HERE'S YOUR HAT, WHAT'S YOUR HURRY?

Lowetide
August 13 2013 11:20AM

On the day of his 30th birthday, Ales Hemsky remains a divisive figure in Oilers history--some of us consider him the de facto 'player of the decade" for the 2000's team while others consider him soft and an underperformer. Here's one fan's view of the situation.

THE STORY, IN PICTURES 

For me, the Ales Hemsky story is summed up in this exchange against the Detroit Red Wings. Hemsky--considered soft by many--once again enters the battle as he chases down the 200,000th "ring it around the boards like Pat Quinn told us to" errant puck--and gets slammed by a Niklas Kronwall elbow (and he left his feet!). Corey Potter--God love him--comes to the aid of his teammate and gets a 4:00 penalty. 

The commentator speaks about liking the way Ales Hemsky "popped right up" and states this is what he'd like to see Hemsky do more often. I screamed at my television (you may have heard me, I'm quite loud)  "he does it ALL THE DAMN TIME" but to no avail. 

Ales Hemsky played for the Oilers in an era when the front office couldn't get out of its own way. His Oiler career can be broken down into four parts:

  • Early arrival (age 19) and development
  • Pushing towards excellence (05-09) as the front office fiddles
  • Injuries and battle fatigue (10-13) as the front office dithers
  • Early exit and new city (still to come)

I'm convinced Hemsky never had the support, but even at that he delivered at a wonderful level when healthy. In his Oiler career (597 games now), Hemsky's per 82 boxcars are 18-44-62. And these aren't just PP numbers, either. At even strength through his career, 83 has delivered:

EVEN STRENGTH/5X5 PER 60 SCORING BY ALES HEMSKY, CAREER

  • 02-03: 2.26*
  • 03-04: 1.73*
  • 05-06: 2.17*
  • 06-07: 2.09*
  • 07-08: 2.36
  • 08-09: 2.08
  • 09-10: 2.85
  • 10-11: 2.88
  • 11-12: 1.57
  • 12-13: 1.40

(*nhl.com using even strength time on ice, all others courtesy Desjardins behindthenet.com)

Hemsky was a very consistent producer of offense through the dark years and of course a key part of the Stanley team where he emerged as an impact player. 

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?

The Oilers didn't have the horses, from the moment they dealt Pronger without retaining Spacek and other veteran defensemen to bridge the gap. From that second onward, Hemsky was sentenced to years and years of flying sorties into the 'Regehr zone' with little or no hope of a second season or a return to June playoff hockey. 

And yet, he flew those sorties, with many in the fanbase blaming Hemsky for the poor results. The problem was never Hemsky (beyond injury and the wonky results this season on that 2line) the problem was the Oilers didn't have enough actual NHL players.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

We're never going to agree,  some of us are pro-Hemsky and others are not--and that's fine, we're fans and part of it is having disagreements on these things. This fan wants to wish Ales Hemsky a wonderful birthday and a terrific season in 2013-14--wherever he plays. 

The ideal year from my point of view is Craig MacTavish acknowledging that Hemsky's frustrations over the years were well founded and that the organization is hopeful he'll consider signing with them next summer. And then devoting real time to Hemsky playing on a skill line--these kids aren't so established the club can afford to trash a talent like Hemsky.

He is 30 today. Will he be here for his 31st birthday? I'd put the odds just shy of impossible.

"My first pick was Ales Hemsky, and you certainly want him to play and I'm yearning for him to be a success and so far I think Ales is going to be." Kevin Prendergast to Guy Flaming, HF interview, August 15, 2003. 

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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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#52 Romulus' Apotheosis
August 13 2013, 05:32PM
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I can't possibly have enough love for Hemsky.

His status among the "faithful" has always confused me to the point of being galling.

Happy birthday Ales. At least when you are winning with the Sens you won't have to talk to Matty about some crap question.

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#53 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
August 13 2013, 05:33PM
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Baresnake wrote:

I've never thought of Jennifer Garner as attractive until just now.

