Hard Nose the Highway

Lowetide
December 06 2010 05:05PM

Put your money where your mouth is
Then we can get something going
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime
And leave one or two cards showing

Seen some hard times
Drawn some bad lines
No time for shoeshines
Hard Nose the Highway

Dammit.

The news today (Hemsky out for a month) is not welcome. Ales Hemsky's (increasing) list of injuries have all kinds of impact on the Oilers and their future: should you sign a brittle player to another long term deal? How much does this impact his trade value? Will it force him to change his style of play?

First things first.

In the interview that got him sent to Chocolate land, Sheldon Souray said the following:

  • "I wasn’t even ready to play when I came here, but it was like, ‘We signed you, you go out and play.’ I hadn’t been cleared to play yet, but I was being questioned by the organization: ‘When are you going to be able to play?’ I go out, play six games, and I get hurt."

Have the Oilers changed their ways? Hemsky played on the road trip, but then didn't play against the Leafs. He was also scratched against St. Louis. Coach Renney in Toronto:

  • "At this point in time, I would say Ales is doubtful. We’ve got to protect our athletes, it’s a long season, there’s a lot of work to do, I’ll be prudent with him.”

That sounds better than the old timey "Hey Mike Grier, just throw that shoulder back in would you? There's a penalty to kill" days of the early 00's. It would appear as though the organization is learning from past errors and that is good news.

Oilers have a couple of choices in terms of recall. Linus Omark and Liam Reddox are having fine seasons, and offer a nice variety of skills. If Ryan Jones can score enough goals to play on the Gagner line, perhaps Reddox can help the PK and add energy and speed to the 4line. If not, then it's time for Linus.

Ryan O'Marra is another option. He might help on the PK and in the faceoff circle. Since the Oilers have a tremendous need in that area, it should at least be considered.

Ales Hemsky is at the point of his career where we can safely use the phrase "injury prone" when mentioning him. It could have major impact on the organization as they make their decisions moving forward.

Do you prefer Hemsky for 40-65 games a season or a healthy Dustin Penner?

I believe Ales Hemsky is a wonderful player, but from this point on the idea of signing him to a long term deal must be questioned by the organization. He's brittle, and that's a fact. Can he change his playing style and remain effective? Have no idea. But we do know that NHL salary caps are riddled with lost soldiers who signed long term deals and then couldn't answer the bell.

This injury is more serious than the number of games Hemsky will miss. This injury could change the course of the organization moving forward.

Dammit.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Horcsky
December 06 2010, 11:19PM
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Chaz wrote:

My answer: Yes you sign him long term, plain and simple. I don't care if he's injury prone, he's our best player and will continue to get better. He's had injury problems, like about 65% of the other players in the league. Sign him.

The part where you say, "He's had injury problems, like about 65% of the other players in the league" raises two interesting questions (for me anyways). What is the mean and standard deviation number of games missed per season for a player, by the time he's into his late 20's? Can we predict injuries in later seasons by a player's injury history?

Not trying to dictate content, but I'd love to see some stats on my first question. Willis? Lowetide?

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#52 m3sh
December 06 2010, 11:30PM
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His medical list doesn't really merit a title of "brittle" IMHO... he plays hard and goes into hard areas and pays the price sometimes. He also played on a team for these last 3 years (where majority of his injuries are), that was soft as melting ice cream. I actually think Hemsky is tough as nails, for all the pounding he takes along the boards.

Agreed with poster above that if there was a running string of shoulder injuries then we might have to worry about whether he's part of the picture at the end of 2011-2012 season. But when the most recurring issue is the flu... meh.

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#53 Sandra Blood
December 06 2010, 11:30PM
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Garfield is claiming the Oilers have put a claim on Todd White off of waivers, Still 14hours away. Hmm thats why no one has been called up.

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#54 magisterrex
December 07 2010, 04:33AM
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Thought I heard that Hemsky's looking for 5.5M average for his next deal. Don't recall if that was Stauffer's show or not, though. I'd jump at that offer if I was ST.

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#55 Hemmertime
December 07 2010, 05:14AM
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@magisterrex

5.5? Hellz ya.

