Beauty

Lowetide
September 20 2011 06:43PM

You can predict some of this Oilers season by what's being discussed in the media, and predict a lot more by what isn't making news.

No NHL team likes to reveal too much about their personnel and for the most part that makes good sense. Injuries, maturity issues (these are very young men) small dents in the local infrastructure and infighting are far from the news of the day and for good reason. It's nobody's damn business, and Oiler fans know that once something becomes public knowledge the implications often go in a bad direction (Jason Arnott, anyone?).

The Oilers organization has doled out the news stories in predictable fashion but so far I haven't been able to find a published answer about Ales Hemsky's contract situation. In a perfect world, the conversation might go like this:

  1. Where is the Ales Hemsky contract situation? (answer: no discussion).
  2. Why is there no discussion? (answer: it isn't a priority).
  3. Why isn't it a priority? (answer: because the organization wants to make sure he's healthy).
  4. What is the priority? (answer: the arena. WHERE have you been?).
  5. When he shows he's healthy, then they'll sign him? (answer: maybe).
  6. What else could it be? (answer: other teams might want to make sure he's healthy before trading for him).
  7. Why would the Oilers trade Hemsky? (answer: salary and term, plus all the expensive kids coming along who will need contracts soon).
  8. Are they seriously going to trade him? (answer: maybe).
  9. What would give us an indication they are serious about keeping him? (answer: aside from a press conference announcing the signing, any kind of media report that the two sides--GM and player--are talking about a contract).
  10. Has anyone asked the question? (answer: maybe).
  11. Has anyone talked about Hemsky's contract in the MSM lately? Jim Matheson discussed it here and there may have been references I've not seen. Most of the conversation about Hemsky has focused on his health--understandable, and yet the contract is also a worthy story.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It's important to examine everything closely. Since the Paul Coffey trade, Edmonton Oiler fans have learned to take any news involving contracts very seriously. Oiler fans closely examine the issues, parsing every word for meaning. Even when there are no words, Oiler fans tend to interpret  the silence.

My interpretation? I don't think Ales Hemsky is going to be here after the trade deadline. I'd love to hear about initial contract discussions but the crickets are deafening.

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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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#1 Pilgor09
September 20 2011, 07:58PM
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Sofia Vergera is my girl.

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#2 Quicksilver ballet
September 21 2011, 11:44AM
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Hemsky's just one injury away from walking for nothing at seasons end. If he spends some/most of this year on the LTIR, the Oilers will get nothing when he walks July 1st 2012. Tambellini will be left holding the bag on this one. Bringing in his MVP goaltender, the way he handled the Souray fiasco, and now there's a possibilty the Oilers will lose 83 for nothing. With it being time for an extension for Steve, we're fortunate there will be no tribal council type decision made at that meeting.

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#3 Chris.
September 20 2011, 06:51PM
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Let me be the fist to say: this Hemsky thing is making me nervous.

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#4 MercsD
September 20 2011, 06:51PM
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If we can get a Penner like return for Hemsky it only makes sense. No??

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#5 senhor
September 20 2011, 07:17PM
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I have a nagging feeling that despite what RNH does this preseason, and the 9 games he will play, that he will be back in Red Deer.

Lander sticks. RNH is a Rebel.

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#6 PutzStew
September 20 2011, 07:48PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So you believe the chance to roll the dice on players like Teubert and Klefbom is worth the team's best player?

Uhmmm. I thought the blog was about Hemsky??? LowTide didn't mention Hall Once.

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#8 BArmstrong
September 20 2011, 08:03PM
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Ryan Smyth is my boy?

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#9 Robin Brownlee
September 21 2011, 11:23PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Did it hurt using all those words at once like that?

Reading them did.

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#10 MercsD
September 20 2011, 06:53PM
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I do imagine that the return for Hemsky would be greater IF healthy?? Oh to be an Oilers fan would not have it any other way!!!!!

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#11 TigerUnderGlass
September 20 2011, 06:55PM
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MercsD wrote:

If we can get a Penner like return for Hemsky it only makes sense. No??

So you believe the chance to roll the dice on players like Teubert and Klefbom is worth the team's best player?

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#12 Back East Oiler
September 20 2011, 06:56PM
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Nor should he be. Yes, he is the most talented and accomplished forward on this team, but his expiration date is significantly before the end of what is being built, here. Therefore, barring a miraculous run to the finals this year, his greatest value is the return he will bring the team.

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#13 Chris.
September 20 2011, 06:56PM
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MercsD wrote:

If we can get a Penner like return for Hemsky it only makes sense. No??

Answer: no. This team has floods and floods of good youngsters. (And 49 contracts) Trading one high quality player for multiple assets in return makes zero sense IMO.

