Ales Hemsky: second thoughts

Robin Brownlee
May 09 2010 06:18PM

Edmonton Oilers v Buffalo Sabres

I should know better than to think I can sit on something for even a couple of days as long as Jim Matheson totes a notepad in this town. I got yet another example of why as Matheson offered up a brief but noteworthy item on Ales Hemsky in today's Hockey World in The Journal.

Matheson wrote:

"Multiple NHL sources say Hemsky, who has two years left on his contract before he can walk away as an unrestricted free agent, gave off some positive vibes at his exit meeting about the direction of the Oilers' rebuilding job, so the team might want to re-sign him, anyway."

I was told much the same thing from somebody I trust late last week: in essence, Hemsky, who has given off some very negative vibes about his tenure and his future with the Edmonton Oilers in recent seasons, had a very positive chat with Oilers brass during his exit meetings.

That's significant, no?

Reason to stay?

Based on what I've heard and seen from Hemsky in recent seasons, I didn't have much doubt, any actually, he'd be bolting city limits and not looking back the second his contract is up two seasons from now.

That wasn't hinged on just one or two off-handed remarks, but on several discussions he had with scribes, including me, over four consecutive seasons out of the playoffs. Beyond the obvious frustration that comes with losing, Hemsky seemed like a profoundly unhappy camper, to me.

Unhappy enough I suggested GM Steve Tambellini should consider trading him -- as early as June at the Entry Draft if it would land the Oilers the second overall pick that belongs to Boston -- to get the most value for the talented Czech forward rather than have him devalued while awaiting his chance to scram.

At 26, and with a bargain $4.1-million cap hit, Hemsky is Tambellini's best bargaining chip as he delves into a rebuild. A shot at sweeping both Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall is worth giving up two more years of Hemsky, I argued a couple months ago (without knowing if Peter Chiarelli would laugh or listen).

I don't know the first thing as far as what exactly was said during Hemsky's exit meeting, but if Tambellini left the sit-down with the positive feeling I'm led to believe he did, it changes everything.

If you pencil in no. 83...

If, to borrow from Daryl Katz, Hemsky isn't going anywhere, then what does that change moving forward? Plenty, obviously, starting with what Tambellini does this summer.

With the No. 1 pick in his hip pocket, does Tambellini look to move somebody else of note -- Dustin Penner? -- to land another top-10 pick? Does he think slightly bigger than that, like top-five, or smaller?

If Hemsky is of the mind to wait and see how this rebuild unfolds and is at least open to re-signing -- at a healthy raise -- does that change who Tambellini drafts with the No. 1 pick in Los Angeles? Would Hall be the dynamic left winger Hemsky hasn't had to play with? I don't know.

What I do know is that if Hemsky really has turned, if he's sold on what he's seeing and what Tambellini is pitching, this team is going to look different than it would have otherwise.

We'll have to wait and see how this plays out because one meeting doesn't necessarily change everything that led me to believe Hemsky couldn't wait do get out of Oil Country.

But it's the first indication I've heard in a long, long time that Hemsky doesn't have one eye on the door.

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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#101 Crash
May 10 2010, 12:00PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

Gagner could very well turn into the oilers #1 center. I would assume that would weigh into the oilers decision on how to pick.

the oilers could take seguin and he ends up with david legwand type numbers for his career. Not horrible, but hardly a star.

either way, i am glad im not the one who has to make the pick. Either way, this gets picked apart for years, and people will forget how close the player were rated.

figures the one time the oilers finally get the #1 pick there isnt a clear cut crosby type #1 that is a no brainer....

No doubt...before Seguin made his showing this season it was looking like Hall was the slam dunk but now we have this big debate..

And you are right, the debate will likely rage on for years and years after the fact.

I am an Oilers fan and will support whoever is on our team...

Someone pointed out the 2007 draft awhile back..that year it was Turris ranked 1st by Central scouting as the next great right handed center while Patrick Kane was the number 2 ranked winger....

if we take Seguin I really hope this isn't what happens..

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#102 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 10 2010, 12:02PM
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Chris. wrote:

X2. The real issue will be Hemsky's mood heading into free agency. Two more difficult seasons may not be much help in that regard. Robin has been guardedly saying that Hemsky is not happy... I take this as meaning Hemsky is expressing himself off the record... It may be time to maximize the return for a key asset despite a positive exit interview.

