Ales Hemsky, we hardly knew ya. Apparently Hemsky’s comments about enjoying playing alongside Jason Spezza wasn’t simply idle chatter, because hours after Spezza was traded to the Dallas Stars, Hemsky signed with them as an unrestricted free agent. He was signed for 3 years, $12M, which will not make Ottawa Senators fans breathe any easier, because it wasn’t much more than the offer the Senators made last month.
Hemsky had 17 points in 20 games in Ottawa after coming over from Edmonton and found instant chemistry with Spezza. The Stars have re-vamped their top 6 forwards, which was already pretty solid with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin. Add to that the duo of Spezza and Hemsky and they will be incredibly dangerous especially on the power play, as they try to keep pace with the upper echelon teams in the Western Conference and continue their quest to join the conversation with the likes of the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.
It is another step backwards for the Senators, both in terms of roster and reputation, where Hemsky wouldn’t stay for a discount of less than $1M per year, and also goes to show how bad the Senators offer for the pending UFA really was, and where the Senators sit in the minds of players as a destination to play.