HEMSKY IN LIMBO?

Jason Gregor
February 03 2012 02:47PM

The trade deadline is 24 days away, and so far Ales Hemsky hasn't heard anything from the Oilers regarding his future with or without the team. How is this possible? Does Steve Tambellini believe that top-six forwards grow on trees, and that it will be easy to replace Hemsky? I hope not, because it is very hard to find proven point producers.

People have been speculating for months about Hemsky. Does he want to be here? Is he happy?

I'm a fan of Hemsky's abilities as a player. I've always liked his fearlessness, his ability to beat defenders one-on-one, and his elite level skill. I've always felt he could be even better, if he spent a bit more time after practice working on things, but in my eyes is a bonafide top-six forward, and for years he was the Oilers best player

You'd think they would at least approach him and gauge where is head is at regarding his future with the team.

Hemsky is a simple guy, and he is comfortable in Edmonton. He likes the city, he has lots of friends here and he's essentially grown into a man in Edmonton. If he really wasn't happy don't you think he would have asked for a trade sometime in the past three years when the team was awful, and had no other legitimate offensive threats?

He never did, and now that the Oilers have three young guns coming up, I'd like to think the Oilers would look at the 28-year-old as a part of the future, rather than ship him off for prospect and unproven potential.

It is ridiculous that the Oilers haven't approached him with anything significant to see if he'd be willing to re-sign. Maybe they will have differing opinions on terms of a new deal, but if the Oilers don't at least approach him and his agent then they have failed big-time in trying to ensure that this team becomes competitive.

Hemsky didnt' come out and say it's a guarantee he would sign here, but he would at least like to hear from management.

Here are some of the things he said earlier on my radio show today.

"The future looks bright now. We have some great young players, but I don't know what will happen. It's not in my hands right now. I haven't really talked to them, and it is up to them to come and talk to me. We have another three weeks, which really isn't a long time to do something," said Hemsky.

Would you want to stay in Edmonton for another three or four year deal, I asked.

"Of course I would like to stay, but it depends on the terms. I can't really talk about it because I haven't seen an offer yet. I like the guys here, I like the city, the fans are great and I have lots of friends here. I've always been happy here so I'd like to stay.'''

How do you feel health wise? Are your shoulders finally better, do you think you can be like Marian Gaborik and stay healthy after a few years of injuries?

"I feel like I'm just coming into my prime. I don't feel like I'm close to retiring, (laughs) I'm only 28 and I have lots of hockey in front of me. It (shoulders) was something I had to fix and there was no other way to do it, and I'm happy I did the surgery. I feel like I'll be a better player now. Of course it was a struggle with the injuries for a few years, and this year has been a bit of a struggle offensively for me, but I'm feeling much better lately. I've had some pretty good years before and I'm confident I'll be back there again."

Hemsky didnt' guarantee he'd stay here, but it was clear he would at least like to see an offer from the Oilers. He also was confident that his best years are still ahead of him.

"Whoever gets me, the Oilers or another team, will be getting the best Hemmer yet."

From my vantage point trading Hemsky will be a step backwards for this team. They could likely get a late first round pick for him, but that player won't be an impact NHLer for at least three years, if ever. Trading away a proven player who is 28 makes no sense to me, but it makes even less sense that the organization hasn't even spoken to him about an extension.

If that doesn't change in the next three weeks, and the Oilers end up trading him, then it is fair to say that the organizaton still lacks proper communication skills.

It is very possible the two sides won't be able to come to an agreement even if they offered him a deal, but to do nothing would be a mistake. It would be a major slap to the face of Hemsky to not even offer him anything reasonable. Maybe he wants four years or more, and maybe the Oilers only want to offer him two, but at least find out exactly what he wants.

If he wants to be here, and you can agree on a reasonable contract why wouldn't you keep him? Do people honestly think his best days are behind him? I sure don't.

I repeat proven top-six forwards are hard to find. I know Hemsky is struggling this season, but many guys have had off years, only to rebound the next.

Are the Oilers willing to dispatch a player who feels that is best is yet to come without as much as a contract offer? I sure hope not.

