Oilers avoid arbitration, sign Hemsky to six-year deal
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Oilers leading scorer Ales Hemsky avoided a salary arbitration hearing by signing a six-year deal worth $24.6 million with Edmonton on Tuesday.
Hemsky, a 22-year-old native of the Czech Republic, had a career-high 19 goals and 58 assists for a team-high 77 points in 81 games last season. He also had six goals and 11 assists in 24 playoff games to help the Oilers get within one win of the Stanley Cup championship.
"Ales is an extremely important member of our hockey club," Oilers assistant general manager Scott Howson said in a statement. "He is one of the NHL's emerging offensive players and coming off of a breakout season that saw him lead the Oilers in scoring, we believe he will continue to get better."
Hemsky, who was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with the team on Friday, earned $901,740 last season.
He scored four game-winning goals, including one shorthanded goal, registered a team-high 23 multiple-point games and posted 42 points on the power play last season.
Hemsky also won a bronze medal with the Czech Republic at the Torino Olympics, recording a goal and two assists in eight games. He captured a gold medal with the Czechs at last year's world hockey championship.
The Oilers' first choice, 13th overall, in the 2001 draft, Hemsky has 37 goals and 104 assists in 211 career games with Edmonton. He had six goals and set up 11 others in 30 career playoff games.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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