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.
Avatar
#1 Mike Krushelnyski
May 09 2010, 08:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

@Surshot

"your a awesome sports journalist"

I'm voting this for the inscription if they ever give out a sports-blogger-of-the-year award.

Avatar
#2 TigerUnderGlass
May 10 2010, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

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.

Avatar
#3 TigerUnderGlass
May 09 2010, 09:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props
Surshot wrote:

LOL You quoted it so just read it again. But if its not up to your standards I apologize sincerely as you must be so much smarter then little old me.

I said it and I meant it. the fact that you decided to throw a barb instead of a rebuttal to me means what I said has some merit.

Did you flip flop on Seguin vs Hall? yes or no

Did you report that Hemsky wants out of town because you and your buddy's had a feeling? yes or no

I already know the proper answer to these questions unless your willing to explain it for me because from where I sit you have egg on your face. I take you as someone who should have a thick skin with what you do for living so no need to throw barbs if your feelings were hurt. If you see it different I am a grown up I would love to hear it.

Brownlee said:

I'm not saying Hemsky staying would result in any change in how the Oilers rate Hall because nobody has told me that.

Where is the flip flop? Doesn't look like one to me.

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.

A feeling? It's called a prediction. Brownlee predicted that Hemsky wanted out based on Hemsky's behavior and conversations. That is hardly the same a reporting as fact that Hemsky wanted out of town.

If you feel the need to post crap like that at least wait until he has actually made a mistake...it happens often enough that there is no need to go after him for legitimate opinions.

Besides, if you can't handle the odd "barb", then maybe you shouldn't start a conversation with this sort of thing:

Dumbass wrote:

Did it ever occur to you that maybe Hemsky does not like the scribes and the feeling you got from him was his skin crawling.

Why should you get a civil response with that as your opening statement?

Avatar
#4 Sean
May 09 2010, 09:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

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.

Avatar
#6 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 09:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@Chris.

For the record I still wouldnt trade Hemsky for Brown :)

Avatar
#7 TigerUnderGlass
May 10 2010, 09:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Surshot wrote:

Its well known Hemsky can not stand the media just ask Brownlee its not breaking news. Plus my post was referring to more then just this article so figure it out.

Thanks for the lesson to bad you do not follow your own advice Dumbass Brownlee protector. Brownlee is a big boy why don't you focus on saving the ozone layer or save a cat out of a tree or something.

If you had any capacity for reading comprehension you would know why that advice applies to you but not me.

No kidding Brownlee is a big boy, but how does that preclude me from noting the pointlessness of your post? Why don't you focus on the words in front of you. I write you a response and all you can seem to see is that I used the word dumbass.

Avatar
#8 Archaeologuy
May 10 2010, 11:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@Crash

When someone asks, "how many goals did X player have?". They dont include out of league tournaments and the playoffs.

Avatar
#9 Crash
May 10 2010, 12:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
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.

Avatar
#10 Poo Czar
May 10 2010, 12:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

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

*loads shotgun*

Avatar
#11 Crash
May 10 2010, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Senator Theo wrote:

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

LOL, ok you got me there

Avatar
#12 Hemmertime
May 10 2010, 05:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

Why don't we chant Hemsky's name more at games? It's very rare, even on beauty plays. I know Smytty was more a work horse and bled for us, but c'mon, show some love. Hell, chants of Comrie were more frequent

Avatar
#13 Zamboni Driver
May 09 2010, 06:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Actually the best news about this is that should the Oilers try to move Hemsky (and in my view, they should) - they won't be bargaining from a position of weakness...

for once.

Avatar
#14 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 06:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Good read Robin. I'm kinda leaning either way. They trade him and get some one or sign him. I've been on the Seguin bandwagon since day one but a resigned Hesmky could easly sway me towards Hall.

Avatar
#16 Mark
May 09 2010, 07:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hemsky is one of my favorite players, but I would sacrifice him if his personality might infect some of the younger players as well as his work ethic. No player is above the team, and if the Oilers can make their team better and younger I'm all for it.

Thanks for the insights Robin.

Avatar
#17 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 08:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Robin Brownlee

Thanks for the reply. Let's just say that Hemsky does sign...would Penner and others be a better trade bait then Hemsky to get the 2nd pick?