Mr. Tambellini I strongly recommend that you or someone from the organization pick up the phone and talk to Hemsky's agent. The Oilers have no one in the system who is close to putting up Hemsky-like numbers. I don't see anyone who you can confidently say is able to be a solid 2nd line right-winger behind Jordan Eberle next season.

Before you trade Hemsky at least find out if you can keep him.

You owe it to him and your fans.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#52 mctada
February 03 2012, 04:58PM
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I disagree Jason, I realize he is a top 6 forward but I don't get the feeling he wants to be here, his game is very listless and lethargic and because he isn't the top dog on the PP, it shows. Just my thoughts

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#53 Ned Braden
February 03 2012, 04:58PM
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Per Twitter: TSNRyanRishaug: Contrary to Hemsky's comments today, sources tell TSN Oilers brass has touched base with his agent to gauge his interest in signing new deal

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#54 Eulers
February 03 2012, 04:59PM
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Well put, Gregor. Seems like a good time re-sign. Or, we could trade low instead of buying low!

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#55 russ99@gmail.com
February 03 2012, 05:03PM
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The only worse thing than trading Hemsky for less than 75% of value is trading Gagner for less than 75% of value.

The only thing worse than trading these guys is not trading anyone.

Thus the conundrum for the management team. Do something and it's giving up and selling too low. Do nothing and we're sitting on our hands and kicking the rebuild down the road and becoming the Islanders.

So I do hope they have an actual plan to compete sometime soon (despite any inkling of that told to the fans) and make moves in accordance with that plan.

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#56 Bleeding Oil
February 03 2012, 05:05PM
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So where do we place value in Hemsky? I agree he is a top 6 foward, probably a first liner with proper linemates on most teams. Does his offensive numbers and contract probability outweigh what we could get for him? Is it realistic to think we can get a 1st or 2nd round pick and a top pairing Dman? To the right team, yes. Who are our current top 6 forwards (on a PPG ranking and keeping positions in check? RNH, Hall, Eberle, Gagner, Smyth and Hemsky. Hemsky just squeaks in #6 spot. Our next playes in line on wing are Jones, PRV and Omark. PRV and Omark also can be top 6, but not with a healthy Hemsky. So we have 8 quality skaters for 6 spots. So now what do you do? Do you try to roll with 3 good lines and hope we can get the contracts to fit, or trade? Lets make a trade. RNH, Hall and Ebs are untouchable, and that leaves Hemsky as our next biggest asset. Our biggest liability is Defense, with no elite level star. Can we find a deal to get us a top pairing Dman? If we can, I say trade Hemmer. Had he played consistently, injuries aside, I would srgue to keep him, but the cards are not stacked that way right now. Lets package him up, wipe our tears and send him away.

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#57 TrentonL
February 03 2012, 05:10PM
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Druds wrote:

So let me get this straight...Hemmer has played like crap or not played at all the last three years and we should be running to him on our knees offering him 4-5Million ???!! just because he was such a good trooper 4 years ago...isnt that how we ended up paying horcoff 5.5 million forever? Hemsky has shown through his play and his attitude that his days are done. What would that say to the young guys...oh you just have to stay here and like the city and you will get a guaranteed 4 million ...playing good is optional?

Stupid

In the last 3 years including this half season, Hemsky has 84 points in the 107 games he has played. That is .79 points per game or 64 points for a season. How is that crappy play?

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#58 sean lecomber
February 03 2012, 05:15PM
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Couldn't agree more Jason. It's almost like because we have no playoff push to look forward to ever we need to get excited about other things like sell offs on trade deadline day and who can we get on draft day? Those are the big days for Oiler fans now sadly. So whether it's good or bad for the team going forward to move Hemsky Oiler fans just want something to be excited about. If the Oilers haven't spoken to Hemsky it should be the final nail in Tambellini's coffin in my opinion.

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#59 Chris.
February 03 2012, 05:18PM
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That's it... I'm putting "FSTNF!" back on my handle.

