Marek Zidlicky and Ales Hemsky, two of the biggest names on the trade market, were traded and signed, respectively, on Friday afternoon.
Zidlicky, an aging offensive-defenseman who is currently having the worst statistical season of his career, was traded from Minnesota to New Jersey today, for defenseman Kurtis Foster, forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, and two future draft picks. The Oilers, however, decided to hold on to their potential trade bait. In a surprising move, Edmonton General Manager, Steve Tambellini announced that Hemsky signed a two-year extension worth $10 million.
It was pretty much assumed that both Hemsky and Zidlicky would move before Monday’s trade deadline. Both players are in the midst of arguably the worst seasons of their respective careers, both have expiring contracts, and both play for teams that are looking to rebuild. These facts make Edmonton’s signing all the more confusing. Why reward a player that has tallied only five goals and twenty-six points this season with a $10 million contract? Not to mention that Hemsky could have potentially yielded valuable prospects and picks from the trade market.
For the Blues, these deals are evocative of a closing trade window. Doug Armstrong is down to his last weekend to make a trade, as Monday’s deadline draws closer. Armstrong can play his hand as is and wait for injured players to return, or he can get creative and make a move. No matter Armstrong’s decision, Blues fans will know their final roster in the coming days.