Ales Hemsky won't be testing the free-agent waters.
The Edmonton Oilers signed the forward to a US$10-million, two-year extension on Friday night, keeping him in the fold through 2013-14.
With Hemsky set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he was considered a prime candidate to be moved ahead of Monday's trade deadline. Instead, he'll remain with the only NHL organization he's ever known.
NHL-ers Twitter reactions
Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) Thrilled that Hemsky resigned. Never a doubt haha.
Taylor Hall (@hallsy04) Awesome to see Hemmer stay an Oiler!!
Mike Modano (@modano) 2 yrs/10 million for hemsky. Scored over 20 goals twice in 9yrs.. WTF..!!?
Mike Modano (@modano) Trust me I'm all for guys making money.. just one washed up guys opinion. Maybe that's the margaritas talking.
"I've been here for a long time," he said. "I know all those people, they worked for the team, and those new guys coming up, and they're really good players. So the future's looking really good."
Tambellini and Hemsky sat down for a discussion after Edmonton's 2-0 victory on Thursday night and a deal was reached Friday.
"There were a lot of discussions with other teams — we had to have that going up to the trade deadline," said Oilers GM Steve Tambellini. "You have to be prepared for both (possibilities). … I think Ales, speaking to him, is happy and I know our players will be very happy.
"Maybe that's the most important thing."
The 28-year-old Czech was drafted 13th overall by Edmonton in 2001 and has amassed 421 points (119-302) in 536 career NHL games.
"Awesome to see Hemmer stay an Oiler!!" tweeted star forward Taylor Hall.
Hemsky has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons but has remained fairly healthy this year. In 46 games, he has five goals and 26 points.
A dip in production may be part of the reason Hemsky re-signed with Edmonton.
He had a career best 77 points (19 goals, 58 assists) during the Oilers' run to the Stanley Cup final in the 2005-06 season. But after putting up 71 points in 2007-08, Hemsky's points have steadily declined as injuries kept him out of action.
"I wanted longer term, but in the end, I don't have a season like I want to," said Hemsky. "You know maybe I could go to free agency, but in the end I want to stay here."
Edmonton finished in last place the previous two seasons, and with the team once again well out of a playoff spot the speculation was Hemsky would be flipped for more pieces in the team's long rebuild.
Instead Hemsky will be back next season in the blue and orange, albeit without a no-trade clause in his new contract.
"He's worked hard to get himself physically to a spot where he's never been," said Tambellini. "He's in the prime of his career."