Ales Hemsky joined the Senators prior to the trade deadline in 2014, the day after he'd scored two goals to lead the Oilers to a win over Ottawa. Most fans questioned the move because the Sens traded two draft picks for a rental, an unusual move for a team that looked unlikely to make the playoffs. However, he proceeded to put up seven points in his first six games as a Senator, and sparked Jason Spezza.
The night of March 20, 2014, the admiration for Hemsky hit another level. The Lightning had just scored to take the lead for the third time in the game. Then Hemsky did this:
It starts as a nothing play. Michalek picks up the puck at his own blue line, but has momentum in the wrong direction, so passes it to Hemsky who's coming in with more speed. From there, Hemsky does the rest. He dangles right through Radko Gudas. Matt Carle comes over far too late. Ben Bishop can only watch hopelessly as one more move gives Hemsky a clear shot into an open goal.
My favourite part of the video is hearing the buzz in the crowd. With the first deke, you hear the whole audience catch their breath. The noise crescendos until the goal, when the whole place goes nuts. Canadian Tire Centre isn't known as a loud building, but Hemsky knew how to get people out of their seats.
Unfortunately, we all know how the saga ends: the Sens missed the playoffs, and Hemsky bolted in the summer as a UFA to join Spezza with the Stars. But that highlight-reel goal almost made the trade worth it.