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 TSN 1260.
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#51 Mike
September 21 2011, 10:43AM
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jake wrote:

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.

Joe Thornton has scored an average of 22 goals the last three seasons.

I'm not saying Hemsky is Thornton, I'm just saying that there's more than one way to be effective and control a game.

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#52 positivebrontefan
September 21 2011, 11:05AM
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misfit wrote:

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.

Thanks guys for the clarification, makes good sense to me.

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#53 gord962
September 21 2011, 11:52AM
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Mike wrote:

Joe Thornton has scored an average of 22 goals the last three seasons.

I'm not saying Hemsky is Thornton, I'm just saying that there's more than one way to be effective and control a game.

I agree. Too many people are focused solely on goal production by individuals. Guys like Hemsky are providing chances for others to score that wouldn't exist if the playmakers weren't there to create the chance. Omark also gets a bad wrap for not scoring enough, but if he creates a great chance for someone else, then who cares if Omark didn't score if the eventual goal would never have happened without his play making ability??

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#54 The Beaker
September 21 2011, 03:55PM
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@Talbot17

Marian Gaborik

Career stats:

Average games a year = 64

Average points/game = 0.89

Average goals/game = 0.44

Ales Hemsky

Average games a year = 61.25

Average points/game = 0.81

Average goals/game = 0.23

I never said he was Gaborik. I said he wasn't THAT far off. Hemsky I think is one of the odd cases here in Edmonton where we don't have the copper/blue colored glasses on. Rather, we undervalue Hemsky here. A decent GM should be able to garner a decent return for such a player. The comparison to Gaborik is actually rather good because of their injury history and relative point production.

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#55 TigerUnderGlass
September 21 2011, 04:36PM
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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.

Last year both players scored 42 points. Hall took 65 games to get them. Hemsky took 47. The two played virtually identical minutes per game. (4 seconds apart)

Hmesky was +3 over his 47 games on the worst team in the NHL. Hall was -9.

You are looking at a bunch of young players who all would be lucky to come close to Hemsky. The only one I would say with any confidence that SHOULD be better than Hemsky is Hall, ye you want to send him out for more prospects who will almost certainly never be as good as Hemsky.

As of today Hemsky is our best player. What Hall proved last year was that he had the potential to be our best player. The difference is significant.

Screw it though. Let's send him out for some very average magic beans. Maybe one day we can fill an entire roster full of 18 year old middling first round prospects.

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#56 THEBIGD
September 21 2011, 06:12PM
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If i had my say I would be more then kapopy to drive Hemsky to the airport.As what has he done? Nothing Every season they look for someone to play with Hemsky can't they see it's not the other players it's Hemsky. I never liked him and now it's time to trade hbim if you can find a sucker to take him>As he is so soft it's not funny. I don't know why our media all stick up for Hemsky I don't get it at all?He is hurt or skates all over the ice dip and spins and the looses the puck.Please trade him for anything we can get.Maybe a starting Goalie would help.I don't believe for a scond habbyboozing and the Devan Dubnyk are 2 starting goalies.I would buy out Nikolai Khabibulin. They need a good starting goalie more then anything else on this team. I hope they can find one to play along with back up Devan Dubnyk.Unless he can prove himself as a starter then we will still need a back out.Either way we need a goalie and see you later Hemsky don't let the door hit you on your way out the door.

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#57 TigerUnderGlass
September 21 2011, 11:03PM
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THEBIGD wrote:

If i had my say I would be more then kapopy to drive Hemsky to the airport.As what has he done? Nothing Every season they look for someone to play with Hemsky can't they see it's not the other players it's Hemsky. I never liked him and now it's time to trade hbim if you can find a sucker to take him>As he is so soft it's not funny. I don't know why our media all stick up for Hemsky I don't get it at all?He is hurt or skates all over the ice dip and spins and the looses the puck.Please trade him for anything we can get.Maybe a starting Goalie would help.I don't believe for a scond habbyboozing and the Devan Dubnyk are 2 starting goalies.I would buy out Nikolai Khabibulin. They need a good starting goalie more then anything else on this team. I hope they can find one to play along with back up Devan Dubnyk.Unless he can prove himself as a starter then we will still need a back out.Either way we need a goalie and see you later Hemsky don't let the door hit you on your way out the door.

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

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#58 Oilers Craig
September 21 2011, 11:59PM
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Ask Horcoff who likes to play with? I think Hemsky is a big part of the reason Horcoff was signed to such a big contract. When healthy Hemsky is the best and most exciting player on the ice and Horcoff benefitted from playing on his line. Ever notice the way Hemsky wears a black hat in interviews... show your Oiler colors man. This gives me reason to suspect he might want to leave.

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#59 jake
September 22 2011, 05:27AM
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Can you imagine the ice available to Hemsky if he scored (shot) more....becomes more unpredictable, opening ice everywhere....jmo.

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