Well said sir.

Lets leave the games for on the ice, the fans of this town have been PLAYED long enough.

....anything Daryl Katz says must be taken with a grain of salt, the man can't do much unless he's coached or has memorized his speech days in advance.

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#103 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 10 2010, 12:06PM
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Crash wrote:

No doubt...before Seguin made his showing this season it was looking like Hall was the slam dunk but now we have this big debate..

And you are right, the debate will likely rage on for years and years after the fact.

I am an Oilers fan and will support whoever is on our team...

Someone pointed out the 2007 draft awhile back..that year it was Turris ranked 1st by Central scouting as the next great right handed center while Patrick Kane was the number 2 ranked winger....

if we take Seguin I really hope this isn't what happens..

i was curious, so i dug up the 2007 final CSS rankings, and you sir are correct.

1) Kyle Turris C 6' 170lbs R

2) Patrick Kane RW 5'10" 160lbs L

3) JVR LW 6'3" 200lbs L

hopefully the oilers have whoever saw something in Kane, even rated #2, on their staff when they have to pick.....

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#104 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 12:09PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Gagner hasn't improved any part of his game since his rookie year. First line center? If so we will be picking 1st overall often. Sam seems to only play after December. If he does pick his game up I'd be happy with 60 points from him. How would Gagner prove that he is a 1st line center in the off season? The draft is before the season you know.....? They don't have Seguin and Hall ranked 1a and 1b, it's Seguin #1 and Hall #2 at this point.

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#105 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 10 2010, 12:13PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

Gagner hasn't improved any part of his game since his rookie year.

tell you what, dig up the PPG production of 18 year old rookies over the last 15 years and see where gagner fits in.

i never said gagner WAS going to be a #1 center. Given his PPG numbers as an 18 year old rookie and such, the potential is there.

will it happen? i doubt it.

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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I'd really be curious to see where Turris would be if not rushed. He should've either stayed in school or tried a year in the WHL.

Wasn't the biggest knock on Kane his size?

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#107 Crash
May 10 2010, 12:16PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Gagner hasn't improved any part of his game since his rookie year. First line center? If so we will be picking 1st overall often. Sam seems to only play after December. If he does pick his game up I'd be happy with 60 points from him. How would Gagner prove that he is a 1st line center in the off season? The draft is before the season you know.....? They don't have Seguin and Hall ranked 1a and 1b, it's Seguin #1 and Hall #2 at this point.

This perception that Gagner only produces after December is incorrect...he had 10 pts in his 1st 10 games this year...

IMO it's time to make Gagner the number one center and let him run with it...this hasn't been done to this point and I'm sure it has affected his numbers...

The guy is only 20 yrs old...what do you want from most 20 yr olds at this point playing on as bad a team as we have had and not having top PP minutes?

Just make the guy the top center and leave him there through the bumps. You can see the skill and hockey sense in his game....amazing that people want to give up on the guy already...simply amazing.

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#108 Poo Czar
May 10 2010, 12:18PM
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Oh good! More vitriolic Hall vs. Seguin talk, chock full of fresh new insight! Huzzah!

*loads shotgun*

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#109 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 12:24PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

Gagner has improved in lots of areas, most importantly his defensive play. Try not to give up on a 20 year old kid so quickly. He's moved from the 4th line to the 1st line in 3 years and was 2nd in team scoring. Quinn only had him playing 16 minutes a game. He'll get stronger and command more ice time, he'll be just fine.

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#110 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 10 2010, 12:26PM
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Poo Czar wrote:

Oh good! More vitriolic Hall vs. Seguin talk, chock full of fresh new insight! Huzzah!

*loads shotgun*

You do have the freedom to not comment on said conversation.Feel free to pull the trigger and rid yourself of this burden sir.

There's no such thing as too much hockey talk in this town. We may spice it up a bit with some CFL talk every once in a while....this is tolerated only to sustain us to the beginning of the coming hockey season.

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#111 Poo Czar
May 10 2010, 12:32PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

I am also free to openly mock ad nauseum recycled thoughts that are off the topic of the article.

Hooray for the freedom of internets!

*highfives self, carefully avoiding shotgun blast*

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#112 Crash
May 10 2010, 12:36PM
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Poo Czar wrote:

I am also free to openly mock ad nauseum recycled thoughts that are off the topic of the article.

Hooray for the freedom of internets!