It's like taking Gaborik, though not as risky but not as skilled (goal scoring wise, Hemsky still #1 in my heart). The Rangers signed him to 7.5 mil for 5 years after he only played 18 games the previous season. 76 GP: 42 G 44 A +15. I don't think they're regretting. Suprisingly too... 59 hits and 31 blocked shots - only year I could find data in 3 seconds on that. Maybe hes made of glass but with those indicators he sure aint a p*ssy. Glad he went to east. Sure Gabby has missed abit this season but meh.

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#58 OvenChicken8 - Team JSBM
December 07 2010, 08:05AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

It breaks my heart.... But it's time to move him when a good deal can be had for him. Truly devastating but it would be best for the team.

I've always loved you, Dangles.

I have to agree 100% on this. Just so it doesn't bite us in the ass too much I hope it would be with an eastern team.

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#59 Chickenplucker
December 07 2010, 08:05AM
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To all the CBA experts:

Someone on Gregor's show yesterday said that Omark would have to clear waivers if he was sent back down after he was called up.

It was because of pro-games played and he said European games counted.

I couldn't listen to the end of the show and was curious if this was a correct interpretation of the CBA.

Anyone?

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#60 Archaeologuy
December 07 2010, 08:16AM
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@Chickenplucker

Rishaug got an answer from his contact that said Omark did not require waivers to go back down.

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#61 Archaeologuy
December 07 2010, 08:23AM
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@Lowetide

I'd still consider something around 6 years for Hemsky if possible. I dont know if he'll be interested in giving a home-town discount, but I also dont know if he'll get a huge payday in free agency. Every year it seems like more teams edge up to the cap or bottom right out.

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#62 Scott in Grande Prairie
December 07 2010, 08:30AM
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I will gladly defer to anyone who can answer this question, but is a wonky groin really a sign that Hemmer's injury-prone? Really? Is that a "chronic" injury - like a knee or a shoulder or a hip?

Isn't that more of a muscle injury which, over time, heals just like new?

I'm asking because I don't know.

Anyway, to answer Lowetide's other question: Yes, you absolutely re-sign Hemmer over Penner because I'd rather have 40-60 entertaining games of artistry instead of 10 games of dominance, 20 games of mild interest and 50 games complete indifference.

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#63 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 07 2010, 08:43AM
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Scott in Grande Prairie wrote:

I will gladly defer to anyone who can answer this question, but is a wonky groin really a sign that Hemmer's injury-prone? Really? Is that a "chronic" injury - like a knee or a shoulder or a hip?

Isn't that more of a muscle injury which, over time, heals just like new?

I'm asking because I don't know.

Anyway, to answer Lowetide's other question: Yes, you absolutely re-sign Hemmer over Penner because I'd rather have 40-60 entertaining games of artistry instead of 10 games of dominance, 20 games of mild interest and 50 games complete indifference.

I'm no medical pro, but I belive groins are actually one of the most "likely to injur" out there.

See Gaborik, Marion.

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#64 VMR
December 07 2010, 09:03AM
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Sandra Blood wrote:

Garfield is claiming the Oilers have put a claim on Todd White off of waivers, Still 14hours away. Hmm thats why no one has been called up.

I hope that's not true but it wouldnt surprise me. Let's help our old buddy Glen out and pick up this old has been that was eating up some of his cap space.

Isnt White essentially a 10 year older Reddox?

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#65 positivebrontefan
December 07 2010, 09:09AM
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VMR wrote:

I hope that's not true but it wouldnt surprise me. Let's help our old buddy Glen out and pick up this old has been that was eating up some of his cap space.

Isnt White essentially a 10 year older Reddox?

Why do this? If this is true than I must say I am missing something or really don't understand the thought process of anything that happens over there.

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 07 2010, 09:26AM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Why do this? If this is true than I must say I am missing something or really don't understand the thought process of anything that happens over there.

He's a decent FO guy, but other then I don't see much benifit from grabbing him.

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#67 Epicus
December 07 2010, 09:27AM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

Why do this? If this is true than I must say I am missing something or really don't understand the thought process of anything that happens over there.

Could it be perhaps that the Oilers are learning from other succesfull organizations like the Red Wings and choosing not to rush their prospects up from the minors? Hmmmm... That seems to be a plan that has worked for the most successful team in the last 15 years... One full year in the AHL without a call up could be the best thing for Omark and Reddox.

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#68 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 07 2010, 09:31AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

He's a decent FO guy, but other then I don't see much benifit from grabbing him.

Agree, at where we are as a team right now, I would think they would be giving every player from within the organization a chance before picking up extra dead weight.

