CONTEXT: HEMSKY SAID WHAT?

Robin Brownlee
January 03 2012 08:49PM

Was I the only one who was jolted by what Ales Hemsky was reported to have said by the Edmonton Oilers Twitter account after a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres?

Here's the tweet that moved about 7:40 Edmonton time:

"NHL_Oilers Edmonton Oilers "We skated well as a line and moved the puck well; but in the last 10 mins we gave up." –Hemsky"

UPDATE: There is a segment of an interview with Hemsky on the Oilers website, but it doesn't include the quote attributed to him by the team's Twitter account. In the video clip posted, Hemsky says, "I think we played a pretty solid game for 50 minutes and, you know, then we kind of stopped playing. It's a tough game. It's a game we could win and we needed the points, so a little bit disappointed."

UPDATED 11:40: Turns out the video clip, like the Tweet that grabbed my attention, doesn't accurately reflect what Hemsky said during his post-game interview. Hemsky said (courtesy of comment 36) : "I think we played pretty solid game for 50min you know and we kind of stopped playing... I think we skated pretty well as a line and overall I think it was a good effort by everyone just the last ten minutes we kind of gave up."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

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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 roilty
January 04 2012, 04:35PM
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WG

Thanks for your insights. It's a breath of fresh air around here.

It drives me nuts to see how easily some would trade away valuable commodities just because we are finally accummulating difference-makers who look to have more productive careers. There is room for Hemsky on this team, in fact their is a need for him.

And he did look the best player on the ice last night which is nice to see his game coming around.

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#102 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 04 2012, 07:16PM
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Ari Gold wrote:

I definitely agree that a value signing could be a good prospect with Hemsky although his perceived value around the league might price him out of our worth.

As for the statistics posted above, points are not the single determinant of a player's worth. I'd like to see Gagner and Hemsky's turnover to takeaway ratio for the year, I'm sure it's garbage.

In fact, many of the Oilers simply enter puck battles and either come up empty handed or 1 in the turnover column on a regular basis. The only guys that seem to come out with the puck more often than not are RNH, Eberle and Smid.

If the reason for their poor play (Gagner & Hemmer) is due to injury, not a bad short term excuse. Hemsky has been notorious for this kind of play though: turnovers, bad passes, absent backchecking.....

Eberle has a very slight advantange in give aways/take aways per minute compared to Gagner.

Never underestimate the eyes ability to decive.

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#103 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 04 2012, 07:26PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I don't think Hemsky will ever get 90 points in this league, but your point is taken: if you try to move him now you're doing it when his value is at its lowest.

In the end, all the "body language" talk and trying to read between the lines about what Hemsky thinks or what he wants doesn't mean squat. Management has to sit down with Hemsky and his agent, find out what he wants, make their own assessment of what best fits the team and take it from there.

Dumping Hemsky for a lousy return because he's struggling to come back from two shoulder surgeries and "doesn't look happy" makes no sense.

I couldn't agree more with this.

At the end of the day the fans here seem to form into two groups concerning Hemsky.

1) those so dazzled by new boobs they don't even want to look at the old ones anymore and happy to let Hemsky go for a song.

2) those of us hoping the brass manage Oiler assets with some foresight.

I've defended Hemsky a lot on here. But it's not because I can't imagine the Oil without Hemsky. It's because the eagerness to get rid of him in some corners seems like a recipe for bad asset management. You don't trade players, esp. good ones, because you've gotten tired of seeing their face everyday. It's not a marriage.

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#104 Torcida
January 04 2012, 08:18PM
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here at the stat as per nhl.com hemsky gp26 gva 17 tka 11 gagner gp32 gva 17 tka 9 eberle gp39 gva 20 tka 13 smyth gp39 gva 25 tka 29 hall gp31 gva 23 tka 13 nuge gp38 gva 19 tka 16 horc gp39 gva 21 tka 23

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#105 Al Sibilo
January 04 2012, 09:14PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I couldn't agree more with this.

At the end of the day the fans here seem to form into two groups concerning Hemsky.

1) those so dazzled by new boobs they don't even want to look at the old ones anymore and happy to let Hemsky go for a song.

2) those of us hoping the brass manage Oiler assets with some foresight.

I've defended Hemsky a lot on here. But it's not because I can't imagine the Oil without Hemsky. It's because the eagerness to get rid of him in some corners seems like a recipe for bad asset management. You don't trade players, esp. good ones, because you've gotten tired of seeing their face everyday. It's not a marriage.

It's not a marriage?

I'm not sure who should be offended by that comment --- oilers fans or married folk?