*highfives self, carefully avoiding shotgun blast*

True to the recylced thoughts but Hall was mentioned in the article

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#113 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 01:04PM
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@Archaeologuy

So we want our top line center to play defensive ? Quinn played him as much as he could. I'm not giving up on him by any means, I just don't see him being a first line center in this league. I'm sure he will get better but his stats haven't changed over those three years.

@ CRASH

Run with Gagner ? I think you mean run with SEGUIN.

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#114 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 01:09PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

Yes. You want your 1st line center to understand what to do in his own zone. That would be a good thing.

Either way, If the Oil take Seguin I dont think Gagner will be the 1st line center in 3 years time.

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#115 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 10 2010, 01:20PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

So we want our top line center to play defensive ? Quinn played him as much as he could. I'm not giving up on him by any means, I just don't see him being a first line center in this league. I'm sure he will get better but his stats haven't changed over those three years.

@ CRASH

Run with Gagner ? I think you mean run with SEGUIN.

Here's my beef with the "Gagner

I don't think you'll find anyone that would argute that Gagner doesn't have more offensive ability then Horcoff. During Horcs 4 "prime years" he averaged .78PPG which works out to 64 points in an 82 game schedule.

Over the last 4 years, 64 points would put you in the following spot amoungst the leagues highest scoring centers:

22/21/24/23

Is it really that hard to picture Gagner as a #1C?

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#116 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 01:23PM
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@Archaeologuy

Yeah he has to be good at playing in both ends of the ice. I agree with you on the point that Gagner won't be the number 1 center.

I don't know every other 20 yr old center in the league but if you look up player stats, a lot of other young centers managed to get better the more seasons they played in the NHL. Simply put, Sam hasn't followed that general trend.

It is hard to find a comparison since Gagner played for the Oilers during three brutal seasons. I do recall wathcing Sam play on the power play numerous times last seson until MacT finally realized that he just wasn't ready yet.

Sam should have been sent back to the juniors to develop more.

This is just my opinion and I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

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#117 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 01:28PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

As it stands now there is only 1 person from his draft year that has put up more points than Gagner. I think that should count for something. He'll keep developing, I'm sure of it.

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@Oil_Loc8or

The problem might have to do with Gagner having to stay in the AHL and deal with his struggles, not all young centerman have to go through that for 3 years. Most have the chance to go to the AHL and gain confidence back.

In hindsight it would've been nice for Gagner to go back to London and be the go to guy something he has never been until he came to the injury prone Oilers.

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#119 Crash
May 10 2010, 01:32PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Yeah he has to be good at playing in both ends of the ice. I agree with you on the point that Gagner won't be the number 1 center.

I don't know every other 20 yr old center in the league but if you look up player stats, a lot of other young centers managed to get better the more seasons they played in the NHL. Simply put, Sam hasn't followed that general trend.

It is hard to find a comparison since Gagner played for the Oilers during three brutal seasons. I do recall wathcing Sam play on the power play numerous times last seson until MacT finally realized that he just wasn't ready yet.

Sam should have been sent back to the juniors to develop more.

This is just my opinion and I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

Have a look at Henrik Sedin's numbers in his few years....would you have bet he wouldn't be a number one center? And he didn't start at age 8 like Gagner did.

And no I didn't mean Seguin...

here you are trashing on a 20 yr old (Gagner) who has played on a bad team and you already have 18 yr old Tyler Seguin pencilled in as the number one center....

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#120 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 10 2010, 01:34PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Yeah he has to be good at playing in both ends of the ice. I agree with you on the point that Gagner won't be the number 1 center.

I don't know every other 20 yr old center in the league but if you look up player stats, a lot of other young centers managed to get better the more seasons they played in the NHL. Simply put, Sam hasn't followed that general trend.

It is hard to find a comparison since Gagner played for the Oilers during three brutal seasons. I do recall wathcing Sam play on the power play numerous times last seson until MacT finally realized that he just wasn't ready yet.

Sam should have been sent back to the juniors to develop more.

This is just my opinion and I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

Their are lots of young players that go sideways (or down) for a couple of years.

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#121 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 01:44PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

That play as first line centers?

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#122 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 01:50PM
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@Crash

Hendrik Sedin's numbers have got better every year they never stayed neutral. Yes Seguin is pencilled in, he deserves the chance Sam got ? Trashing really ? Just giving my opinion kinda like yours for Hall and Seguin.