Ahhh, I remember when I hit puberty...

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#54 uks ya
August 13 2013, 05:49PM
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Bud wrote:

Well said Will , i'm with ya.

is that u will?......"bud"

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#55 uks ya
August 13 2013, 05:51PM
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Klima's Mullet wrote:

One of my favorite players ever. I wish him well wherever he ends up. I think he has a lot of hockey left in him. I feel he would fit well in Detroit but I'm sure they can't fit him into their payroll. Phoenix? Nashville? Ottawa? Islanders?

why am i only one who thinks hes heading to devils with Jagz

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#56 uks ya
August 13 2013, 05:57PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

As a Flames fan, I was always glad to see Hemsky work hard, display exceptional talent, get killed because he was the only Oiler who could get puck possession in the offensive zone, and then get **** on by Edmonton fans for not being able to win games single-handed.

There should be a highlight reel of Hemsky's career, with all the great moves, all the borderline-criminal hits by Regehr, all the goals, and all the plays where he's holding the puck for like 30 seconds and there's *still* nobody open for him to pass to.

And the entire video should have just one big caption for Oilers' fans:

THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS

as oiler fan.....why you even looking at Oiler Nation?? just jump already haha

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#57 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
August 13 2013, 06:08PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Some of us are pro-Hemsky...

and the rest you can go to hell!

Way to go Travis! I couldn't PROP it more than once....so I'm just going to repeat it!

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
August 13 2013, 06:30PM
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The Oilers should honour the players that won't be getting their jerseys retired to the rafters......guys like Smitty and Hemmer should get statues in the forier of the new building....Smitty's statue should be standing in front of a net with his butt in some goalies face and the Hemmer statue should have the puck on his stick and his arm in a sling...(just kidding)

And leave Gretzkys statue at Rexall...give him a new statue in the new barn....Gretzkty standing behind the net with two defenders each with one hand on the goal post..scared to go behind the net for fear Gretz will embarrass them!

Welcome to your 30s Ales!

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#59 Bucknuck
August 13 2013, 06:44PM
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If Hemsky is going to be an Oiler, then I pick him for my star. This is the year he takes off. 30 years old is PRIME age and for a talent like Hemsky, the Oilers can only benefit from having him on the ice.

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#60 yawto
August 13 2013, 07:11PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

As a Flames fan, I was always glad to see Hemsky work hard, display exceptional talent, get killed because he was the only Oiler who could get puck possession in the offensive zone, and then get **** on by Edmonton fans for not being able to win games single-handed.

There should be a highlight reel of Hemsky's career, with all the great moves, all the borderline-criminal hits by Regehr, all the goals, and all the plays where he's holding the puck for like 30 seconds and there's *still* nobody open for him to pass to.

And the entire video should have just one big caption for Oilers' fans:

THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS

Oilers fans and flames fans agreeing. Sign of the apocalypse. Well said though. Trying to figure out which oiler I will have missed as much or more once he's gone. Hate even saying once he's gone. Would love to see him rewarded with lord Stanley right here. Probably wont be so. Happy birthday Ales.

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Travis Dakin wrote:

Oilersnation is restoring my faith in humanity today!! Wow... perhaps there are a lot more fans with brains than I thought

I think the majority of the fans love Hemmer. The haters are usually the loudest ones and say the most ridiculous things so we tend to remember them more.

PS. Happy bday Hemmer. Hope you have a comeback season!

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The Last Big Bear wrote:

As a Flames fan, I was always glad to see Hemsky work hard, display exceptional talent, get killed because he was the only Oiler who could get puck possession in the offensive zone, and then get **** on by Edmonton fans for not being able to win games single-handed.

There should be a highlight reel of Hemsky's career, with all the great moves, all the borderline-criminal hits by Regehr, all the goals, and all the plays where he's holding the puck for like 30 seconds and there's *still* nobody open for him to pass to.

And the entire video should have just one big caption for Oilers' fans:

THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS

I like this Flamer.....not in that way though.