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#14 DoubleJ
September 20 2011, 06:59PM
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What would the Oilers be looking for in return for Hemsky? I'd hope for Schneider or Bernier. Or at the very least a top tier D man or prospect. If we give up Hemsky for draft picks I will be totally disappointed in Steve and the rest of management.

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#16 OiLz
September 20 2011, 07:11PM
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any body knw why there is area restriction on the oilers games tonight?

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#17 justincider
September 20 2011, 07:14PM
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This video is not available in your area. Please check local listings for time and channel location.

FACK.

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#18 OiLz
September 20 2011, 07:15PM
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so what area is it available...? am in AB! bs...

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#19 Chris.
September 20 2011, 07:23PM
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OiLz wrote:

so what area is it available...? am in AB! bs...

Both games are being streamed online at the Oiler website.

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#20 Mike
September 20 2011, 07:24PM
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anyone been able to watch the game online yet. Getting that out of area message myself.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
September 20 2011, 07:29PM
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Nope, no luck.

Edit: Actually, it's working for me now. I'm pretty sure it was a site issue.

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#22 Wanyes bastard child
September 20 2011, 07:53PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Nope, no luck.

Edit: Actually, it's working for me now. I'm pretty sure it was a site issue.

Yeah, i'd imagine the amount of people trying to stream one if not both of the games on the site is giving it overload... if I understand the internet workings correctly that is...

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#23 justincider
September 20 2011, 08:01PM
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Well that settles it for me...RNH should stay.

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#24 Henry
September 20 2011, 08:19PM
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The only good news about the Hemsky situation is that he is not gone for Jochen Hecht or similar yet.

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#25 positivebrontefan
September 20 2011, 09:16PM
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Eberle ftw

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#26 positivebrontefan
September 20 2011, 09:23PM
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Watch out for Josh Green!!!

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#27 bigrroberto
September 20 2011, 09:34PM
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@justincider

Agreed

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#28 OutDoorRink
September 20 2011, 09:40PM
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RNH looked very good out there tonight. He looked more than capable. Didn't shy away from contact, good speed. Really smart and slick with the puck. Just missed that empty netter. He's going to make it hard on the decision makers.

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#29 misfit
September 20 2011, 10:28PM
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"answer: salary and term, plus all the expensive kids coming along who will need contracts soon"

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather see the Oilers trade Hemsky for peanuts or lose him for nothing because they need to cut salary for the kids than to trade him away only to find out in 2-3 years that Paajarvi/Eberle/Omark/Etc. are incapable of replacing him. Especially if the next wonder kid we draft with the 1st round pick we're going to end up trading him for doesn't turn out either.

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#30 positivebrontefan
September 20 2011, 10:31PM
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misfit wrote:

"answer: salary and term, plus all the expensive kids coming along who will need contracts soon"

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather see the Oilers trade Hemsky for peanuts or lose him for nothing because they need to cut salary for the kids than to trade him away only to find out in 2-3 years that Paajarvi/Eberle/Omark/Etc. are incapable of replacing him. Especially if the next wonder kid we draft with the 1st round pick we're going to end up trading him for doesn't turn out either.

WTF???

Not sure what you're sayin here you want them to dump him for nothing?

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#31 David S
September 20 2011, 10:32PM
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Making a big swerve back on topic, the crickets were chirping pretty loud leading up to the Smyth trade too.

IMO, if they wanted to keep Hemsky the deal would have been done before the season started.

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#32 David S
September 20 2011, 10:33PM
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misfit wrote:

"answer: salary and term, plus all the expensive kids coming along who will need contracts soon"

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather see the Oilers trade Hemsky for peanuts or lose him for nothing because they need to cut salary for the kids than to trade him away only to find out in 2-3 years that Paajarvi/Eberle/Omark/Etc. are incapable of replacing him. Especially if the next wonder kid we draft with the 1st round pick we're going to end up trading him for doesn't turn out either.

What?

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#33 Dog Train
September 20 2011, 10:37PM
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Beauties is more like it.

We've been down this road before. Hemsky is at the stage of his career where every talented Oiler seems to get traded. With the young guns on the way, it's kind of hard to see where he might fit in being how much he could cost and what we will have to pay the Halls and Eberle's of the world.

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#34 MaestroFreshMess
September 20 2011, 11:04PM
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This disturbing mental image brought to you by Jim Matheson's game write-up in tomorrow's Journal, last paragraph first line:

"Fedun didn’t play the latter part of the third period, however, after he was plowed form(sic) behind by Darroll Powe,"

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#35 Randall Shermer
September 20 2011, 11:54PM
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This is definitely not the time to resign Hemsky. The team is loaded up on young prospects so in the next few seasons they will need to shift gears and start trying to build around them, filling in the team. They can't expect to win without some vets with still lots of treads on the tires. This is where the pro scouts will determine just how high the rebuild will reach.