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@Oil_Loc8or

Just because they did one thing with one player doesn't mean they should do it with another. Gagner also didn't start as a #1 center. Seguin/Hall will need to prove themselves if they want 1st line time.

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#124 Crash
May 10 2010, 01:56PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

Henrik Sedin's numbers stayed neutral for the first 4 yrs of his career...actually 1st 5 yrs if you count the lock out year he had in Europe.

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#125 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 02:05PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Either Seguin or Hall would have to be given the opportunity to prove themselves for the role of 1st line center.

I'm not saying, at all, that the Oilers would have to give Seguin or Hall all of the time that was given to Gagner for the means of proving their ability in that position.

I can remember that Gagner was given every opportunity to prove that he was capable of being the player the Oilers wanted him to be.

Is it unfair to allow that same opportunity for other players?

Gagner is no longer considered to be a prospect. He's coming up on his 4th season in the NHL. He may be young still, but how many years does it take for the Oilers management and/or fans to see, realistically, what Gagner is and not what we wish he potentially could be.

He has great hockey sense and 'smarts', but his size and strength are the qualities that have me convinced that he will not be a 1st line center.

Gagner will be matched more accordingly with less talented players than he would oppose as a 1st line center.

I state this only as my opinion because from where I sit, Gagner is not strong enough yet and is lacking in his skating ability, and has a weak shot.

Too bad he can't score in the shoot-out like his first year..............!

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@Oil_Loc8or

I have no problem with people thinking he won't become a top line center, because I don't think he becomes that true #1 center either. But you don't just hand an 18 year old the top spot in the lineup and say here you go. Gagner wasn't given the time either, it was put onto his lap when injuries occured.

As for the whole 3 year thing, I think you should spend some time at hockeydb.com and take a look at how long it takes some guys to become the players that they are best known for.

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#127 Chris.
May 10 2010, 02:14PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I'm tired of the Kyle Turris example. What does this prove except sometimes scouts are wrong? Does the fact that scouts are sometimes wrong mean fans have a better track record?

By repeatedly mentioning Turris, the entrenched Hall camp are trying to make the subtle association that Sequin and Turris are somehow similar players and this just isn't true.... I mean for starters, Turris was a BCHL player not an OHL player like Sequin. Playing for the Burnaby Express, and hoping for a chance at the RBC Cup does not hold a candle to the CHL experience of either Hall or Sequin.

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#128 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
May 10 2010, 02:15PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

That play as first line centers?

Well theirs not a whole bunch of these guys, so it's a pretty small sample.

Kopitar took a step back in year three.

Eric Staal took a big step back year three.

it also tough because Gagner was so young coming in (late BD for his draft class). Heck, he's only a couple months older then Eberle.

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#129 David S
May 10 2010, 02:16PM
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Poo Czar wrote:

I am also free to openly mock ad nauseum recycled thoughts that are off the topic of the article.

Hooray for the freedom of internets!

*highfives self, carefully avoiding shotgun blast*

*Starts slow clap for Poo Czar - welcome to the Weiserhood.*

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#130 Hemmertime
May 10 2010, 02:19PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

Your opinions amuse me, very little research behind them. Sedin was stagnant until after lockout.

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#131 Dyckster
May 10 2010, 02:25PM
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David S wrote:

*Starts slow clap for Poo Czar - welcome to the Weiserhood.*

Classic!

*Returns to carving turkey with an electric knife well wearing geekie sweater wife bought*

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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Lecavalier is a guy that was up and down.

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#133 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 02:25PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

I am not ranting on about how I think Gagner won't become better or he sucks.

Just like you I do not think he becomes that true #1 center.

Yes it has taken some players longer to excel in the NHL and morph into their true playing state. But it has been shown in the past that a 'true fist line center' adapts quickly once placed in the NHL setting.

Like I have stated previously - "I hope that I am wrong"...about Gagner.

I haven't said that Seguin (if he is indeed drafted by the Oilers) should just be given the top spot. I think that he should be given the chance/opportunity to prove what he has.

Gagner was given ample time/chances, even when he looked as though he should be sent down to the AHL to work on his faceoff abilities, as well as other skills/qualities.

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#134 Poo Czar
May 10 2010, 02:30PM
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@David S

Holy crap, a full, luxurious moustache just magically popped up on my face, and my office suddenly smells strongly of warm toffee aromas and spicy oak!