Hey OB1... would you be with or against a long term contract for Hemsky?

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#69 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 07 2010, 09:39AM
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David S wrote:

Not sure if this makes sense but Hemsky is giving us a home-town discount right now. Consider the fact he's playing the best years of his career on a toilet team and hasn't asked to be traded yet. That's pretty huge if you ask me. Besides, could you realistically get someone better than Hemsky for the type of money we're paying him right now?

So just askin, Mr. David S, but would you be pushing to sign Hemmer long term (6ish years) at say a 5.5(ish) cap hit.

I would deffinatly agree that his current contract was very much so a "value contract" in this league with or without injury issues

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#70 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2010, 09:40AM
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Epicus wrote:

Could it be perhaps that the Oilers are learning from other succesfull organizations like the Red Wings and choosing not to rush their prospects up from the minors? Hmmmm... That seems to be a plan that has worked for the most successful team in the last 15 years... One full year in the AHL without a call up could be the best thing for Omark and Reddox.

...because Reddox hasn't put in his time yet?

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#71 Oilers4ever
December 07 2010, 09:46AM
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Senator Theo wrote:

You`re counting on a lot of guys there that have never played an NHL game.

True... but this is the best upcoming talent this team has had in years so I think there is valid reason to be optimistic about what's coming... seriously.. this team has not had this level of talent since the 80's glory years...

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#72 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 07 2010, 09:53AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

Agree, at where we are as a team right now, I would think they would be giving every player from within the organization a chance before picking up extra dead weight.

Hey OB1... would you be with or against a long term contract for Hemsky?

A week ago I would have said yes. This last injury pushed it into the "too risky" for me though. We're (hopefully) looking to be a (hopefully)solid team within 2 years and a cup contender within 4ish, ... it's just too risky to have a FIST full of injury prone players at that point.

I wouldn't go longer then 2 years now with Hemsky if it was up to me. (with the caveat that I'd go for it if he took a "injury/hometown" discount, then I'd consider going longer depending on how much he lowers his price)

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#73 Epicus
December 07 2010, 09:56AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

...because Reddox hasn't put in his time yet?

If the time Reddox had put in already was enough to get him a spot in the lineup then this disscusion would not be taking place.

The fact is he played up here, he didnt have enough of what the team wanted/needed to stay, so he is in the AHL until he gets it. Experience in the NHL or not, the Oilers should not bring people up willy-nilly. Patience, as shown by succesfull building teams ( A la the Red Wings)is a model worth copying.

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#74 druds
December 07 2010, 09:57AM
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Me thinks (Lowtide) your overreacting somewhat...I think you need an anti-depressant or maybe a cup of coffee. Lets see, ummm we have gone on a 4 game winning streak of which part of that is without Hemmer and what? we tear our hair out and stamp our feet? I think we can survive this... go into the corner with your blankie and relax.

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#75 D-Man
December 07 2010, 10:00AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

A week ago I would have said yes. This last injury pushed it into the "too risky" for me though. We're (hopefully) looking to be a (hopefully)solid team within 2 years and a cup contender within 4ish, ... it's just too risky to have a FIST full of injury prone players at that point.

I wouldn't go longer then 2 years now with Hemsky if it was up to me. (with the caveat that I'd go for it if he took a "injury/hometown" discount, then I'd consider going longer depending on how much he lowers his price)

I think Hemmer would sign a two year deal at around $5.0 million cap hit... That would appear reasonable considering his stats and injuries the last couple of years... A tough call for Tambo, if you'd ask me. I don't think he has enough cap space to have Hemsky and Penner (after next year), knowing the kids (Hall/Eberle/MPS) could potentially be looking at contracts with cap hits between $3.5 million/$4.5 million... I know, alot of speculation on my part - but I think Tambo is going to have to make a lot of tough decisions on Cogs next year, Penner/Gagner/Brule/Hemsky in two years...

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#76 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
December 07 2010, 10:07AM
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D-Man wrote:

I think Hemmer would sign a two year deal at around $5.0 million cap hit... That would appear reasonable considering his stats and injuries the last couple of years... A tough call for Tambo, if you'd ask me. I don't think he has enough cap space to have Hemsky and Penner (after next year), knowing the kids (Hall/Eberle/MPS) could potentially be looking at contracts with cap hits between $3.5 million/$4.5 million... I know, alot of speculation on my part - but I think Tambo is going to have to make a lot of tough decisions on Cogs next year, Penner/Gagner/Brule/Hemsky in two years...

