September 04 2013 06:14PM
Today's confirmation that Ales Hemsky is here for the forseeable future will be welcome news to some, a major disappointment to others. Hemksy's not a 'wide appeal' type, he's more jazz than top 40, more scotch than beer. That said, Hemsky's presence on the opening night roster will give the club more offense and a veteran to help against tough opposition.
HE'S NOT TOUGH! THE HELL YOU SAY!
Ales Hemsky is as tough as nails! The guy spent a decade spilling his blood on Rexall ice against the toughest hombre's NHL scouts could produce--among them the killer Robyn Regehr. He stood in and took his lumps and there's a mountain of "took a hit to make a play" evidence too. PLUS he blocks shots (injuries can attest) and has no fear with the puck.
HE CAN'T SCORE LATE! WRONG AGAIN!
Hemsky's been murder on opposition goaltenders and his moves are legendary. He's also scored some very famous goals (hello, DEEETROITTTTT!!!!!) and is probably in Patrik Stefan's dreams again tonight. He is not a perfect player, but the Hemmer can dance!
WHERE'S THE FACTS, MATH MAN!
The facts are Ales Hemsky has been a strong option for the Oilers for a long, long time. His offense isn't what it used to be, but then again he isn't playing with the best available linemates and he's miles from being done. He can help a team offensively, given the opportunity (note the PP number).
5×5 points per 60: 1.40 (6th among regular forwards)
5×4 points per 60: 5.87 (2nd among regular forwards)
Qual Comp: 4th toughest among regular forwards (second line opp)
Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards
Corsi Rel: -1.3 (6th best among regular forwards, -12.72 CorsiON)
Shots on goal/percentage: 82/10.98% (5th among F’s>70 shots)
Boxcars: 38, 9-11-20
Plus Minus: -6 on a team that was -15
Hemsky's Vollman Sledgehammer shows a guy playing tough opposition to a (mostly) standstill and (when healthy) helping to push the river on a subpar hockey club. This past season wasn't his best--his line didn't perform as they should have, and he was injured again (softie Hemsky inspired this quote: Ralph Krueger: “It’s gotten worse so it’s time for a break. He was showing a lot of courage. He was there for the team. Kudos to him for trying to play through it") but this is a terrific bet. Hemsky is 30, and he's a proud guy looking at a somewhat uncertain future.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
- MacT: "I feel like at the end of the year we could be in a situation where we’re doing another contract with Ales. But that will be determined over time.”
There's a mixture of pure joy and rage in the city tonight. I'm going to have a beer. And then I'm going to have another one. It's a good day if you're a Hemsky supporter.