One of the top items to sign from somewhere else is, surely, is a veteran, skilled, responsible forward that can play in the top nine and push them over the top. Sort of like how the Hawks added Hossa before winning a championship. Maybe not a true elite (they're very expensive) but someone pretty close. If ONLY the Oilers could find someone like that. Someone who's been around but isn't too old yet. Someone who's at least been to the cup finals. Someone who could see themselves playing in Edmonton. Maybe someone with existing ties? But who? Who? Its a real puzzler.

I know, lets ask Hemsky. Maybe he knows someone like that?

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#36 bazmagoo
September 21 2011, 12:08AM
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Gagner + Hemsky plus whatever it takes for Shea Weber at the trade deadline. RNH starts in the big show, Lander in the AHL due to politics and numbers but is the first injury call up.

2012 starting day roster

Hall RNH Eberle Paajarvi Lander Omark Smyth Horcoff Jones Eager Belanger Hartikainen

Weber Petry Whitney Gilbert Peckham Smid

Renne (UFA) Dubnyk

Now this is a competitive balanced team. I'll answer your question before you ask. Yes I have too much time on my hands.

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#37 m3sh
September 21 2011, 12:18AM
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misfit wrote:

"answer: salary and term, plus all the expensive kids coming along who will need contracts soon"

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather see the Oilers trade Hemsky for peanuts or lose him for nothing because they need to cut salary for the kids than to trade him away only to find out in 2-3 years that Paajarvi/Eberle/Omark/Etc. are incapable of replacing him. Especially if the next wonder kid we draft with the 1st round pick we're going to end up trading him for doesn't turn out either.

I'm afraid that makes no sense at all.

You'd rather see him walk to make space for kids you project won't actually be able to replace him?

On another note, what is Hemsky likely to be worth next contract? Let's assume he has another 65 game season, or in that range. He's a great player, but with his known injury history, I don't see a payment higher than 4.5-5 honestly... if he was legitimately going to get you 70pts a year I'd say 6+, but he has shown no indication of being able to play enough games to get back to that eschelon.

That being said like any true oil-blooded fan, I have the usual pre-season hopes that he'll dress 75+, until it's time for teh Lucky 13 pool :)

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#38 Walter Sobchak
September 21 2011, 02:46AM
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I hate to rag on Tambo and the rest of the Oiler's brass, but this Hemsky issue is just bad asset management!

Again, the way I see it is this, if he's not signed by the start of the season the Oiler's set themselves up for a massive gamble! If Hemsky plays and get's hurt, then try trading said asset! we will get nothing in return.

Don't trade him and he walks come July 1st and we get nothing.

Hemsky has a flat out amazing year doesn't get hurt but wont resign, we trade him at the deadline for a "Teubert or Klefbom" fans riot!

Sign him now or trade him now.

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#39 French Toast Mafia
September 21 2011, 04:33AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

So you believe the chance to roll the dice on players like Teubert and Klefbom is worth the team's best player?

Hemsky is not the teams best player. If hall didn't show you that he is our best player in his injury shortened season last year then it won't take long into this year to show he is. We shouldn't talk like we are trading an NHL elite talent when we are thinking of moving hemsky. I do however think he is a good player when healthy and I think he could land us something at the deadline. I'm not sure keeping him long term is the best idea with his injury problems and all these young players we need to sign. If he didn't have the shoulder problems maybe I'd look at it differently.

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#40 The Beaker
September 21 2011, 07:12AM
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French Toast Mafia wrote:

Hemsky is not the teams best player. If hall didn't show you that he is our best player in his injury shortened season last year then it won't take long into this year to show he is. We shouldn't talk like we are trading an NHL elite talent when we are thinking of moving hemsky. I do however think he is a good player when healthy and I think he could land us something at the deadline. I'm not sure keeping him long term is the best idea with his injury problems and all these young players we need to sign. If he didn't have the shoulder problems maybe I'd look at it differently.

I don't see how hes THAT much worse than Gaborik was/is. Rather, I don't see why a competant GM could garner a good return for a player of that ILK.

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#41 shanetrain
September 21 2011, 07:38AM
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Wow.

If these young guys can stay healthy we may be watching something special very soon. Love the all Swede line. This is coming from a pro - western Canadian guy.

I have wanted Hemsky 'gone' for a few years now. I won't go on about it, but geez it's getting to the point where the only option is to sign him. He is slowly turning into a diminishing asset with all the injuries.

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#42 Talbot17
September 21 2011, 08:31AM
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@ the Beaker

Hesmky is NO Gaborik...at least Gaborik produces shots/goals , that to me is an incorrect comparison. Oil brass will be looking to trade Hemmer, or if they do sign him they will not be giving him more than 3.5 to 4.5 M unless he has a healthy year. I think if they dont offer him a contract by January he is gone by the deadline

p.s. newbie poster, how do you Quote someone else's writing on here?