Memo to Katz: the culture change didn't go high enough up the ladder.

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#61 LoDog
February 03 2012, 05:22PM
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"Of course I would like to stay, but it depends on the terms. I can't really talk about it because I haven't seen an offer yet." Translation: I will sign for here if I get offered a horcoff contract or I will wait until July 1.

Signing hemsky now for anything that isn't fairly cheap and short is bidding against themselves. Kinda like what happened with horcoff and everyone is super happy with how that worked.

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#62 closetgm
February 03 2012, 05:29PM
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If this story is in anyway accurate Katz might as well fire Tambellini, Lowe, and anyone else involved in the way players and there contracts are handled. I am sick of the way these guys are treated by the fans and if this is the way they are treated by the organization there is no future for this team. What happens when hall gets hurt in his career, is he going to be a washed up has been never was that good anyways. My point is we need to start using our brains and making sure that we know what we have and what we are going to need. Not just be chasing our tails in two years going we need a second line center and a scoring winger. Get him resigned you will not get fair value for Hemsky right now. IMO Hemsky and a second rounder maybe a third next year for Suter is a deal thats good for both teams. I dont care what color my glasses are he doesnt go anywhere for less than that. If that is not the return sign him and play him for years to come.

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#63 offthebandwagon
February 03 2012, 05:30PM
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Knowing this organization they will trade for another Nilson/Omarra/pick (if we are lucky) and then spend the summer searching for "transitional" players. I can't believe they haven't even talked to the guy to see where his mind is. Terrible. Before hearing this I was half convinced that Tambo et. al. were getting a bad rap. Not anymore. The management of this team have the easiest job in the world--do nothing and get paid--year after year.

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#64 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 05:44PM
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How many decisions based on "feelings" work out?

Gregor's caller just said: "I just have feeling Hemksy will rebound elsewhere"

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#65 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 05:46PM
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If what Hemsky says is true... ST is done for me. Your first option has to be to sign Hemksy. If you don't try... you are criminally malfeasant.

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#66 magisterrex
February 03 2012, 05:47PM
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TrentonL wrote:

In the last 3 years including this half season, Hemsky has 84 points in the 107 games he has played. That is .79 points per game or 64 points for a season. How is that crappy play?

Your reply shows the problem. 82 games per season x 3 seasons is 246 games. He's played less than 1/2, at 107. What happened to the Oilers' game plan for the remaining games?

Just not worth the risk, unless he signs for less to stay here, and we can bring up wingers from the farm to supplement whenever (not if) he goes back on the IR.

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#67 Oil Bog
February 03 2012, 05:48PM
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The one thing I learned from the Pronger deal is that a change of address does not always work. Even if Edmonton could trade Hemsky as part of a package (along with Gagner perhaps)for a top 3 D-man how do you know that individual will be happy in Edmonton? As for a second line scoring threat how long would it take Edmonton to fill the loss of Hemsky and/ or Gagner? Based upon what is in the system I have not seen evidence that a sure hit exists to replace their loss. However, based on Hemsky's conversation with Jason I still feel that if a player really wants to stay somewhere they need to step up and direct their agent. Look how it worked out for Smyth once upon a time.

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#68 Ned Braden
February 03 2012, 05:51PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Just because no offers have been presented doesn't mean they don't know the ballpark of $$ and term that Hemsky is looking for.

No talk of substance sounds like no negotiations. If they are not close ideologically on term/$$ what is there to negotiate?

I agree replacing a top 6 forward is difficult, especially for the Oilers but what is even more difficult is living with another Shaun Horcoff contract!

What term and $$ value would you offer to him at this point? What term and $$ value do you think Hemsky would accept?

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#69 Fee Logolin
February 03 2012, 05:53PM
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Late to the party and missed much of he talk on the show today. A couple of things strike me as (probably) obvious:

1. Ball is in Steve Tamballini's court. He needs to be the one to make the first move to Hemsky about a new contract. Hemmer can go to FA and see what is out there and then weigh coming back to Edmonton vs that. He is going to get offers. If ST isn't talking to Hemsky's agent in the next few weeks then he has already made the decision to trade him.

