Ten minutes with Hemsky: the shoulder, Jagr and that other Czech player the Oilers like

Robin Brownlee
February 25 2010 09:45PM

The best stuff at Rexall Place today wasn't to be had out on the ice where the Edmonton Oilers were practising. Noooooo. Time was better spent huddling with injured Oilers forward Ales Hemsky.

Hemsky, out for the balance of the season after shoulder surgery, spent 10 minutes shooting the breeze with Rob Tychkowski of The Sun, Joanne Ireland of The Journal and yours truly today.

We touched on Hemsky's left shoulder, his take on the possibility of Jaromir Jagr joining the Oilers and about interest in unheralded Roman Cervenka, a teammate of Jagr's on the Czech Olympic team and a player I mentioned here last week.

That wing

Hemsky's been rehabbing his shoulder since having surgery in December. While he expects to be ready for next season, and hopes to resume skating this spring, it's a long, slow process.

"The rehab is going all right. My shoulder is getting better and better and better, so I'm on the right track. We're happy with the bands, the physio  and the normal stuff you should do. We're working with a conditioning trainer every day, so I'm just right on track."

On sitting out while the team languishes in 30th place, Hemsky admits to not being a great spectator.

"It's a tough year for everybody. For me, it's tough because I played just 22 games, I think. I missed the Olympics, too, and the season hasn't gone right. Everything together, it's frustrating, but everything bad, it's good for something. You've got to take the positive. I've got to get ready for next year. That's my goal."

Yes, next year. How's that working for you?

"I don't really want to talk about it. I don't know what will happen here. That's management's business. I'm not even playing right now. My goal is just to get ready for next season. If I’ll be here, I'll be here. If not, I will not. I don't know what the team will do with the players here.

"I have a lot of great friends here. I feel like home here, so I don't have a problem with anything with the city. I've met so many great people here, so I feel good. It's frustrating for everybody when the hockey and everything doesn't go well."

On Jaromir

The Oilers have been eye-balling Jagr from afar since he left the NHL to play in the KHL. There's been talk about the Oilers trying to find a way to land the 38-year-old future Hall-of-Famer next season.

That talk has heated up somewhat with Jagr's performance for the Czech team in Vancouver, where the Oilers had more than a few sets of eyes tracking his every move.

On Jagr returning to North America, Hemsky said: "I hope he will because he can still play. He’s still a great hockey player. When I talked to him before he was interested in playing.

"I don’t know how he feels now after the tournament. I think after things settle down a bit he will want to come back for one or two years. He can still play on the small rink. He’s strong."

With the Oilers entering rebuild mode and having salary cap concerns, we asked Hemsky if he sees Jagr as a fit in Edmonton.

"He’s not like he was, but he can still be a difference-maker. He’s a superstar. Just having him on the team is good for everybody. That’s why I think it would be good. He’s a guy who can do 70 points. We don’t have guys who can do 70 points."

Why Edmonton? Hemsky and Jagr are friends and speak frequently. Jagr also played for Oilers associate coach Tom Renney in New York and for assistant coach Wayne Fleming in Omsk. So?

"I think he'll want to play someplace where he will be happy, where he will know the coach, and maybe where there are a lot of young guys. He doesn’t have to have the role he used to have, but he has to feel comfortable. I think he would (consider playing with the Oilers), but that’s just speculation."

What about Roman?

Heading into the Olympics, I mentioned Cervenka. Here's what I wrote on Feb. 15.

"While the Oilers will have lots of eyes an ears at the Olympics, some of them on Jaromir Jagr, there's another player who they'll be gawking at, as will other NHL teams. Keep an eye on Czech Republic forward Roman Cervenka, an undrafted 24-year-old who might turn out to be a player for somebody.

"Cervenka never got a sniff during his draft year because he was ridiculously small at five-foot-seven and 127 pounds. That's not a mis-print. He was a-buck-27 as a teenager.

"At five-foot-11 and 187 pounds now, Cervenka's looking like a late-bloomer. In 48 games with Slavia Praha this season, Cervenka has scored 30-41-71 to lead the team in scoring."

Cervenka played on a line with Jagr in Vancouver, but he wasn't overly impressive, managing two assists in five games. Still, Hemsky says he's a player.