I shall accept this designation with aplomb!

*removes pants, starts fistfight with drapes in office lobby*

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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

I am not ranting on about how I think Gagner won't become better or he sucks.

Just like you I do not think he becomes that true #1 center.

Yes it has taken some players longer to excel in the NHL and morph into their true playing state. But it has been shown in the past that a 'true fist line center' adapts quickly once placed in the NHL setting.

Like I have stated previously - "I hope that I am wrong"...about Gagner.

I haven't said that Seguin (if he is indeed drafted by the Oilers) should just be given the top spot. I think that he should be given the chance/opportunity to prove what he has.

Gagner was given ample time/chances, even when he looked as though he should be sent down to the AHL to work on his faceoff abilities, as well as other skills/qualities.

Well first of all Gagner was never eligible to go to the minors, that is why I said it was mistake in hindsight.

As for throwing a guy right into the spot, I don't think it's the right decision. I rather see the pick start on the second line and play some sheltered minus. Get their feet wet first. No point in putting them in over their heads in their first NHL game.

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#136 Dyckster
May 10 2010, 02:40PM
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Oil_Loc8or wrote:

I am not ranting on about how I think Gagner won't become better or he sucks.

Just like you I do not think he becomes that true #1 center.

Yes it has taken some players longer to excel in the NHL and morph into their true playing state. But it has been shown in the past that a 'true fist line center' adapts quickly once placed in the NHL setting.

Like I have stated previously - "I hope that I am wrong"...about Gagner.

I haven't said that Seguin (if he is indeed drafted by the Oilers) should just be given the top spot. I think that he should be given the chance/opportunity to prove what he has.

Gagner was given ample time/chances, even when he looked as though he should be sent down to the AHL to work on his faceoff abilities, as well as other skills/qualities.

Yes Gagner has been given plenty of opportunity with this team, but have the opportunities given consistently been that as Centre of the #1 line? The kid has been tossed around more than a good salad. Someone hit the nail on the head earlier in this thread, pencil him in as numero uno AND KEEP HIM THERE. IMO he is best suited for the role. Not only should we be "rebuilding" with new soldiers, but we need to let some of our current players settle into a role.

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#137 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 02:51PM
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@Dyckster

That could happen and may work out. I hope Sam is working on his faceoffs and defensive game cause playing with Hemsky he will need to.

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#138 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 02:55PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

If he played with Hemsky the whole year you'd be talking about how great his point production was.

Dont tell me you're one of those people that still hasnt figured out how good Hemsky is.

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#139 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 02:59PM
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@Archaeologuy

Hemsky would help Sam get more points which I would like to see, since it hasn't happened yet.

Yes I know I need more patinience.

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#140 Bucknuck
May 10 2010, 03:00PM
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@Oil_Loc8or

You said "Gagner is no longer considered to be a prospect."

20 years old and second in team scoring. He improved his faceoff numbers and his defensive play this year, and was playing against the other teams top defensive pairing for much of the year.

If he isn't prospect then he is a regular with a TON of upside.

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#141 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 10 2010, 03:05PM
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The madness here takes its toll...

Please have the exact change ready.

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#142 stilldrinkingthekoolaid
May 10 2010, 03:33PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Well said sir.

Lets leave the games for on the ice, the fans of this town have been PLAYED long enough.

....anything Daryl Katz says must be taken with a grain of salt, the man can't do much unless he's coached or has memorized his speech days in advance.

Except make a billion dollars, by revitalizing a dying brand. What have you done lately?

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#143 HOFFFF
May 10 2010, 03:42PM
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Speaking of top Junior Prospects. I never realized POS had such an impressive Junior career.

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/whoselifeisit/multimedia.html

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/whoselifeisit/story.html

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#144 TigerUnderGlass
May 10 2010, 03:50PM
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I was interested in the topic of Gagner vs H. Sedin so I compared them.

Henrik Sedin at 20:

82GP, 9-20-29, 1.57pts/60, 12.1% team offence

Sam Gagner at 20:

68GP, 15-26-41, 2.22pts/60, 28.2% team offence

This made me want to look at a few others.

Stasny didn't play at 20 but at 21 he did:

82GP, 28-50-78, 3.14pts/60, 28.8% offence.

I guess we'll see what Gagner does next year to keep up with a guy like Stasny.