I bet he'll be looking for the longest contract possible considering his injuries.

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#77 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2010, 10:10AM
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Epicus wrote:

If the time Reddox had put in already was enough to get him a spot in the lineup then this disscusion would not be taking place.

The fact is he played up here, he didnt have enough of what the team wanted/needed to stay, so he is in the AHL until he gets it. Experience in the NHL or not, the Oilers should not bring people up willy-nilly. Patience, as shown by succesfull building teams ( A la the Red Wings)is a model worth copying.

Willy nilly? Bringing up a guy who deserves a spot as an injury replacement is "willy nilly" to you?

You suggested that Reddox needed a full season in the AHL. He has already done more than that. If you want to say he's still an AHL player that makes sense, but don't use "he needs a full season" to claim he shouldn't get an injury call-up because that makes no sense. By your logic nobody on the farm should ever get called up because none of them made the roster out of camp. Ridiculous.

Also...I'm not talking about experience in the NHL. I'm talking about 150 games in the AHL and another 70 in the ECHL.

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#78 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 07 2010, 10:12AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I bet he'll be looking for the longest contract possible considering his injuries.

Well I would think most guys in that 27/28 years of age category that have put in the time and have quite an upside... would be looking for massive long term deals.

Being a huge Hemsky fan, I can't decide...

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#79 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2010, 10:15AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

Well I would think most guys in that 27/28 years of age category that have put in the time and have quite an upside... would be looking for massive long term deals.

Being a huge Hemsky fan, I can't decide...

For me it would come down entirely to the cap hit. I haven't decided where I would draw the line yet, but that number is the only thing that can tell me if I would want to go long or short term.

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#80 Epicus
December 07 2010, 10:16AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Willy nilly? Bringing up a guy who deserves a spot as an injury replacement is "willy nilly" to you?

You suggested that Reddox needed a full season in the AHL. He has already done more than that. If you want to say he's still an AHL player that makes sense, but don't use "he needs a full season" to claim he shouldn't get an injury call-up because that makes no sense. By your logic nobody on the farm should ever get called up because none of them made the roster out of camp. Ridiculous.

Also...I'm not talking about experience in the NHL. I'm talking about 150 games in the AHL and another 70 in the ECHL.

Ok. Fair enough. Good point.

But lets examine the situation, Hemmer has been out since the game VS. the Leafs right?

If the Oil were going to call someone up, why haven't they? I think if they were comfortable with the idea of Reddox leaving the farm for the show they would have made the move already. they obviously have someone/something else in mind. Personally I dont expect a call up to happen at this point.

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#81 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2010, 10:24AM
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Epicus wrote:

Ok. Fair enough. Good point.

But lets examine the situation, Hemmer has been out since the game VS. the Leafs right?

If the Oil were going to call someone up, why haven't they? I think if they were comfortable with the idea of Reddox leaving the farm for the show they would have made the move already. they obviously have someone/something else in mind. Personally I dont expect a call up to happen at this point.

I don't know what this has to do with our discussion point.

If your position is not that someone else should get a call-up instead that's fine but it has nothing to do with Reddox needing a full season in the AHL.

Personally I think Omark should get the call-up because of who is being replaced. If he's ready he gets a chance to show it, and if he's not he gets a chance to see what he needs to do to become ready.

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#82 Team Hall
December 07 2010, 10:32AM
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Here's the thing, remember when we couldnt re-sign our stars, and they went elsewhere, and we regretted it forever? I'm looking at Guerin, Weight, Arnie, Smytty. If we don't re-sign Hemsky, then guess what? Once we get good, we are going to go out and make a ridiculous 12 year offer to a Hossa or Kovalchuk, and you think they don't get injured or dissapoint you?

Put me down for a re-sign Hemsky on a 6 year term. Boom.

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#83 David S
December 07 2010, 10:36AM
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Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement wrote:

So just askin, Mr. David S, but would you be pushing to sign Hemmer long term (6ish years) at say a 5.5(ish) cap hit.

I would deffinatly agree that his current contract was very much so a "value contract" in this league with or without injury issues

Hey man, I know jack about pro sports contracts and cap hits to even suggest a number or time-frame. I would think that a front-loaded situation would be beneficial to both parties as it would acknowledge the risk of injury increasing as he gets older - something that he couldn't disagree with given his history.