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#63 Travis Dakin
August 13 2013, 07:45PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Call it the Dakin. As in "you have a horrible Dakin." as long as Dakin is fine with it, obviously.

Yes.... is good.

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#64 Travis Dakin
August 13 2013, 07:50PM
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Will wrote:

But that's what I'm saying. There always seems to be a reason or defense, or excuse as to why he's not playing up to the elite talent everyone knows he can be. We've seen one full season where he hit 77 points. Since then he has underachieved every year. There are only so many excuses that can be made until it's just clear the player is being viewed through rose coloured glasses.

Bergeron played with a lot more injuries than that, you no what he didn't have any of? Excuses. You know what he had a lot of? Points.

Hell, Eberle played with a broken finger and he played the entire season and had a respectable 37 points.

I'm just so sick of hearing the reasons why he's truly better than the score sheet suggests and finally willing to accept that maybe he's just not that good. I'm not knocking him for his effort, or sticking with it, or what he's meant to the team, I'm just saying maybe we're all a little too soft on Hemsky. No one has ever been this kind to Horcoff. It's always suck it up and play better. No one is this forgiving to Smyth. People see he's lost a step and everyone wants him to retire. If you want to sit there and say that Hemsky has meant more to this club than Smyth, then you can sit there alone.

How do you survive every day with a brain that is so clearly broken? Its amazing how you can he presented with so much information and somehow you manage to miss it all

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#65 DSF
August 13 2013, 08:13PM
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Bucknuck wrote:

If Hemsky is going to be an Oiler, then I pick him for my star. This is the year he takes off. 30 years old is PRIME age and for a talent like Hemsky, the Oilers can only benefit from having him on the ice.

30 years is NOT prime age for forwards.

It's generally 24-25.

Some players can keep their edge over 30 but many fall off a cliff.

Based on what we've seen the last 3 seasons, Hemsky is half way down the elevator shaft.

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#66 David S
August 13 2013, 08:27PM
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DSF wrote:

30 years is NOT prime age for forwards.

It's generally 24-25.

Some players can keep their edge over 30 but many fall off a cliff.

Based on what we've seen the last 3 seasons, Hemsky is half way down the elevator shaft.

Man is your Dakin going to take a beating on this thread.

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#67 DSF
August 13 2013, 08:43PM
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David S wrote:

Man is your Dakin going to take a beating on this thread.

I had my Dakin removed by a dermatologist,

Quite painless, actually.

It was benign and had little chance of growing.

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#68 Rocket
August 13 2013, 09:09PM
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@David S

Even when DSF has good points, his Dakin is still horrible.

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#69 DSF
August 13 2013, 09:19PM
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Rocket wrote:

Even when DSF has good points, his Dakin is still horrible.

Preparation H helps tremendously.

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#70 Baresnake
August 13 2013, 10:03PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Ahhh, I remember when I hit puberty...

Hardest 15 years EVER! (I have a terrible Dakin from that fist post)

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#71 Uks Ya
August 13 2013, 10:11PM
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Hemmer is sittin at 451 points....its a contract year for him aswell...i would bet some $$$ that hes gonna bust his ass off to get those 49 points & also earn a solid contract next free agency!!!

lets give the Bday boy 1 last shot in Oil silks to reach 500 in Oiler colors!!! :)

......someone in our top 6 goes down with a serious injury (god forbid) Hemmer is there to replace em!!!!

Happy Bday #83!!

Keep your stick & beers... on the ice _ -

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#72 Dangilitis
August 13 2013, 10:45PM
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I know you are going to disagree dsf as you always do but 24-25 is not proven. 27-28 seems more accurate for most forwards. Which is an important point because 2 yrs past prime is different than 5. Even so there are always late bloomers. Ganger will be a better player for the next 5 years than he was for the past 5 years. Tell Martin St. Louis that you peak at 24 and he'll tell you to shut the f up. Crosby and malkin and ovechkin would laugh at the idea that they are heading quickly for a steep decline.