Mikko Koivu didn't play at 20 either, but at 22 he put up:

64GP, 6-15-21, 1.48pts/60, 11.7%

Lecavalier at 20?

68GP, 23-28-51, 2.25pts/60, 30.6%

Spezza at 20:

78GP, 22-33-55, 2.89pts/60, 22.1%

Backstrom at 20:

82GP 14-55-69, 2.66pts/60, 28.5%

Toews at 20:

82GP, 34-35-69, 2.71pts/60, 26.1%

Brad Richards at 20:

82GP, 21-41-62, 2.72pts/60, 30.8%

Kopitar:

82GP, 32-45-77, 2.72/60, 33.3%

Zajac at 21:

80GP, 17-25-42, 1.96/60, 19.9%

Thornton at 20:

81GP, 23-37-60, 2.09/60, 28.9%

Mike Richards at 20:

79GP, 11-23-34, 1.68/60, 13.2%

I have a client here so I have to stop, but so far it seems like Gagner is definitely in the mix as a future first line center. Most of the guys who put up significantly better boxcar numbers did it with a lot more minutes and better teammates.

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#145 Team Hall
May 10 2010, 03:59PM
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Crash, I like what you're laying down. Good points. When we bring up the 07 draft, it's not to say that this one is exactly the same, it's to point to an example of where CSS was way off in their ranking assessments, and their #2 ranked player turned out to be by far the best player in the draft, bar none. Gagner, the #6 ranked, turned out to be the second best. Agreed with Gagner, lets give the 20 year old a chance to develop into the allstar he is going to be. Thanks for the insight Brownlee, interesting turn of events. I would re-sign Hemsky in a heartbeat, he will make a nice compliment to a good, fast, skilled team with Hall on his left and Gags in the center. The HGH line, as I like to call it. We will be hearing a lot about that in the years to come.

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#146 Team Hall
May 10 2010, 04:02PM
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Let's give old Katz a chance to make this funding model work. Some combination of ticket tax, plus added property tax for all entertainment district businesses might just pay for this beautiful crown jewel in the Edmonton downtown. Something like that makes for a much prettier downtown than some dumpy parking lot nobody can use, no?

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Team Hall wrote:

Crash, I like what you're laying down. Good points. When we bring up the 07 draft, it's not to say that this one is exactly the same, it's to point to an example of where CSS was way off in their ranking assessments, and their #2 ranked player turned out to be by far the best player in the draft, bar none. Gagner, the #6 ranked, turned out to be the second best. Agreed with Gagner, lets give the 20 year old a chance to develop into the allstar he is going to be. Thanks for the insight Brownlee, interesting turn of events. I would re-sign Hemsky in a heartbeat, he will make a nice compliment to a good, fast, skilled team with Hall on his left and Gags in the center. The HGH line, as I like to call it. We will be hearing a lot about that in the years to come.

Gagner has been the 2nd best to date, but there are guys knocking on the door I.E Perron, JVR, Voracek etc... With that being said I don't think the Oilers will regret the picking of Gagner, just like I don't think the 5 teams ahead will regret their picks. Although Thomas Hickey isn't as good as he once was.

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#148 Senator Theo
May 10 2010, 04:08PM
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Sean wrote:

I was at a local cafe last week and the owner had mentioned to us that Hemsky & katz were there the previous week, just the two of them, for over 2.5 hours.

It seems Hemsky must be in their plans or at least Katz is selling Hemsky on their plan.

I understand Hemmer also got a nice package of DVDs about the City of Edmonton. Could have something to do with his change of heart, if true.

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#149 madjam
May 10 2010, 04:17PM
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With our first pick we need the player that is best suited to help inmmediately , and that will/should be Hall ! We don't need another 2-3 wait to see if Sequin can develop . We are already waiting on too many already (Eberle, Svensson,etc.), and this years picks beyond our first one will just add to that list . We need a player now , not one down the road . It's going to be a "Hall" of a year - bank on it . Will Oilers make trade to get 4th pick from Colombus (50-50 )?

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#150 Senator Theo
May 10 2010, 04:20PM
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Crash wrote:

You're cherry picking....the year isn't over yet...Hall is still playing.

Why don't we draft the winner?

Hate to break it to you but playoff performers are important to winning.

~ Umm, the Oilers don't really play very many playoff games, so I'm more intersted in regular season production.

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