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#84 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 07 2010, 10:42AM
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David S wrote:

Hey man, I know jack about pro sports contracts and cap hits to even suggest a number or time-frame. I would think that a front-loaded situation would be beneficial to both parties as it would acknowledge the risk of injury increasing as he gets older - something that he couldn't disagree with given his history.

METHINKS this guy just took the easy way out.

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#85 positivebrontefan
December 07 2010, 10:48AM
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David S wrote:

Two things on my would-ban list:

- The dreaded -balled hand!- movement

- The use of "methinks" ANYWHERE

I'll be FIST to second your second point.

LOL!!!

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#86 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
December 07 2010, 10:51AM
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druds wrote:

Me thinks (Lowtide) your overreacting somewhat...I think you need an anti-depressant or maybe a cup of coffee. Lets see, ummm we have gone on a 4 game winning streak of which part of that is without Hemmer and what? we tear our hair out and stamp our feet? I think we can survive this... go into the corner with your blankie and relax.

This is what he's here to do. He floats an idea, addresses both sides of the scenario, then he leaves the sheep here to start gnawing on each others arses till they start to bleed.

I have a shot for that so it won't get infected if you'd like?

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#87 rindog
December 07 2010, 10:52AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I love Hemsky's game. I'd love to have him sign here long term and be part of the team when they get back and win the Stanley.

But is it a good idea to sign someone with this injury history to a long term deal? Leaving aside the shock at the idea of trading him, does it make sense to sign him to a long term deal?

I would like to see how "brittle" anyone would be if someone smashed them into the endboards from behind?

To say that Hemsky is injury prone and that it should affect his value going forward seems strange to me?

A lot of his injuries have been the result of "questionable hockey plays" and would have been hard to avoid for anyone.

It should also be noted that his injuries have not been recurring problems and are indeed isolated incidents.

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#88 David S
December 07 2010, 10:54AM
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positivebrontefan wrote:

I'll be FIST to second your second point.

LOL!!!

Man I hate you guys. Heh heh.

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#89 D-Man
December 07 2010, 11:14AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I bet he'll be looking for the longest contract possible considering his injuries.

Of course, Hemmer would want something longer - but being 27 (I think) when his contract is up; I don't think he'd want to tie himself to the Oilers (especially if the rebuild - god forbid - goes south) for any longer... He could then get that ludicrous contract as a UFA afterwards; but then again he could try to get that contract at the end of next season as well... Tambo is going to earn every penny of his salary over the next two years..

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#90 Dave
December 07 2010, 11:19AM
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Without question Hemsky should be traded. We all love to watch "dangles" but fancy dekes mixed in with lots of turnovers and injuries does not lead a hockey team anywhere. If Hemmer was ACTUALLY going to become the player we need him to be, he would have been wearing the C for a few seasons already. Time to quit the waiting and the kidding of ourselves and get maximum return as soon as possible, because with every year we wait, the more injuries pile up and the less potential every other team sees in him. Love the kid, but time to move him for the best interest of the Edmonton Oilers. And as frustrating as Penner is to watch play so inconsistent, trust me, he is the one we will need come playoff hockey, whenever that may be.

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#91 druds
December 07 2010, 11:44AM
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Methinks my freedom of speech is being attacked!

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#92 Aleslav Smidsky
December 07 2010, 11:56AM
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@rindog

Methinks Dave Nothinks.

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#93 John Chambers
December 07 2010, 11:58AM
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@Lowetide

My thought is that this depends entirely on who the Oilers could possibly get back in a trade deadline deal.

Teams like Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, and even Atlanta may deal quality prospects like Brayden Schenn, Jakub Kindl, Tobias Enstrom, or TO's #1 draft pick to acquire Hemsky for a playoff run + a year. If you can make a deal to acquire a can't miss young player, then due to Hemmer's recent injuries I think the Oilers have to lean toward re-building with an asset they acquired from trading Hemsky.

If you can't swing that deal, the Oilers should bite the bullet and look to re-sign Hemmer to a 4- or 5-year contract extension. We can't afford to let him go for free, but I'd rather overpay ($5M a year plus) than have him signed for anything longer than 6 years.

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#94 druds
December 07 2010, 11:59AM
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Lowetide wrote:

It's a little more important than the immediate future.