2. Related to above - you can't let assets walk without a return. If you make the offer and the Hemsky camp tells you they won't negotiate before trade deadline, then from a business POV you have to trade him.. The team is not making the playoffs, so there is very little upside to letting Hemsky play out the year on a nonplayoff team. As much as he might help with the performance down the stretch, that won't mean anything next year or the year after if he leaves in the off season. That is just the business side if hockey.

I really hope Hemsky stays, i think if he s willing to take on the role, he will be a great second line asset on this team moving forward and would shore up a lot of front end question marks to allow the team to focus on the D moving into next year.

Thanks for reading!

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#70 Quicksilver ballet
February 03 2012, 05:56PM
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Someone's being played here and it certainly doesn't look to me like it's Oiler management. Would the Oilers let an asset like Hemsky walk without exploring every possible option? No. They're not in the business of letting value ride out of town for nothing in return.

This is just the "Exiting" Hemsky being Hemsky. Saying all the non confrontational things he has to so he doesn't rock the boat. Saying one thing and his actions certainly reveal a different story. He's just toying with the media here during these last possible moments. He wants to call his own shot July 1st and he's earned it, good for him. We can be thankful that he's not the best player in an Oiler jersey leaving town again like so many others (Weight,Guerin,Pronger,Comrie,Tikkanen,Kurri,Messier etc) one by one they all left leaving nothing but a decimated hockey club. Times are changing, 83 is leaving when the cupboards are still 3/4's full. Hemsky will be traded not because of Oiler inactivity but because of the Hemsky camp inactivity. He's closing the book on this Edmonton chapter of his career.

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#71 Zamboni Driver
February 03 2012, 06:11PM
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@Jason Gregor

Oh I'm quite sure, actually, thank you for asking. And thank you for your kind compliment for my opinion.

Adding John Short to others who would cringe listening and reading you.

If they have confirmed this to you, I wonder why they haven't appeared on your program to say that?

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#72 Bob Cob
February 03 2012, 06:12PM
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Ricky Ray is going to hurt the Eskimo's and Hemsky will do the same if the Oilers don't make an effort to bring him back. All former Oiler's hurt the team when they come back, The guy is a talent and if Tambo loses him we are a one line team once again with no secondary scoring that will be looking to add a top 6 forward. The only way I trade him is for a player coming back that can step right in and help the Oilers, we have enough high end prospects we need some experienced players in return.

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#73 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 06:14PM
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TrentonL wrote:

In the last 3 years including this half season, Hemsky has 84 points in the 107 games he has played. That is .79 points per game or 64 points for a season. How is that crappy play?

That's easy... because lots fans only like two kinds of players only Gretzky and Semenko. If you don't lead the league in scoring or raise your profile maximally through hits, "effort" and affability (look at Bissonnette's absurd profile based on a funny twitter account)... then you don't matter and can be discarded.

The expectations of buzzwords like "elite" "top 6" etc are wildly inflated by Hemsky's detractors. They seem to have no cognizance of the basic numbers NHL players actually put up. Otherwise they would recognize Hemsky's status.

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#74 JeffG
February 03 2012, 06:30PM
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I like how people state if Hemsky will sign for 4-5 mill/yr then blah blah blah

His current salary this yr is 5 mill.

He is going to be an UFA. He is not going take a pay cut.

You need to start thinking in terms of 6 mill/yr (or more)

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#75 bcoil
February 03 2012, 06:34PM
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Maybe after watching how Hemsky has handled this and so many other situations over the last few years they have decide like Moreau and so many others he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.....Gagne has had the same trade talk swerling around him as Hemsky has all year and how did he handle it ? He went out and worked his butt of to show the management he wants to stay ....even getting into a fight in anahiem ...... who do I want on my team .........Gagne or a man that spends most of his time pouting ......yes you guessed it they want the Gagne's the Halls the Eberles who will go thru walls for each other and no tsit around and pout becasue you arn't getting the ice time you think you should be getting...YOU have been used by him and his agent