He has shown to be great, but is there an up side ? Will he get better ? Is he capable of making others better?

From what I have seen from Penner he needs others to play better as well. Yes he did well without Hemsky but he did play good with Brule.

Avatar
#18 BadSeed
May 09 2010, 08:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Seems to me that it would indicate more strongly a move towards a real top line centreman for Hemsky. After all, Seguin is being compared to Joe Sakic.

Avatar
#19 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 08:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@BadSeed

Really you got that from this article ? Remember the Oilers tried to convince Hemsky they will get another winger for him ie. "Heatly,Hossa" no center ever. But yes Seguin will be great for the Oilers. I can't remember the last time the Oilers have tried to get a 1st line center.

I really want Seguin. Do the Oilers really want to pick him ? They seem to always want wingers in the UFA at least the last couple years.

Avatar
#20 Crash
May 09 2010, 08:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I know it's early but this is great news....while it's well documented that I'm a Hall guy this makes it even more certain in my mind we need to draft Hall....

This rebuild IMO happens much quicker with Hall and I think would help lure Hemsky into signing a long term contract to stay...

Hemsky is pretty dynamic in his own right, we need to surround him with more dynamics...the sooner the better....MPS, Hall, Eberle, Gagner and Hemsky...what a fantastic beginning

Avatar
#21 Surshot
May 09 2010, 08:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Did it ever occur to you that maybe Hemsky does not like the scribes and the feeling you got from him was his skin crawling with all the talking heads surrounding him and him just wanting to get away from you fine folks. And since when do you guys report feelings should you not be reporting facts so you save your self from getting egg on your face. Irresponsible journalism does not look good on you and this coming from someone who thinks your a awesome sports journalist. And make sure you do not flip flop on Hall vs Seguin again just because your buddy thinks different. I am waiting tell June 25th to see you get more egg on your face when Hall gets drafted. But that would probably just lead to years of you and your buddy's ripping the Oilers for not drafting Seguin. Its so predictable its not funny. SRY bad mood but its off my chest now.;)

Avatar
#22 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 08:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Surshot

ZZZZZZZZZ....Drone on and on and on and on and on and on.....

As I watch Hemsky run crying because of all the Nation articles

Avatar
#24 Mark
May 09 2010, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Robin, have you heard whether the Oilers feel Seguin will be ready to make the jump to the NHL next year? Or if he could use another year in junior. I'm starting to get pretty excited about the possibility of him being an Oiler.

Avatar
#25 Smokin' Ray
May 09 2010, 09:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Maybe Hemsky's exit meeting went well because in Hemsky's mind, he figures he will be looked upon as being a leader on the team. A step forward for him.

Maybe he see's himself as captain after Moreau goes?

Avatar
#26 Mark
May 09 2010, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Robin, a couple of rumors over at Oilfans, just wondering if you have heard anything on them.

D.J. King (St. Louis) for J.F. Jaques

Souray for either A pick and the right for Colby Armstrong

or Souray for Brunnstrom and Fistric

Avatar
#27 Archaeologuy
May 09 2010, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Robin Brownlee

This article makes me happy. I'd love to see Hemsky hit his prime at the same time the young guys start to hit their strides.

Avatar
#28 Hemmertime
May 09 2010, 09:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I soiled my Huggies with excitement

Avatar
#30 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 09:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Robin Brownlee

Matty?

Avatar
#31 Surshot
May 09 2010, 09:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Robin Brownlee

LOL You quoted it so just read it again. But if its not up to your standards I apologize sincerely as you must be so much smarter then little old me.

I said it and I meant it. the fact that you decided to throw a barb instead of a rebuttal to me means what I said has some merit.

Did you flip flop on Seguin vs Hall? yes or no

Did you report that Hemsky wants out of town because you and your buddy's had a feeling? yes or no

I already know the proper answer to these questions unless your willing to explain it for me because from where I sit you have egg on your face. I take you as someone who should have a thick skin with what you do for living so no need to throw barbs if your feelings were hurt. If you see it different I am a grown up I would love to hear it.

Avatar
#32 Buchburgler
May 09 2010, 09:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Oil_Loc8or wrote:

Matty?

Jim Matheson (from The Journal)

Avatar
#33 Parksy1867
May 09 2010, 09:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

As a rule we, the fans, tend to over value Oiler players...