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#43 Hemmertime
September 21 2011, 08:32AM
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m3sh wrote:

I'm afraid that makes no sense at all.

You'd rather see him walk to make space for kids you project won't actually be able to replace him?

On another note, what is Hemsky likely to be worth next contract? Let's assume he has another 65 game season, or in that range. He's a great player, but with his known injury history, I don't see a payment higher than 4.5-5 honestly... if he was legitimately going to get you 70pts a year I'd say 6+, but he has shown no indication of being able to play enough games to get back to that eschelon.

That being said like any true oil-blooded fan, I have the usual pre-season hopes that he'll dress 75+, until it's time for teh Lucky 13 pool :)

He is saying Re-sign him and worry about dealing him in a couple years if we need to clear the salary then, even if get a crappy return at that point. I am completely in agreement.

Id rather have Hemmer for 2-3 years than take someone else's suspect prospect and a middling pick.

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#44 misfit
September 21 2011, 09:20AM
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Thanks Hemmertime. That's exactly what I was trying to say.

3 years ago, everyone was worried that we were going to be in cap trouble when Gagner, Cogliano, and Nilsson were going to be getting their $5-6M/year contracts. Gagner and Cogliano signed for a combined $3.275M, and another year later, Gagner and his $2.275M ($600K more than his ELC) was the only one left.

If we trade Hemsky now because we're worried about what 3 other kids might get 2 years from now, and those kids don't turn out, what have we gained? A prospect and a 1st round pick who are another 4-5 years away (if at all) from being able to replace him? It doesn't seem worth the gamble to me. I'd much rather re-sign him, and if the kids turn out to be worth those $5M contracts everyone's so worried about, then trading Hemsky for scraps is a lot easier to deal with.

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#45 FastOil
September 21 2011, 09:24AM
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With Hemsky for me it's health. He is a very good player, but I doubt his injury problems are finished with the surgery. I don't think his salary is a problem, players that good are moveable, and if he's hurt I believe he wouldn't count against the cap.

He is also heading out of his prime years (he might have 3-4 more, who knows?). It is a shame the team has been so bad through his best years, although he is lucky to have gone to the finals, many good players don't ever.

He should be traded for a quality NHL player, we have enough prospects. If Tambi was offered a top 5 for next year, given the draft pool, I'd have to take a hard look at that.

I think the best deal for the Oilers would be for a top D, second best a Kessler/Toews type centre. Goalies and wingers can be found more easily.

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#46 VMR
September 21 2011, 09:25AM
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I think we're running into the problem of too many prospects not enough players. It's one of the toughest tasks for a GM but we need to find a trade where someone is willing to move the better talent to us for multiple pieces.

Like a Vishnovsky for Stoll and Green type deal.

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#47 m3sh
September 21 2011, 10:16AM
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@misfit

Yes, thanks Hemmertime for clarity, that makes way more sense now. I completely agree then, it's certainly a risk and will be one of truest tests of the success of ST's tenure. Or his decision will be made for him cuz Hemsky doesn't want to stay (maybe).

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#48 FastOil
September 21 2011, 10:18AM
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VMR wrote:

I think we're running into the problem of too many prospects not enough players. It's one of the toughest tasks for a GM but we need to find a trade where someone is willing to move the better talent to us for multiple pieces.

Like a Vishnovsky for Stoll and Green type deal.

Right, or Hemsky and a prospect or lesser player. The key is getting enough quality back to justify trading a player as good as Hemsky, even with injury concerns.

I think Hemsky would re sign. He's a career Oiler. It's still better to pay him market value than make a poor trade or lose him. Sign him and if contracts become a problem move him later.

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#49 jake
September 21 2011, 10:24AM
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Love the player overall but he needs to score more goals for my liking.

If Hemsky is looking for big money (5.5 - 6.5M) per, long term, what # of goals should you expect out of a guy like this? Is this Hemsky?

Maybe they made an offer noonone knows about. Maybe Hemksy will be the one walking away from very good money if his camp is balking on an offer already given. Assest management from an Oilers standpoint, yes, but the oft-injured Hemsky needs to consider career management. To be a fly on a few walls. Time will tell.

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#50 FastOil
September 21 2011, 10:40AM
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Good point jake. I commented somewhere about Doughty. To my way of thinking, players in the top salary range gain a lot from a longer term contract. Yes, there may be more money available in a few years, but how much more?

Every player is one bad or unlucky hit away from becoming less valuable as well, so guaranteed money at that level may not be a bad thing. They can always ask for a trade if they want out later, which teams seem to grant - what good choice do they have? Keep an unhappy camper at big dollars to prove a point?

Geting a rep as a prima donna may not be good career management either.

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