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#76 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 06:45PM
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bcoil wrote:

Maybe after watching how Hemsky has handled this and so many other situations over the last few years they have decide like Moreau and so many others he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.....Gagne has had the same trade talk swerling around him as Hemsky has all year and how did he handle it ? He went out and worked his butt of to show the management he wants to stay ....even getting into a fight in anahiem ...... who do I want on my team .........Gagne or a man that spends most of his time pouting ......yes you guessed it they want the Gagne's the Halls the Eberles who will go thru walls for each other and no tsit around and pout becasue you arn't getting the ice time you think you should be getting...YOU have been used by him and his agent

See Pajamah's comment #45 "Where were you" thread:

I just read the last 3 threads worth of comments, care to wager how many "Gagne" misspellings I saw...?? NONE Sammy, you've arrived

so... you're so enamored with the guy you can't bother to spell his name right? It's not a hard name to remember and he's only been on the team for what... 5 years now?

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#77 JeffG
February 03 2012, 06:47PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The Oilers have CONFIRMED to me that no numbers have been presented to them and they haven't presented any to him. So you sure you don't want to retract your asinine comment.

There has been no talk of substance. Term will be the major stepping stone, but until offers get on the table, neither side will know what the other wants.

And last I checked there will be way more teams looking to acquire Hemsky, than top-six forwards that the Oilers can acquire by next October, so the Oilers should be the ones to make him an offer.

The biggest decision right now regarding the Oilers is Hemsky. So while you can suggest there has been some meaningless convos, it is FACTUAL that there has been no serious discussions.

This is inexcusable.

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#78 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
February 03 2012, 07:03PM
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bcoil wrote:

Maybe after watching how Hemsky has handled this and so many other situations over the last few years they have decide like Moreau and so many others he is part of the problem and not part of the solution.....Gagne has had the same trade talk swerling around him as Hemsky has all year and how did he handle it ? He went out and worked his butt of to show the management he wants to stay ....even getting into a fight in anahiem ...... who do I want on my team .........Gagne or a man that spends most of his time pouting ......yes you guessed it they want the Gagne's the Halls the Eberles who will go thru walls for each other and no tsit around and pout becasue you arn't getting the ice time you think you should be getting...YOU have been used by him and his agent

YOU have been used by Hooked on Phonics.

Im not normally one to point out the odd error in spelling, but if you are going to go through all the effort to try and show how smart you are, maybe proof read the damn post or run it through a spell checker first.

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#79 vetinari
February 03 2012, 07:12PM
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It is mindboggling that the Oilers haven't yet discussed term and salary range with Hemsky at this point in the season. I (wrongly) assumed that Hemsky was the reason for the delay in negotiations.

If I was Tambellini, I would be on the phone to Hemsky's agent asking for them to consider a 3-5 year contract around his current salary cap range (+/- 10% or so) or, if they want to shoot for an opportunity to have Hemsky firmly re-establish himself with a full season of play with the kids, a one year deal at his current cap salary.

I suspect that the Oilers don't know what to do with Hemsky and were playing "wait and see" with him so that they could assess his present health and whether they even needed Hemsky depending on the progress of the kids.

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#80 OilFan
February 03 2012, 07:23PM
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I haven't read nor heard of the oilers confirming or debunking the contract talk. Seems fishy !! www.hockeybuzz/oilersnation.net

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#81 OilFan
February 03 2012, 07:23PM
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I haven't read nor heard of the oilers confirming or debunking the contract talk. Seems fishy !! www.hockeybuzz/oilersnation.net

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#82 OilFan
February 03 2012, 07:23PM
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I haven't read nor heard of the oilers confirming or debunking the contract talk. Seems fishy !! www.hockeybuzz/oilersnation.net

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#83 6 ring circus
February 03 2012, 07:26PM
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Is it any wonder why no free agents want to come here.This management team is a big part of the problem.Tambellini should have at least sat down with Hemsky and his agent and heard what they had to say,this is a typical case of bad asset management.Souray was right when he complained about the way this team was run and what did we get for him? Tambellini and Renney must go!!!