"I played with him on the national team. He didn't have the strongest tournament like he'd probably want, but I still think he's a good player. He's a very talented guy. He's pretty strong kid, too, and pretty smart.

"I don't think you can judge people over 10 days or nine days. I just think he's a good player."

Hemsky figures Cervenka is NHL ready. Outside getting one of the top three picks in the Entry Draft this June, which the Oilers will, that's something teams usually have to wait years for when drafting teenagers.

"He's already a player," Hemsky said. "That's what you've got. You don't have to develop. You get a guy who has already played somewhere and has the experience. He's already mature, you know.

"I think he's very smart. He's a really smart, patient guy. He can play both ways. He's a strong, hard-working guy, actually. He works hard off the ice and on the ice. He's a really good kid.

"He can score goals. He's good on face-offs. Who knows? It's different hockey, too, here. That's the risk you're taking. I think sometimes it's better to take a guy who is ready, who has already played somewhere."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Traktor
February 26 2010, 03:45PM
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Screwed that post up, just disregard it.

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#2 Nate Full of Hate
February 25 2010, 09:59PM
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Any chance we can lure Peter Bondra out of retirement?

This Tyler Seguin kid is above average.. might wanna look into him Tambi..

R.I.P "Boner"

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#3 SirFozz
February 25 2010, 10:28PM
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I don't know. I have trouble seeing how Jagr would help this team at this stage of developement. This smells more of another "we need a big name to help get new arena" move then a smart, long-term hockey decision.

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#4 OilFan
February 25 2010, 10:50PM
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So would the Oilers have to draft Cervenka ? Would he want to play with Hemsky ? I would think other NHL teams are looking at him.

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#5 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 25 2010, 10:59PM
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SirFozz wrote:

I don't know. I have trouble seeing how Jagr would help this team at this stage of developement. This smells more of another "we need a big name to help get new arena" move then a smart, long-term hockey decision.

The only benifit I can see is taking the pressure to score/spotlight off of whichever of MSP/Eberle/Seguin/Hall make the team next year.

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#6 Tha Legion
February 25 2010, 11:03PM
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OilFan wrote:

So would the Oilers have to draft Cervenka ? Would he want to play with Hemsky ? I would think other NHL teams are looking at him.

He is undrafted and over 20 so I believe he can walk on to any team similar to Dustin Penner, Dwayne Roloson or Curtis Glencross

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#7 Tha Legion
February 25 2010, 11:03PM
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more importantly I read that he is still eligible for entry level contract for 1 or 2 more years

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#8 Balf
February 25 2010, 11:10PM
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If Jagr and Cervenka are on the Roster come opening night, they should be on the 2nd unit. If I'm coach I run these lines

Penner-Gagner-Brule Jagr-Cervenka-Hemsky Nilsson-Hall-Eberle

PP #1

Jagr-Gagner-Hemsky Penner-Hall-Eberle

After we sign Jagr and Cervenka, Tambs HAS to take care of Grit on the 4th line.

If Dallas can't sign Steve Ott, he would be a perfect fit for 2nd,3rd or 4th line. Ott and Horcs would be a pretty good PK combo.

I wonder if Phoenix would take Gilbert and Cogliano for Mueller and Michalek?

Coudl we sweeten the deal and give them Dubnyk?

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#9 RossCreekNation
February 25 2010, 11:10PM
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OilFan wrote:

So would the Oilers have to draft Cervenka ? Would he want to play with Hemsky ? I would think other NHL teams are looking at him.

He is a free agent. Much like Jonas Gustavsson in T.O, he has to sign a one year entry-level contract. So with $$ not being an issue, he's pretty much in position to call his own shot (assuming that team is interested).

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#10 Tha Legion
February 25 2010, 11:22PM
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@RossCreekNation

and he said he wants to play for a Canadian Team.. it's just speculation that he wants to follow Jagr

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#11 DoubleJ
February 26 2010, 12:01AM
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Here's a good poll question. Who was the greatest stand out player in the Olympics not in the NHL? My pick is Palffy.

He has 99 points in 53 games in the league he's in.