For every example you can give of a peak at 25 I can give countless more to disprove your theory.

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#73 The Last Big Bear
August 14 2013, 12:32AM
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I would argue that point production for forwards peaks before their overall effectiveness does. ie a player's point production may peak at 26, but I'd say most forwards peak in overall effectiveness (including defensive play, consistency, flexibility in usage, etc) peaks at around 28-29 for forwards. I believe the average age for forwards in the NHL is around 28 so that would lend some pretty definitive support for that.

For defencemen, I believe their point production peak is later (don't have those numbers handy though) but I would again argue that their overall effectiveness peaks at around 31-32 most of the time. I believe the NHL average age for defencemen is also higher than that of forwards, again lending credit to that notion.

Also, I hate the Oilers, so before I get an undeseeved reputation for making a positive contribution to an Oilers website, I want any of you who missed it to go over to NHL Numbers and read this article. It has everything I feel about the Oilers, summed up in a single graph:

http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/8/western-conference-1213-rolling-team-corsi

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#74 madjam
August 14 2013, 05:57AM
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You'd think Hemsky was the only player worth watching the last seven years or so . Mr.Excitement , the attention grabber . Well he was till the new NBR . ones came . He never played soft , but continually drew the ire of those players who like to injure star players . It didn't help him much as linemates seldom protected him from those abuses . Hemsky still dangerous to the opposition and they have to adjust accordingly . He is a difference maker despite playing on a long term team downfall .

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#75 DonDon
August 14 2013, 07:56AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

I would argue that point production for forwards peaks before their overall effectiveness does. ie a player's point production may peak at 26, but I'd say most forwards peak in overall effectiveness (including defensive play, consistency, flexibility in usage, etc) peaks at around 28-29 for forwards. I believe the average age for forwards in the NHL is around 28 so that would lend some pretty definitive support for that.

For defencemen, I believe their point production peak is later (don't have those numbers handy though) but I would again argue that their overall effectiveness peaks at around 31-32 most of the time. I believe the NHL average age for defencemen is also higher than that of forwards, again lending credit to that notion.

Also, I hate the Oilers, so before I get an undeseeved reputation for making a positive contribution to an Oilers website, I want any of you who missed it to go over to NHL Numbers and read this article. It has everything I feel about the Oilers, summed up in a single graph:

http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/8/western-conference-1213-rolling-team-corsi

Interesting rolling team corsi analysis on the Oil. I liked the line: "The 1213 Edmonton OIlers were Wall Street Crash of 1929 bad." Also the references to Krueger and Tamblini.

If the centre problem isn't fixed, prospects for improvement are not good. And I'm an Oiler fan.

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#76 Juanmexico
August 14 2013, 07:59AM
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Oh boy.. All the Hemsky lovers are out in full force. Give me a break. Sure he played well in the decade of failure but hes got a garbage attitude and it shows most nights. He has overstayed his welcome here. Time to take out the trash!

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#77 Mark-LW
August 14 2013, 08:17AM
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Will wrote:

Do you mean the three seasons where he played a combined 138 games out of a possible 328 games and was a combined minus 3, with his only significant season of 69 games, he got 36 points and was a minus 16 while getting paid 5 million dollars a year? Oh, ya he was solid.

Yes. Citing a widely disregarded stat with no context is cool.

The team was -123 during that stretch. -3 doesn't seem so bad does it?

Playing the toughest competition also.

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#78 Mark-LW
August 14 2013, 08:32AM
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Mark-LW wrote:

Yes. Citing a widely disregarded stat with no context is cool.

The team was -123 during that stretch. -3 doesn't seem so bad does it?

Playing the toughest competition also.

Also:

In those 138 games he had 100 points. Yes he had shoulder issues, and that is a legitimate concern. But pointing to a broken foot and relating it to time missed from a completely unrelated health issue is a bit ridiculous.

The point is that Hemsky is a hell of a hockey player and he put up points against the best competition nightly.