Whats the general thought on Hemsky through out the league? Who would he be similar in value to?

Avatar
#34 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 10:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Sean

LOL. I have almost heard it all

Avatar
#36 Surshot
May 09 2010, 11:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

Its well known Hemsky can not stand the media just ask Brownlee its not breaking news. Plus my post was referring to more then just this article so figure it out.

Thanks for the lesson to bad you do not follow your own advice Dumbass Brownlee protector. Brownlee is a big boy why don't you focus on saving the ozone layer or save a cat out of a tree or something.

Avatar
#37 Surshot
May 09 2010, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Robin Brownlee wrote:

Thanks. I hadn't heard any such thing about Katz and Hemsky myself (assuming it's true).

What did you figure Katz was just going to let his best player go because of a feeling.:) Just joking.

Avatar
#38 DSF
May 09 2010, 11:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hemsky: "I hold all the cards"

He's gone.

Book it.

Avatar
#39 Ryan
May 09 2010, 11:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hemmers the main reason I pay to see the Oil. I hope he does stay long term. With him, Hall, Eberle, Gagner, Penner, MPS, Omark, we can be in full attack mode. Plus with Boston already having playmakers in Savard, Bergeron, Krejci, it doesnt make sense that they would want another in Hemsky.

Avatar
#40 Your Favorite
May 09 2010, 11:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So Robyn is claiming he Broke another story! Can’t wait till Tuesday. Wonder what Brownlee’s irritants will be when he gets his radio spot.

Avatar
#41 Jimmer
May 09 2010, 11:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If Hemsky stays and you draft Seguin then...

Penner(27) - Seguin(18) - Hemsky(26) MPS(19) - Gagner(20) - Eberle(19)

Average age of our top 6 forwards: 22

In two or three years if....

Seguin = Steven Stamkos MPS = Johan Franzen Gagner = Ray Whitney Eberle = Zach Parise

If I was Hemmer I would want to stay too.

Avatar
#42 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 11:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Your Favorite

Screw off. Fake

Avatar
#43 Oil_Loc8or
May 09 2010, 11:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Jimmer

Gagner = Ray Whiney ? How ? Over rated, yeah maybe

Avatar
#44 Surshot
May 09 2010, 11:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
DSF wrote:

Hemsky: "I hold all the cards"

He's gone.

Book it.

See Brownlee how you writing hypothetical feelings feed the tormentors of decent Oiler fans. Giving this guy ammo is like the Russians selling nuclear bombs to Bin Laden.

Nice to see you DSF if its really you I thought you were dead or on another sex vacation.LOL.

Avatar
#45 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 12:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Surshot

Again ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. It is hard to understand what your saying. I had to edit my post. Something about Bf understanding you and mouth ?

If you don't like reading the articles? Why read them? Nothing to do ? Need attention?

Avatar
#46 Oil_Loc8or
May 10 2010, 12:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Surshot

I wish YOUR MOM wasn't looking over my shoulder, oh wait never mind

Avatar
#47 Surshot
May 10 2010, 01:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Oil_Loc8or

Wow your clever a true benefit to society. You have broken me and I feel so ashamed and have been crying ever since you posted. I may have to go see the doc and get my prescription filled in order to recover from your very very hurtful words before I hurt myself. Sry please do not hurt me with your words any more. your wit is impressive and razor sharp please realize your power and use it for good.

Avatar
#48 Surshot
May 10 2010, 01:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Oil_Loc8or

Not. try to do better next time your no match for me. Maybe Google a Burn or something instead of some tired old Mom joke. You probably have trouble's picking up a hooker never mind my Mom Douche. I usually do not respond to dim wits like you but its mothers day and you crossed the line even if your post lacked substance or any kind of brain cell activity.

Avatar
#49 Ted Sheckler
May 10 2010, 04:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Oil_Loc8or wrote:

@ Surshot

I wish YOUR MOM wasn't looking over my shoulder, oh wait never mind

LOL, Oil_Loc8or. Nicely done...somebody calm this Surshot down, I think she's suffering from hysteria.

Avatar
#50 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 10 2010, 07:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Surshot

May 10 2010, 01:57AM

it wasnt mothers day anymore. your mom was free game for hooker jokes.

Comments are closed for this article.