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#12 oilerzz
February 26 2010, 12:07AM
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If I’ll be here, I'll be here. If not, I will not. I don't know what the team will do with the players here. Does this not scream potential trade ?... or am i reading to much into this what would make him think he is potentially going to be traded ?....

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#13 GLoKz0r
February 26 2010, 12:18AM
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@oilerzz

Well, I think he's just living with the reality that when a team is in dead last, pretty much any piece is up for grabs (see also: Ryan Smyth).

I wouldn't read too much into it. He probably just realizes that given the low price tag of his contract, he might fetch a decent return on the market, and so he can't be certain that he'll be here next season.

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#14 BUCK75
February 26 2010, 07:35AM
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I guess it depends on the $ it costs. The intangible of being able to land Jagr & Cervenka would be interesting. I am kind of torn though on the 'rebuilding' plan for next year too. we're not 1 or 2 players away from a competitive team. If we start fresh with no injuries & a bunch of new faces, high expectations again. I don't think we will be in rebuild made again next year though - the 'new' rink won't allow that to happen.

If Jagr comes, then we will have another high salary team with high expectations. If Jagr doesn't want 6 million, it might be worth it if he signs for say 3 million & Cervenka for the entry level.

@ Brownlee

Your irritant on The Jason Gregor Show is true. Tickets are going up next season a a couple of percentage points. My Price on (email) tickets I forward this season shows $64.65/seat. Tickets they send me in the book show $107.65 - I guess so I can get more money for them selling them on EBAY, ~because you're not supposed to sell tickets above face value...

Next year the same Terrace seats will cost $67.29/seat for 45 events. They will probably give us a few Oil King tickets as well just like past seasons. With renewal we get entered into a priority draw for the 2012 WJHC.

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#15 Duff
February 26 2010, 07:45AM
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FYI Attended Windsor Plymouth game last night

Hall was far better than Seguin, looked dangerous on every shift.

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#16 Lofty
February 26 2010, 07:46AM
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Jagr would be a huge mistake. Everyone knows the Oil have some serious holes in the line-up and Jagr doesnt fill any of them. The oil need to find a couple players like Byfuglien, D. Brown, or Richards. These players are not easy to find but that is the most glaring hole up front.

Why bring in an expensive stop-gap that will only play a year or two when the rebuild is going to take longer than that?

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#17 BUCK75
February 26 2010, 08:05AM
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@Lofty

X2

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#18 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
February 26 2010, 08:08AM
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Lofty wrote:

Jagr would be a huge mistake. Everyone knows the Oil have some serious holes in the line-up and Jagr doesnt fill any of them. The oil need to find a couple players like Byfuglien, D. Brown, or Richards. These players are not easy to find but that is the most glaring hole up front.

Why bring in an expensive stop-gap that will only play a year or two when the rebuild is going to take longer than that?

Because someone has to play when the Oil are rebuilding.

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#19 Colin
February 26 2010, 08:29AM
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Duff wrote:

FYI Attended Windsor Plymouth game last night

Hall was far better than Seguin, looked dangerous on every shift.

~We should totally evaluate players on a handful of games vs full season stats. It's only logical~

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#20 Chris.
February 26 2010, 08:32AM
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Lofty wrote:

Jagr would be a huge mistake. Everyone knows the Oil have some serious holes in the line-up and Jagr doesnt fill any of them. The oil need to find a couple players like Byfuglien, D. Brown, or Richards. These players are not easy to find but that is the most glaring hole up front.

Why bring in an expensive stop-gap that will only play a year or two when the rebuild is going to take longer than that?

The real issue here is whether or not Jagr can still play an 82 game NHL schedule? If he can, and he wants to come to Edmonton, I don't see how bringing him in is a "huge mistake."

Hemsky has nobody to play with... Isn't that a major hole in the lineup? Why not sign some "stop-gap" players while guys like Eberle, Hall/Seguin develop? Just because you're rebuilding, and getting younger overall; doesn't mean you have to ice a forty-one million dollar team without any quality vetrans... (Unless you are among the dammed who want the Oilers to slide for Nugent-Hopkins in 2011, and Mattieus Miracle-Worker in 2012...)