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#84 etownman
February 03 2012, 07:27PM
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@Jason Gregor

I think the big assumption is on your part Jason, what fortune teller are you using that says Hemsky is going to come back & at the very least duplicate what he's done in the past? He hasn't shown anything to date this year & are the Oilers supposed to put the rebuild on hold for a year to give Ales his shot? Aren't the Oilers trying to get bigger with this rebuild, Hemmer doesn't fit the bill & has looked very tentative this year! My opinion is trade him, Omark can fill his boots a lot cheaper & probably the point total won't be too far off! What about Paajarvi, he scored the same points as Hemsky at the same age & if there's a player that deserves quality ice time to prove his talent it's Magnus! We know what Hemmer's about & I personally don't think the drive & durability is there to warrant a new contract with the Oilers!

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#85 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 03 2012, 07:30PM
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TrentonL wrote:

In the last 3 years including this half season, Hemsky has 84 points in the 107 games he has played. That is .79 points per game or 64 points for a season. How is that crappy play?

There's no reasoning with haters dude. They're all especially pissed off today because they can't hate on Gagner for a while.

Hope they sign Hemmer.

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#86 DW
February 03 2012, 07:42PM
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@Oilers4ever

Gagner has been a 40+ guy for 4 years in a row and Omark had 27 points in one partial season. They are not comparable without seeing Omark more and in no way can you say with 100% certainty that Omark could replace a healthy Hemsky.

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#87 Yourmomthinksimhot
February 03 2012, 07:50PM
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Great article Jason, yet another reason that we as Tambellini haters can add to the pile of inexcusable dealings.

Id love to use this as fuel for the "Tambellini is useless" debate, but is there really a debate of how moronic this guy is anymore?

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#88 Toro
February 03 2012, 07:57PM
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I never even wanted the Oilers to trade Hemsky he is a point a game player when healthy the key word is when he is healthy which doesn't seem to be too often but hopefully with the surgery he can regain what he used to be and stay healthy enough to make a difference , and I don't think we will get back anything but prospects and we have enough of those you need some veterans

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#89 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 07:58PM
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etownman wrote:

I think the big assumption is on your part Jason, what fortune teller are you using that says Hemsky is going to come back & at the very least duplicate what he's done in the past? He hasn't shown anything to date this year & are the Oilers supposed to put the rebuild on hold for a year to give Ales his shot? Aren't the Oilers trying to get bigger with this rebuild, Hemmer doesn't fit the bill & has looked very tentative this year! My opinion is trade him, Omark can fill his boots a lot cheaper & probably the point total won't be too far off! What about Paajarvi, he scored the same points as Hemsky at the same age & if there's a player that deserves quality ice time to prove his talent it's Magnus! We know what Hemmer's about & I personally don't think the drive & durability is there to warrant a new contract with the Oilers!

Try a paragraph break once in awhile.

Who says it isn't a risk to re-sign Hemsky? I didn't hear that from Gregor. It's a risk to sign anybody to anything. The relevant question is which risk is a better bet:

1) trade Hemsky for something like the Penner trade last year and hope one or both of the prospects/picks turn into something down the line (3-5 years)

2) keep a consistent scorer who is coming off back-to-back injury savaged seasons and is playing a rough and tumble kind of season.

I agree with Gregor that the second bet is far safer. And I also agree that to cut your GM legs out from under you by simply ignoring one of the two options is criminal.

If you are going to play stats champion... try to do it honestly.

MPV stats last year 80 15-19-34 Hemsky rookie season 59 6-24-30

So by your tally "scored the same points" means scoring 4 more points in 21 more games??

There is good reason to assume MPV will become a legit LW and rack up points. BUT

that is no reason to throw away a top-6 RW.

You realize you actually need 6 players... and that means real NHL players. Omark may prove himself... but you don't option the farm on those odds... unless you have the gambler's twitch... in which case all you want is the sweet feeling of transactions (win or lose, who cares! make a deal!!! I'm thirsty!!)

