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August 1, 2013 | 9:40am ET
Oilers likely keeping Hemsky, want toughness
TheFourthPeriod.com

After numerous attempts to trade for right wing Ales Hemsky, the Edmonton Oilers appears set on keeping him for the 2013-14 season.

Hemsky, 29, was being shopped by Oilers GM Craig MacTavish, but his $5 million salary cap hit made it difficult to complete a deal.

"I know one thing, he's a real good player," said MacTavish during the Oilers' hockey school at Servus Place in St. Albert on Wednesday. "Given the right situation, he is going to score 65 points in this league if he stays healthy. Those guys are normally pretty coveted."

Hemsky is entering the final year of his two-year, $10 million contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next season.

"We all know how good he is and we all know what an impact he had the last time the Oilers made the playoffs," MacTavish said. "We're hopeful that given this new environment and more competitive team going forward, that's really going to play to Ales' skill set and he'll be able to help us."

In 38 games with the Oilers this past season, Hemsky registered nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points.

Meanwhile, MacTavish maintained his position on adding more toughness to the roster.

"We're still actively trying to get some toughness," he said. "There's nothing imminent, but we'll see as training camp goes when some teams' needs are better exposed, as well as our own."


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