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#21 Pajamah
February 26 2010, 08:37AM
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Colin wrote:

~We should totally evaluate players on a handful of games vs full season stats. It's only logical~

I know it's fun to be sarcastic, and cutting, however, read the original post

he didn't elaborate more than watching the 1 game, and concluding Hall was more dangerous. Now, if he followed that up with, "I think we should draft Hall, because he's better", then feel free to discredit away

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#22 Robin Brownlee
February 26 2010, 08:51AM
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Lofty wrote:

Jagr would be a huge mistake. Everyone knows the Oil have some serious holes in the line-up and Jagr doesnt fill any of them. The oil need to find a couple players like Byfuglien, D. Brown, or Richards. These players are not easy to find but that is the most glaring hole up front.

Why bring in an expensive stop-gap that will only play a year or two when the rebuild is going to take longer than that?

I don't know if I'd call Jagr a huge mistake, but, as I've written before, I don't see the need for him on a team supposedly rebuilding.

The wildcard is this: if the Oilers know acquiring Jagr will make Hemsky a happy camper, will they do it to appease him?

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#23 Matt Henderson
February 26 2010, 08:55AM
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The only thing that could possibly make this season worse would be trading away Hemsky in the summer. What a nightmare.

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#24 Harlie
February 26 2010, 08:58AM
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so Hemsky thinks there is a chance that he gets moved, eh?

" If I’ll be here, I'll be here. If not, I will not."

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#25 Chris.
February 26 2010, 09:01AM
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@Harlie

~Why do we need "stop-gap" players like Hemsky while we rebuild. It's not like the Oilers will be contending before that contract is up anyway.~

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#26 Chris.
February 26 2010, 09:04AM
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One nice thing about being in 30th... Don't the Oilers get first crack at anyone on re-enty waivers?

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#27 Lofty
February 26 2010, 09:04AM
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Chris. wrote:

The real issue here is whether or not Jagr can still play an 82 game NHL schedule? If he can, and he wants to come to Edmonton, I don't see how bringing him in is a "huge mistake."

Hemsky has nobody to play with... Isn't that a major hole in the lineup? Why not sign some "stop-gap" players while guys like Eberle, Hall/Seguin develop? Just because you're rebuilding, and getting younger overall; doesn't mean you have to ice a forty-one million dollar team without any quality vetrans... (Unless you are among the dammed who want the Oilers to slide for Nugent-Hopkins in 2011, and Mattieus Miracle-Worker in 2012...)

Why waist money and ice time on someone that is not a part of the future the oil are trying to develope? I think a better move would be to save the cap space and be able to be a team that at the next couple trade deadlines can be a team that can take on a short term salary dump from a contender and hord darft picks as part of the package.

You never know what could come available during a season and cap space is a golden ticket to building a team. Teams like Chicago will probably have to move impressive talent and I would rather be able to wheel and deal with them than be watching Jagr glide around the ice.

The Oil are in such a poor cap position I dont understand why people would want to compund the problem?

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#28 Lofty
February 26 2010, 09:07AM
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@ Max Powers

True, but I dont like the idea of paying them 4-5 million to fill a spot.

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#29 Scott in Grande Prairie
February 26 2010, 09:12AM
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@Pajamah

Actually, I can chip in something here, too. Truth is, Colin, a LOT of NHL teams base their scouting decisions on watching a handful of games.

Heck, there have been lots and lots of players drafted, especially in the late rounds, after a scout stumbled upon them during a game in which they went to watch another player.

You don't seriously think NHL scouts are watching Taylor Hall play EVERY SINGLE ONE of his games right now, do you?

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#30 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 26 2010, 09:12AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't know if I'd call Jagr a huge mistake, but, as I've written before, I don't see the need for him on a team supposedly rebuilding.

The wildcard is this: if the Oilers know acquiring Jagr will make Hemsky a happy camper, will they do it to appease him?

If the Oilers are scouting Jagr as much as they are I don't think they are planning to rebuild all that much.

They're trying to move all those big contracts, do you really expect Tambo to sit with 5mil of cap space?

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#31 shanetrain
February 26 2010, 09:15AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

The only thing that could possibly make this season worse would be trading away Hemsky in the summer. What a nightmare.

Actually it could be the best thing the Oilers could do.