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#90 etownman
February 03 2012, 08:22PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

RA, I suppose next you'll be looking for indents to improve my grade!

In my opinion Gregor is the one assuming a lot in regards to Hemsky. Other sources (Rishaug via twitter) are saying there has been conversations regarding a new contract! Who to believe? I truly believe the Oilers are going to protect this asset, one way or the other but to drum up hysteria by opinionating the Oilers don't care about Hemsky is wrong!

Pretty much (break, happy(?), no blurring from wobbly pop consumption) all the Oiler fans I know & have talked to about Hemsky all agree that Hemmer is one good Steve Ott hit away from IR!

Yes RA, I would take MPS's upside (15 goals opposed to Hemmer's 6 in their rookie season's)!

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#91 Ogden jr
February 03 2012, 08:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You know this for sure? If so please tell me the lottery numbers this week. Many said Gaborik would never be healthy again either. Time will tell, but at 28 years old I'd say he is far from being done.

Suggesting he has lost his skill due to one off year, is a big assumption. Coming off an injury, likely struggling with confidence has impacted his season.

I find it strange who quickly people assume he is not skilled anymore because of 50 less-than-stellar games.

II find it strange that people think he can play healthy and play at a ppg. What evidence do you have that he can so this? I'm not saying he is done, I'm saying the odds of a healthy ppg eighty game hemsky are as likely as another eight point game by gagner.

If you want how about a friendly wager? 200 hundred bucks? I win you donate to stollery you win I donate to ms?

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#92 DieHard
February 03 2012, 08:49PM
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I like well constructed sentences and paragraphs. It's easier to read and understand your point. Also, I don't mind a few spelling errors but damnit, it's garnet not gaber.

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#93 DieHard
February 03 2012, 08:53PM
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I have a legit question. Going forward with whatever team, is Hemsky a first or second line player. What is the price for a first compared to a second?

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#94 Jon
February 03 2012, 09:02PM
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Gregor, I'm sure Tambellini is taking heed of your strong suggestions, what with all your experience in managing hockey clubs. Speculate and state your opinion all you want. It's your job, afterall. But if you knew better than Tambi you wouldn't be pissing around on the radio.

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#95 Lowetide
February 03 2012, 09:13PM
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Great article, Jason. Completely agree. Time to stop dealing useful players for picks and prospects and retain skill.

Hemsky is not a shrinking violet, he is very skilled and this season's down numbers perhaps means a better (for the Oilers) cap number.

Winning organizations retain their own best players. 83 is certainly worth at least a conversation.

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#96 Wanyes bastard child
February 03 2012, 09:16PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Great article, Jason. Completely agree. Time to stop dealing useful players for picks and prospects and retain skill.

Hemsky is not a shrinking violet, he is very skilled and this season's down numbers perhaps means a better (for the Oilers) cap number.

Winning organizations retain their own best players. 83 is certainly worth at least a conversation.

I agree as well, just have to remember, haters gonna hate eh. Such is the life of a fickle sports fan. Me, I just love me some Oilers hockey, win or lose I will always be here cheering on whatever team is on the ice :)

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#97 OilBaron
February 03 2012, 09:31PM
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We were listening to the radio in the office today and had to turn it off, the Hemsky love in was offbase, overblown, and over the line. It was a ridiculous display.

Rishaug and more so Spec had it dead on.

Hemsky isn't having a bad year, a bad year implies effort and a lot of snakebites. It is understandable. Belanger is having a bad year.

Hemsky isn't making the effort, he's giving up on plays, and he's looking like a quitter. Outwardly, he's got a bad attitude and you can't have it in the room.

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#98 Romulus' Apotheosis
February 03 2012, 09:37PM
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etownman wrote:

RA, I suppose next you'll be looking for indents to improve my grade!

In my opinion Gregor is the one assuming a lot in regards to Hemsky. Other sources (Rishaug via twitter) are saying there has been conversations regarding a new contract! Who to believe? I truly believe the Oilers are going to protect this asset, one way or the other but to drum up hysteria by opinionating the Oilers don't care about Hemsky is wrong!