Hemsky is a wonderful player, love watching him as an Oiler and the idea of 83 leaving town isn intolerable.

However, the Oilers rebuild means that some players are going to have to be left behind. Hemsky would be my top priority unless there's a threat of injury.

If his agent asks for a $55M, 10 year deal, would you consider it? Until last season I certainly would have signed it without thinking about it.

I'm still inclined to sign a shorter deal at $5.5 (say 4 years). However, his injury history is a warning bell.

Now you make a valid statement. I totally agree that Hemmer's injuries are a concern but at the same time a 4 year deal would be a legitimate offer. hemsky brings a lot of culture to this team in the way of movement and finesse that I think would be missed if we let him walk but I guess that is up to him and his agent to decide

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#95 druds
December 07 2010, 12:06PM
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With the unfolding disaster of the Kovalchuk deal, I wonder how many GM's will still want to do the 10-12 yr deals....

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#96 David S
December 07 2010, 12:09PM
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John Chambers wrote:

My thought is that this depends entirely on who the Oilers could possibly get back in a trade deadline deal.

Teams like Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, and even Atlanta may deal quality prospects like Brayden Schenn, Jakub Kindl, Tobias Enstrom, or TO's #1 draft pick to acquire Hemsky for a playoff run + a year. If you can make a deal to acquire a can't miss young player, then due to Hemmer's recent injuries I think the Oilers have to lean toward re-building with an asset they acquired from trading Hemsky.

If you can't swing that deal, the Oilers should bite the bullet and look to re-sign Hemmer to a 4- or 5-year contract extension. We can't afford to let him go for free, but I'd rather overpay ($5M a year plus) than have him signed for anything longer than 6 years.

can't miss young player

Doesn't exist for the most part. There's still so many factors that go into a player's development that nobody outside of Crosby or Ovechkin is a lock. And if said player did exist, why would any team give that up?

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#97 TigerUnderGlass
December 07 2010, 12:14PM
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@druds

Now you make a valid statement

Funny considering that was the exact point of his article.

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#98 Crash
December 07 2010, 12:16PM
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rindog wrote:

I am not trying to start a fight, but do you actually watch the games?

If you can not see that Hemsky has become an excellent two-way player without sacrificing much of his offense, I don't know what to say.

Turnovers that happen 200 feet from your own net trying to create a scoring chance are totally acceptable. Please tell me the last time Hemsky has turned the puck over that has directly resulted in an opposition scoring chance?

+/- is an interesting stat (and not always useful), but as bad as this team has been for the last few years - Hemsky is a plus player in each of the last 3 seasons.

And as far your comment about playoff performance, do you not recall all the the clutch goals that Hemsky scored during the last cup run (and to get them into the playoffs)?

As far as Hemsky being a leader, the staff had a chance to put the "C" and "A" on any player(s) they wanted. They gave Hemsky a letter (while taking it away from other another player). If Hemsky wasn't a leader they wouldn't have given him the "A".

Props from me on this statement, took the words right out of my mouth.

I'm all in for giving Hemsky a 5 or 6 yr extension.

Hemsky is exactly what a good playoff team needs, he's clutch and doesn't disappear in the big games. When this team becomes a playoff team Hemsky will be needed. Why would you get rid of this?

If he misses a few regular season games per year, so be it.

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#99 OILERSORDEATH
December 07 2010, 12:37PM
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I think with the limelight turning towards the kids who seem to relish in it, Hemsky might start to relax and play better. He just doesnt seem to dig being the "go to guy". If Hemmer can just relax and play his game I think we'll see a huge difference in his game.

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#100 John Chambers
December 07 2010, 01:13PM
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@David S

Not to sound like an ass, Ricky, but you don't think there's such thing as a young player with an impressive enough pedigree that they're basically a lock to make it to the NHL and be almost certain to have a top-6 impact?

What's the point of scouting and the draft order if that wasn't the case? Was Tyler Seguin not more likely than Tyler Pitlick to be an impact player in the show?

One of my favorite hockey websites is hockeysfuture.com. I spend more time that I'd like to admit naval-gazing about potential up-and-comers who the Oilers should target to be part of the re-build.

To your point - you can't forecast what any player will do in the future. But you have to admit that the Bostons and LA's of the world have a window that they can compete for a cup, and would be willing to deal some of their future potential in exchange for guys like Hemsky or Penner who can help put them over the top now.

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