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#32 Chris.
February 26 2010, 09:16AM
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@Lofty

I'm never concerned about the money... It's term, term, term. Lowe signed too may players to long term contracts: and Tambellini made the same mistake with Rehabibulin. Players on the last year of their contact are usually easy to move. Phoenix brought in a lot of quality vetrans playing on very short term contracts. They improved their club without losing flexibility to manoever.

As for ice time... the Oilers don't have enough quality prospects to fill out an NHL roster anyway... I'd rather watch Jagr play with Hemsky on a short term deal, than watch Quinn try to "develop" Bryan Lerg.

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#33 Chris.
February 26 2010, 09:20AM
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shanetrain wrote:

Actually it could be the best thing the Oilers could do.

Troll much?

Seriously though, Nation... would you trade Hemsky to Boston for both of their first round picks? It would be nice to have two of the Hall/Seguin/Fowler trio moving forward. (I wouldn't do it... but if you're hellbent on a three year crash and burn rebuild... this might be a good strategy)

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#34 Jodes
February 26 2010, 09:22AM
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Weren't people saying the same thing about Jiri Dopita? Most of us know how that turned out..

Knowing the Oilers though, they don't learn from their mistakes, so don't be surprised if we try and land this guy.

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#35 Lofty
February 26 2010, 09:23AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't know if I'd call Jagr a huge mistake, but, as I've written before, I don't see the need for him on a team supposedly rebuilding.

The wildcard is this: if the Oilers know acquiring Jagr will make Hemsky a happy camper, will they do it to appease him?

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." - Winston Churchill.

I would like Hemsky to stay an Oiler for the foreseeable future but I wouldn't leverage 2 years of rebuilding on keeping him happy.

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#36 Jmask5
February 26 2010, 09:23AM
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I honestly don't care either way anymore. Next year's draft is not that great apparently so if we can do a quick turn around with the pieces we have and by adding a couple of players here and there than I saw why not? If it fails we can look forward to perhaps a better draft the year after. I think the players the Oilers need anyway don't get drafted in the first round.

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#37 Duff
February 26 2010, 09:27AM
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@Pajamah

Just providing the info. Not intending to speculate on who is the better bet. I hope to see a few more games of both teams in the coming weeks.

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#38 Lofty
February 26 2010, 09:28AM
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Chris. wrote:

I'm never concerned about the money... It's term, term, term. Lowe signed too may players to long term contracts: and Tambellini made the same mistake with Rehabibulin. Players on the last year of their contact are usually easy to move. Phoenix brought in a lot of quality vetrans playing on very short term contracts. They improved their club without losing flexibility to manoever.

As for ice time... the Oilers don't have enough quality prospects to fill out an NHL roster anyway... I'd rather watch Jagr play with Hemsky on a short term deal, than watch Quinn try to "develop" Bryan Lerg.

I agree the length of the contract is important but the money is just as important. I would rather have cash in my pocket than tied up in someone elses.

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#39 shanetrain
February 26 2010, 09:29AM
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Chris. wrote:

Troll much?

Seriously though, Nation... would you trade Hemsky to Boston for both of their first round picks? It would be nice to have two of the Hall/Seguin/Fowler trio moving forward. (I wouldn't do it... but if you're hellbent on a three year crash and burn rebuild... this might be a good strategy)

Personally I dont think Hemsky is a guy you build around. Call it trolling, whatever ya want. I have been vocal for a couple years about this.

Trading Hemsky for Boston's two first round draft picks? Make that trade if Chiarelli doesnt tell you to lose his number before hanging up.

We dont need Hemsky.

We need Ott's, Callahan's, et al going forward.

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#40 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 26 2010, 09:29AM
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Lofty wrote:

Why waist money and ice time on someone that is not a part of the future the oil are trying to develope? I think a better move would be to save the cap space and be able to be a team that at the next couple trade deadlines can be a team that can take on a short term salary dump from a contender and hord darft picks as part of the package.

You never know what could come available during a season and cap space is a golden ticket to building a team. Teams like Chicago will probably have to move impressive talent and I would rather be able to wheel and deal with them than be watching Jagr glide around the ice.

The Oil are in such a poor cap position I dont understand why people would want to compund the problem?

Because it would likely be a one year deal, making it basically irrelavant to the cap.