Pretty much (break, happy(?), no blurring from wobbly pop consumption) all the Oiler fans I know & have talked to about Hemsky all agree that Hemmer is one good Steve Ott hit away from IR!

Yes RA, I would take MPS's upside (15 goals opposed to Hemmer's 6 in their rookie season's)!

Like Diehard said... it's just easier to read. It was hardly a grammar tourettes moment.

Ok... two things then:

1) which is the better predictor of Hemsky's future performance: a) his career up to this season; b) this season; c) some combination of the two.

2) how are we to interpret Hemsky's remarks in light of Rishaug's reporting and Gregor's follow-up with the Oilers...

RE: 1) Seems like a lot of Hemsky's detractors are convinced that this year's performance is the only factor that matters when performance is in question; or only the last two years if health is in question.

The second however... that someone points out that he's performed very well outside of this year... either the goalposts change or they decide prior history is irrelevant. Or if someone points out that up until his major shoulder injuries he was a consistently healthy performer... again same story.

My take is the guy is a flawed player like everyone else in the league. He's a risk and he is in a downslide and he has injury issues. These are real problems. However, I still think these issues need to be

* weighed against the totality of his career. And

** weighed against the possible return for a trade

In both cases I see the upside on the side of keeping him

RE: 2) It seems that the fair interpretation of all this is that the Oilers have had minimal contact with Hemsky and agent - enough to say "yea, we forwarded him a video of a cat falling off a chair" but not enough to say that they actually sat down and tried to come to or even discuss terms of a deal.

Also, I don't think the issue is that the Oilers don't care about Hemsky... the issue is more: is there a pattern of

* poor communication from the office. And

** poor decision making from the office

That is what concerns me. If Hemsky gets traded without having been offered a legit deal it will be IMO another symptom of rot in the system.

Do you know who else is "one good Steve Ott hit away from IR!"?? every healthy player ever! Have you watched this season? Sutton out for stepping on the warm-up ice; RNH out for skating on the ice; Hall out for being stepped on on the ice... etc, etc, etc. People lose games for a lot less than a bruising hit from a guy like Ott.

You completely missed my point on MPV. Why is it either/or? and why do you think the Oilers are so potent that they can do with only the one? Are you satisfied that we are potent enough offensively that we can start shedding scoring?

And another thing... since you are so wedded to Hemsky's poor performance this year... I find it odd that MPV's poor performance this year seems to make no impression on you.

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#99 Mumbai Max
February 03 2012, 09:51PM
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Wow. Such anger and certainty where there clearly is no certainty. We will never know for sure what the club thinks or has done because they may/do have their own agenda. We will never know for sure what the player thinks, or has done, because he may/does have his own agenda. Surely we have all been following sports long enough to understand this.

This post has the ring of proving a point against management at all costs.

I love the talent level of Hemsky. At the same time he is regularly injured, often inconistent and will make 5 mill plus on his next contract. Basta. The cap is going to be the big enemy at some poing in this re-build, and I would rather give that big of chunch of cap space to a stud deffenceman than an inconsistent regularly injured forward.

So, I think we need to relax. Trading players and shifting sands is the name of the game. Seldom is management truly brilliant or truly awful. Luck and invariables make up too much of the game.

I vote for keeping Gagner (always have), and letting Mr Hemsky rehab somewhere else. He will always have a spot as a major part of the Oilers, including 2006, but now is the time to part.

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#100 Saytalk
February 03 2012, 09:53PM
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I guess a lot also depends on what other teams are offering for Hemsky, but considering that his contract expires at the end of this season and not the next, it is fair to assume the trade return for Hemsky would be much lower than the Penner deal.

Signing Hemsky to a medium-term deal could also signal to the rest of the league that: yes, a talented 28-year old actually wants to play here! This could help Tambo sign someone better than Barker next summer.

So I'm all for resigning him. I'm willing to put up with the Omark fanboys whining about how little Linus isn't getting a fair shot if it means we can keep a proven player who produces at the NHL level.

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