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#79 Old School G
August 14 2013, 09:16AM
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Hemsky is an unbelievable talent, when he winds it up he's incredible to watch out there! He plays a soloist game that Canadians, myself included, don't fully understand. He's been good for our team for a lot of years, I feel that as he evolves into a more secondary source of scoring he could be a very useful weapon for us this season.

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#80 seanjohn
August 14 2013, 09:42AM
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socaldave wrote:

Hemsky's the poster child for a risk/reward player. He was stuck (yeah, stuck) on a team/in a system that didn't know how to (most likely just plain old COULDN'T) make the best use of him.

How anyone can say the Oilers are a better team without him than with is, at best, simply misinformed or, at worst, a Calgary fan.

depends what you trade him for. the fact that he can't be traded for an actual roster player says something doesn't it?

Hemsky was a victim of a weak team around him, no doubt. Management can be blamed for much of fans disappointment; like Horcoff, they felt the need to overhype him. He was never a franchise player, yet they spent years telling us he was, thus it appears he underachieve, when, in fact, he didn't. He is a top 6 six forward, ideally on the second line.

but, Hemmer can shoulder some the blame. his lack of commitment to improving beyond his 3rd season can be pointed to. he never developed a one-timer, he never worked with linemates to develop chemistry. never learned how to check. his game at 29 was the same as at 21.

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#81 Hammers
August 14 2013, 09:51AM
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Allways gave 100%+ . To bad some of the new kids didn't arrive 5-6 years ago . Hemsky was the only reason to watch the oil for years . Agree with your comments .

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#82 Will
August 14 2013, 10:39AM
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uks ya wrote:

is that u will?......"bud"

Ha! no but that would be funny. LIke someone in the background in my voice but just higher and lower pitched. "Ya we're with will", "What that girl said" ect ect.

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#83 Will
August 14 2013, 11:03AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

How do you survive every day with a brain that is so clearly broken? Its amazing how you can he presented with so much information and somehow you manage to miss it all

Wow, compelling argument you have there. I see you have a very clearly defined point with lots of statistical evidence to back it up, and a strong conclusion.

I'm not saying he hasn't meant a lot to the Oilers. All I'm saying is he's not as good of a player as everyone says he has the potential to be because he's never shown it.

Everyone uses these advanced stats to show how great he is. The only stat I care about is how many points he contributes to the team, and for many years now it hasn't been that many. Sure Maybe it's due to injury but so what. Oh that's not his fault, well I say it is. Since his career year in 2005-2006 when he had 77 points, his totals have declined steadily: 53, 71, 66, 22, 42, 36, 20. Most of those years he averaged at just under a ppg which is impressive is he managed to play an entire year. But the last two years he's averaging just above .5 ppg. That's Sam Gagner territory from two years ago. Does anyone talk about Gagner being elite? No people say show us the money Sam. Speaking of Gagner, since he came into the league in 2007-2008, guess who has more points? Gagner with 258 compared to Hemsky's 257. Sure he's played more games but I consider that a plus. No one, however talks about how much Gagner means to this organization. He has arguably been here through tougher times. No instead everyone says we should ship him out. His best year at 77 points didn't even put him in the top 20 in scoring.

I know I know, bad team, no one there to play with, no protection, and yet, those three good years of points the Oilers finished well ahead of where they've finished the last three. In that time Eberle managed to make top 15 in scoring, and Hall made top ten.

Look I feel like a dick harping on the guy on his birthday. And again I'm not saying he hasn't meant a lot to the Oilers and fans like myself. His highlight reel stuff is amazing. No one will ever forget tying it up with that big dallas flub on the empty net. But I cannot listen to any more people call a spade a diamond. We're not Leafs fans. We're Oiler fans, we live in Edmonton. We understand when something is not something greater. Again, not saying he's crap or bad, just saying not as good as he's always constantly made out to be. Especially at his contract price. If you disagree with that, well I don't know what advanced stat is going to replace actual contribution.

