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.

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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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#101 David S
December 07 2010, 02:09PM
Trash it!
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John Chambers wrote:

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.

Maybe look at it this way. If the Oilers were a team looking at a deep playoff run at the beginning of the year, would they have traded Jordan Eberle for a Dustin Penner or Ales Hemsky type? The question is how much they'd be giving up for how much they'd get.

Seems to me that "lock" top-six rookie is doing almost as good as the guy you'd be trading for right now. How good would that young player be at the end of the year, when the guy you'd be trading for would hopefully have his highest value? Would that difference be enough to trade away the young player's next 5 years when he'd certainly be a better long-term asset.

Maybe my point is that (in my opinion) neither Penner or Hemsky is worth enough for a team to give up a sure-fire top six player that'll do you much more good over the long run. The negligible difference in current player ability would be the deciding factor.

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#102 positivebrontefan
December 07 2010, 02:15PM
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I'd like to see them both stay anyway. They will be energized by the youngun's and light this joint up. That's fist my opnion.

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#103 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
December 07 2010, 05:56PM
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Jeremy S. wrote:

Looking at the lead picture, has anyone ever noticed that the jerseys and the Rexall logo are the same colour scheme?

just sayin!

I'm gonna go ahead and give you props on that.

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#104 chartleys
December 08 2010, 07:18AM
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Anyone that outright dismisses the claims Souray made about being pushed back into service, while still recovering, seriously need to look at the injuries this team has sustained in the past decade.

How many times has a guy missed a game or two and then drawn back in only to repeat the same injury and be out longer term?

Stoll - concussion Hemsky - pick one Horcoff - busted shoulder Staios - concussion

The answer is WAY TOO MANY TIMES!!!! It's ridiculous. There is a good reason we likely top the list of man games lost to reinjury and it's not because Smac wasn't in the lineup.

While I would not take Souray's statements at 100%, I would not take the Oiler spin machine version either. Somewhere in the middle is the truth and surely the majority of you have enough sense to realize that.

After his 60+ point campaign there were mutterings of him looking like a great leader for this group. A year later he's a cancer...It's crap. Souray flipped the bird to little men with big egos and little men buried him, not for the best interest of the team but because they wanted him gone. Seriously, what does this management have to do to get the last of you off board?

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