve Tambellini the most return, as the club is not interested in dealing center Sam Gagner, goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin or veteran winger Ryan Smyth.

"At no time are we going to be selling anything that is going to hurt our future, what we think is part of our core or something that is going to sustain good play for a long time," Tambellini said. "If it's something we feel will make us significantly better, long-term and short-term, of course we'll consider it.

"But nothing for just a short-term gain."

Hemsky is reportedly looking for a long-term deal, which could be his ticket out of Edmonton since Tambellini is not willing to lock many players into long-term deals that will overlap with when Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are expected to negotiate their second contracts.

The Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are believed to be amongst several teams interested in acquiring Hemsky at the deadline.

Meanwhile, Tambellini is likely to make moves that will involve bolstering up his blueline and support his current defensemen Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid and Andy Sutton.

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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