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#84 Will
August 14 2013, 11:05AM
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Mark-LW wrote:

Also:

In those 138 games he had 100 points. Yes he had shoulder issues, and that is a legitimate concern. But pointing to a broken foot and relating it to time missed from a completely unrelated health issue is a bit ridiculous.

The point is that Hemsky is a hell of a hockey player and he put up points against the best competition nightly.

I disagree. I think he is a good hockey player that put up points on nights he actually played. Just being realistic about my team. We're not Leafs fans.

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#85 EasyOil
August 14 2013, 01:20PM
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Will wrote:

Wow, compelling argument you have there. I see you have a very clearly defined point with lots of statistical evidence to back it up, and a strong conclusion.

I'm not saying he hasn't meant a lot to the Oilers. All I'm saying is he's not as good of a player as everyone says he has the potential to be because he's never shown it.

Everyone uses these advanced stats to show how great he is. The only stat I care about is how many points he contributes to the team, and for many years now it hasn't been that many. Sure Maybe it's due to injury but so what. Oh that's not his fault, well I say it is. Since his career year in 2005-2006 when he had 77 points, his totals have declined steadily: 53, 71, 66, 22, 42, 36, 20. Most of those years he averaged at just under a ppg which is impressive is he managed to play an entire year. But the last two years he's averaging just above .5 ppg. That's Sam Gagner territory from two years ago. Does anyone talk about Gagner being elite? No people say show us the money Sam. Speaking of Gagner, since he came into the league in 2007-2008, guess who has more points? Gagner with 258 compared to Hemsky's 257. Sure he's played more games but I consider that a plus. No one, however talks about how much Gagner means to this organization. He has arguably been here through tougher times. No instead everyone says we should ship him out. His best year at 77 points didn't even put him in the top 20 in scoring.

I know I know, bad team, no one there to play with, no protection, and yet, those three good years of points the Oilers finished well ahead of where they've finished the last three. In that time Eberle managed to make top 15 in scoring, and Hall made top ten.

Look I feel like a dick harping on the guy on his birthday. And again I'm not saying he hasn't meant a lot to the Oilers and fans like myself. His highlight reel stuff is amazing. No one will ever forget tying it up with that big dallas flub on the empty net. But I cannot listen to any more people call a spade a diamond. We're not Leafs fans. We're Oiler fans, we live in Edmonton. We understand when something is not something greater. Again, not saying he's crap or bad, just saying not as good as he's always constantly made out to be. Especially at his contract price. If you disagree with that, well I don't know what advanced stat is going to replace actual contribution.

http://flamesnation.ca/2011/11/16/statistics-are-dumb

Advanced stats ARE "actual contributions". All are obtained from actual events that happened in games. Dismissing them because you don't believe them to exist is just dumb.

And scoring at a 0.92 p/g pace between 2005 and 2011 - placing him 8th among right wingers in the league in that span with at least 300 games played - is pretty damn good. He's not been great the last couple of seasons points-wise, but he's not been terrible, and there have been legit reasons for it.

He ain't done yet.

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#86 Will
August 14 2013, 03:11PM
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EasyOil wrote:

http://flamesnation.ca/2011/11/16/statistics-are-dumb

Advanced stats ARE "actual contributions". All are obtained from actual events that happened in games. Dismissing them because you don't believe them to exist is just dumb.

And scoring at a 0.92 p/g pace between 2005 and 2011 - placing him 8th among right wingers in the league in that span with at least 300 games played - is pretty damn good. He's not been great the last couple of seasons points-wise, but he's not been terrible, and there have been legit reasons for it.

He ain't done yet.

Thank you that is a perfect example of a useless advanced stat. Lets analyze that for a second. Okay, so it starts of impressively strong. Hemsky during a 6 year period was 8th in the entire league in something. That is impressive. Oh, but wait, only 8th in the league amongst right wingers. So the means 8 other teams had someone better at ppg during that time period. But since it's only right wingers and not forwards as a whole, and there's two other positions. Suddenly it's possible Hemsky is anywhere from 8th in the league for forwards for this stat, all the way down to 24th in the league amongst forwards. But even still, top thirty at something during that time frame. That is impressive. Sure, it doesn;t take into account the last two seasons for some reason, which would give one a better overall picture of Hemsky's time as an Oiler since he was still an integral part of the team for the last two years, but what the hell, let'd forget about those years.