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#106 Al Sibilo
January 04 2012, 09:20PM
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@Al Sibilo

By the way, forgot to mention, I've never been a huge Hemsky fan, but I do still see value in him as a player. As a person, he deserves our patience as he continues to recover from those surgeries. He will make Oiler fans proud again soon - I'm sure of it.

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#107 melancholyculkin
January 04 2012, 11:06PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Not to mention the fact that giveaways and takeaways are not exactly the most useful of statistics.

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#108 rindog
January 05 2012, 12:17AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There is something to what you say about Hemsky feeling singled out. The way he ended the interview he did in Leduc before the team left -- with profanity and saying he's had enough of the questions -- tells me that much (he didn't like a line of persistent questioning by Jim Matheson). And, like I've said before, he's just never been that thrilled doing interviews to begin with.

He's frustrated by not being healthy enough to perform as he's capable and he is constantly the focus of inquiries -- that happens when you're a first-line player and not a fourth-line plugger. It's been a tough couple of years for him health-wise and the losing hasn't helped.

I don't think what we're seeing now is Hemsky being devious or trying to set-up a scenario where the Oilers get sick of the situation and move him along. I don't think he's manipulating anybody. He's just having a bad time right now.

Also, yet another update and FYI (and that of anybody else interested in how this item even came to be):

Having spoken to somebody on the road with the team this morning, I'm told the Tweet that was sent out at 7:40 was a flat-out mistake made by an inexperienced person on the team social media staff. This person is in their first season doing the job and travelling with the team. It was on honest mistake of inexperience. It also speaks to the challenges of trying to cram context, particularly with a quote that could be contentious like this one, into 140 characters.

That's why in my initial opening paragraph to this item (which I changed as I did updates), I posed the question as to whether this was a partial quote, and inaccurate quote or a quote taken out of context. Turns out it was all three.

Did you hear the entire Matheson interview in Leduc? I saw you there the first day, but didn't notice you there on the second day?

Anyway, I know you probably can't say one way or the other, but what did you think of Matheson's interview?

I thought it to be boardering on harassment. He asked the same (or similiar) questions repeatedly after basically telling Hemsky the leaguewide perception of him was damaged goods (I think he used "injury prone").

I think there is a difference between asking questions for the sake of gathering information and trying to get a reaction from the player.

I know if I was standing in Hemsky shoes that day, I would would have been annoyed (and even pissed off) with the manner in which Matheson was coming at him.

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#109 Romanus
January 05 2012, 12:55AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I think fan expectations got a little high. We were hoping for a push for the playoffs and got pretty excited by the start of the year. But now we've fallen back to earth and after missing the playoffs for several years in a row, fans are getting antsy.

Originally, most of us expected the Oil to be better but miss the playoffs and I'd say they're par for the course right now. But that has not stopped fans from being impatient. They need to blame somebody. The goaltending has been better, so can't blame that. Injuries abound on the D, so you can't blame individual players for being hurt. Can't blame the kids because they're the darlings. So, unfortunately, the blame falls to Gagner and Hemsky.

I think Gagner has been very good the last few weeks. He's shown a lot of hustle out there and points are starting to fall his way. Hemmer is returning from injury and probably still not 100%. He did miss a bit of time earlier this year when his shoulder flared up again.

At the beginning of the year, I was hopeful like everyone else, but I knew it was probable that they would miss the playoffs again, but have the opportunity to add another elite prospect.

Speaking of prospects, was anybody else thinking of possibly adding an elite goaltending prospect to the mix after watching the game last night? I thought that until the collapse in the 3rd.

Also Gagner pretty much missed training camp which likely also led to the sluggish start and now playing steady.

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#110 rindog
January 05 2012, 01:34AM
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@Woodguy

Interesting stat for people...

Gagner has played 323 NHL games and has 191 points.

In his first 4 NHL seasons, Henrik Sedin played 318 games and had 146 points.

Sedin also came into the league 2 years older than Gagner.

People that want to give up on Gagner had better hope the Oilers get something good in return.

I am not saying he will match Sedins career totals when all is said and done, but wouldn't the Vancouver GM have look foolish if he would have got rid of Henrik after 4 or 5 seasons?

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#111 Copperandblue
January 05 2012, 08:26AM
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Sign Hemsky while his stock is low...if you don't think this guy is a top teir player...think again...0.8 points/game...playing with Hall...this is a lay down.

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#112 copperandblue
January 05 2012, 08:27AM
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teir as in TIER...lol

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#113 nunyour
January 05 2012, 11:27AM
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no wonder players don't want go give interveiws,where's the up side to it,one wrong word and all the sudden you quite trying.as far as asset managment katz hand must shake every time he signs hemskys,horcoffs,and whitneys cheques.

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