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#41 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 26 2010, 09:32AM
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shanetrain wrote:

Personally I dont think Hemsky is a guy you build around. Call it trolling, whatever ya want. I have been vocal for a couple years about this.

Trading Hemsky for Boston's two first round draft picks? Make that trade if Chiarelli doesnt tell you to lose his number before hanging up.

We dont need Hemsky.

We need Ott's, Callahan's, et al going forward.

I think the complete and total colapse of our offense since game 22 proves that we do need Hemsky (or someone like him)

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#42 6 ring circus
February 26 2010, 09:39AM
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Chris. wrote:

Troll much?

Seriously though, Nation... would you trade Hemsky to Boston for both of their first round picks? It would be nice to have two of the Hall/Seguin/Fowler trio moving forward. (I wouldn't do it... but if you're hellbent on a three year crash and burn rebuild... this might be a good strategy)

If Boston was willing to trade both of there first round picks (which I doubt they would) I would not think twice about trading Hemsky, he would be as good as gone for 2 first rounders.

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#43 shanetrain
February 26 2010, 09:40AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I think the complete and total colapse of our offense since game 22 proves that we do need Hemsky (or someone like him)

Fair enough, but we would be sitting in 11th place at best with him instead of 15th without him?

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#44 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 26 2010, 09:40AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I think the complete and total colapse of our offense since game 22 proves that we do need Hemsky (or someone like him)

The main issue has been not having another threat other then Hemsky on this team. When you only have one threat then the guy gets all the shutdown players playing against him.

Look at what happened when Penner and Brule were also threats, Hemsky was a PPG player.

I do agree with shanetrain about the Ott's and so forth, but there is no reason you can't have Hemsky and add 1 or 2 Otts.

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#45 Chris.
February 26 2010, 09:41AM
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@Lofty

Oh it goes without saying that having a few million in cap space is important... but how much do you really need? Ten million? The Oilers spent waaaay over the cap this year: but despite this mismanagement, thanks to the inevidable injuries, they still have around two million in cap space...

As for buying out the mistakes of others... that speaks again to the importance of term.

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#46 David S
February 26 2010, 09:41AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I think the complete and total colapse of our offense since game 22 proves that we do need Hemsky (or someone like him)

It also means we can't win NHL games with AHL goalies.

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#47 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
February 26 2010, 09:44AM
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shanetrain wrote:

Fair enough, but we would be sitting in 11th place at best with him instead of 15th without him?

Add Bulin you may be 8th-10th and then maybe we make a trade to make the playoffs, which was the goal at the start of the year.

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#48 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
February 26 2010, 09:47AM
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shanetrain wrote:

Fair enough, but we would be sitting in 11th place at best with him instead of 15th without him?

That's a pretty substantial move in the standings by one guy, 23 points in fact. I think it's safe to say a couple Otts/Callahans wouldn't make up that kind of ground.

The team has been middle of the pack in scoring the last few years (and was before he went down) and has been by far and away the worst offensive team in the league since he's went down. It should be abundantly clear that this team needs Hemsky, or soemone of his offensive pedigree.

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#49 Ender
February 26 2010, 09:47AM
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Shanetrain wrote:

Trading Hemsky for Boston's two first round draft picks? Make that trade if Chiarelli doesnt tell you to lose his number before hanging up.

I'm not in a huge hurry to get rid of Hemsky, but there's some truth in the quote above. If Boston didn't tell us exactly where to stuff that deal, we'd be foolish not to take it. Would never happen though; hard to imagine Tambi even picking up the phone and asking for that.

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#50 Scott in Grande Prairie
February 26 2010, 09:50AM
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I don't want this to sound snarky, but can't the Oilers rebuild AND sign Jagr on for a year or two? Wouldn't his influence on the younger players be a positive thing, Robin?

Couldn't Jagr fit in as some sort of "elder statesman?"

And, just because the Oilers are rebuilding, does that mean they shouldn't be trying to win some games and ice a competitive product? Must it be all about the high draft pick?

According to the Hockey News, the 2011 draft is considered weak - by whatever standards make a draft "weak." I don't know if THN is correct, but if it is, I'm not sure if it's going to be worth the Oilers' trouble to tank.

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