So Hemsky is now anywhere from 8th to 24th in the league for PPG during a six year time period. Solid, sure, elite, I'm not sure. And it was at least 300 games played. Hemsky by the way played 360 games out of a possible 492 in that period. Not too bad. But still, I don't think 331 points in 6 years is elite. Not to mention we are conveniently discounting the last two years. Elite is Ovechkin. In the same time period he scored 614 points. He did that in 465 games. So in 130 more games, Ovie got almost double the points. That is elite. Like I have been saying, Hemsky was good. He was a good Oiler, he did a lot, he has been good. But that's it. That is it. Advanced stats are important, they do exist, but against the stat that really matters, points, they will not make a good player great.

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#87 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
August 14 2013, 04:12PM
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Will wrote:

Thank you that is a perfect example of a useless advanced stat. Lets analyze that for a second. Okay, so it starts of impressively strong. Hemsky during a 6 year period was 8th in the entire league in something. That is impressive. Oh, but wait, only 8th in the league amongst right wingers. So the means 8 other teams had someone better at ppg during that time period. But since it's only right wingers and not forwards as a whole, and there's two other positions. Suddenly it's possible Hemsky is anywhere from 8th in the league for forwards for this stat, all the way down to 24th in the league amongst forwards. But even still, top thirty at something during that time frame. That is impressive. Sure, it doesn;t take into account the last two seasons for some reason, which would give one a better overall picture of Hemsky's time as an Oiler since he was still an integral part of the team for the last two years, but what the hell, let'd forget about those years.

So Hemsky is now anywhere from 8th to 24th in the league for PPG during a six year time period. Solid, sure, elite, I'm not sure. And it was at least 300 games played. Hemsky by the way played 360 games out of a possible 492 in that period. Not too bad. But still, I don't think 331 points in 6 years is elite. Not to mention we are conveniently discounting the last two years. Elite is Ovechkin. In the same time period he scored 614 points. He did that in 465 games. So in 130 more games, Ovie got almost double the points. That is elite. Like I have been saying, Hemsky was good. He was a good Oiler, he did a lot, he has been good. But that's it. That is it. Advanced stats are important, they do exist, but against the stat that really matters, points, they will not make a good player great.

how on earth is points the only stat that matters?

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#88 The_CWD_GarbageMan
August 14 2013, 04:27PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

You have to feel bad for the guy after watching all those EDM/CAL or EDM/VAN games where Ales had to get pounded by Regehr, Sarich, Double Dijion, etc. And when you play scared ... you get injured. He pleaded with management to protect him but since George left we have never had consistent answer (Stortini/Macintyre - were not short or long term solutions) and we have probably dressed the softest squad in the league.

Yes, Mike Brown/Ference/Gordon is a drastic improvement in toughness from past years, but you still have to think we are still the softest squad in the league ... Here comes the Ben Eager fans.

Hemsky is a good supporting cast member, not the franchise player management thought he was going to be.

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#89 RJ
August 14 2013, 04:46PM
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I've been looking at the comments re: Hemsky. There are two observations that need to be noted, IMO:

1) in a two year period from 2007-2009, Hemsky played close to every game and was close to 1.00 ppg player. Since that time, he has either not come close to 1.00 ppg, or played close to a full season.

2) Even though Hemsky was very publicly shopped around this off-season, and even though teams are now able to retain up to 50% of a player's salary (meaning Hemsky would only cost $2.5 m this season), there were no takers.

This leads to one conclusion to me; he was a very solid player at one time, but he is no longer that guy. Were he that guy still, someone would have taken a one year flyer on him for a half-price salary. Especially since they were reportedly only asking for a bottom six forward or a draft pick.

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