HEMMER!

Lowetide
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.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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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#1 Will
September 04 2013, 06:29PM
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It's just time for him to move on. Please, lets just end the Hemsky thing.

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#2 gcw_rocks
September 04 2013, 07:27PM
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The other fact about Hemsky is he hasn't had an injury free season for a while, and we have no reason to expect this season to be any different. Always nice to have $5M in cap space sitting in the press box eating popcorn.

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#3 Serious Gord
September 04 2013, 09:06PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Serious Gord: my opinion on Hemsky is here

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/old-83.html

Thank you for your response.

So you were never okay with having him traded. Yet no criticism of MacT for wanting to do so.

I'm sure such steadfast support would warm the cockles of hemskys heart.

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#4 Serious Gord
September 04 2013, 06:54PM
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So Lowetide, were you critical of MacT when announced his intention to trade hemsky (and Horcoff) away earlier this year?

If not, why not?

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#5 oilerjed
September 04 2013, 07:45PM
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That was a nasty hit! And secondly that video clip reminded me of how much I hated Raf Ferraro as our color guy! How the Oilers ever hired a guy that hates the oil as much as DSF to commentate over 50 games is beyond me??????? Who knows maybe DSF is Ferraro? That would make a lot of sense.

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#6 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
September 04 2013, 07:52PM
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Hey LT, I too am having a few pops tonight for the Hemmer. On my fourth or is it fifth...ah don't matter. Beer good.

I really don't understand fans who put on the hate towards their own players. I mean, I defended Horcoff when he was here but imma bash the crap out of him anytime I get a chance to now. He ain't no Oiler no more. As long as your part of the team, I'll cheer for you regardless. Except Kevin Lowe, that guy is a tool.

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#7 Yakman
September 04 2013, 06:29PM
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If you don't cheer for a career Oiler like Hemsky you aren't a real Oilers fan. That said I have been guilty of yelling "shoooooot!" at the TV during a PP with Hemsky on the ice...

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#8 @Oilanderp
September 04 2013, 08:27PM
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@oilerjed

Ray Ferraro is one of my favourite sports personalities of all time. That man opens his mouth and insight flows outward. Complete respect.

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/02/09/why-tsns-ray-ferraro-is-by-far-the-best-game-analyst-in-hockey/

P.S. Hemsky!

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#9 Craig1981
September 04 2013, 06:30PM
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Some fans drive me nuts. They cheered for him when he scored in Dallas after the missed empty net, cheered for him during the playoff run, cheered for him when he had almost a point a game in 08. Now after 2 sub-par years (still better than most NHLers) they want him gone. Don't understand it.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
September 04 2013, 08:29PM
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Every quality hockey team needs a Ned Braden.

Welcome back Hemmer.

pseudo quicksilver ballet

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#11 Kevrock
September 04 2013, 09:18PM
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Love it! Hemmer staying and the Vinny Jones gif...Seriously teams are gonna see a 3 line of Hemmer Omark and probably Lander, with a 4th of Smyth, Jones, and Gordon! The guy sounds pumped that he's still here. Mayyyyyyybe were going to see that 100 pt season yet! Oiler Magic is coming back! Sam's dad saw the beating to come and fled the sinking ship known as Vancouver))))))))

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#12 seanjohn667
September 05 2013, 06:47PM
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not the least bit thrilled he is staying. He is a good top 6 forward, but we don't need him. he is not a fit for this lineup and a different kind of forward, one that is nasty to play against but can play 15 minutes a night, and against most competition, would be much better. They are paying for Tambo's contract and hesistation. he wasn't worth 5mil per and he should have been moved when they had the chance.

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#13 D
September 04 2013, 06:26PM
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I'm really happy that Hemsky is staying. He's been through the tough times in Edmonton and it would be nice if he gets to see some good times.

Also LT, my condolences on Scarlett: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20731376,00.html

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#14 westcoastoil
September 04 2013, 06:45PM
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Thrilled he is staying - experienced offensive depth...I feel dizzy

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#15 vetinari
September 04 2013, 07:01PM
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If Hemsky was from Red Deer, no one would call him soft. If anything, I suspect that it's hard to turn up to the rink night after night when your team has been practically mathematically eliminated from playoff contention by new year's...

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#16 vetinari
September 04 2013, 07:01PM
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Yeah! What the guy above me said!

(Sorry, accidental iPhone double post)

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#17 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 04 2013, 07:40PM
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I predict over the course of the season Hemsky will see more top 6 minutes than bottom 6 minutes due to inevitable injuries to the kids. And that's why I'm glad he's staying. Ideally I'd like to see him help push the 3rd line stats but his greatest value is when someone upfront goes down we won't be forced to watch Smyth move up the lineup.

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#18 YFC Prez
September 04 2013, 07:45PM
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Gagner extended and a possible captain.

Hemmer is staying with already hints from Mac T about an extention.

All we need now is to see just how good Dubnyk is with a much improved blue line in front of him, my guess DAMN GOOD!

Gonna be a good season for the whipping boys

P.S The Props /Trash buttons are awesome for gauging where the majority opinion is on the issues such as retaining Hemmer.

I always though I was one of the few that still saw Ales as a valuable contributor, apparently not!

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#20 VK63
September 04 2013, 06:49PM
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Part of Hemmers brilliance is that he has the balls to try the spectacular. It can be a very low percentage play and rarely successful but he has the self belief to give it a go. On this team of impressionable lads who we hope shall develop into game breakers a guy with the conviction to believe enough in his own skill set to attempt the miraculous can be beneficial on both the positive and negative side of a teaching exercise.

Lets face it... this cast of kids is not gonna give you a Kings/Devils kind of game and Hemmer is basically the antithesis of that style of hockey. I am often amazed at the skill set hemmer has and frankly puzzled that he hasn't put it all together and had that break out year that seems so enticingly close.

The kid has payed a large price in this league for his poorly rewarded efforts. In a just world.... that scale should balance at some point.

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#22 nathan
September 04 2013, 07:09PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

So Lowetide, were you critical of MacT when announced his intention to trade hemsky (and Horcoff) away earlier this year?

If not, why not?

Lowetide came down firmly for a trade if necessary, but not necessarily a trade: "personally I think the main issue is that the Oilers need NHL players. Horcoff and Hemsky are two of them. Sending them out? Fine. That adds to the list of players coming in"

Like Mac-T mark down Lowetide as having a "greater appreciation of [Hemsky] and his skill set than most people had that I talked to"

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#23 suckittrebeck
September 04 2013, 08:53PM
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what I am worried about is that he makes 5 million a season. obviously this will lower in his next negotiations but still he will likely ask for more then the oil can give up to him since yaks, nuge and Schultz will be getting big pay raises. Lets hope he plays great and fills a hole till a prospect plays his way on to the third line!!!

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#24 Dog Train
September 04 2013, 09:25PM
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If Hemsky could have been traded in a deal that made this team better, than Mactavish would have pulled the trigger. Having skilled, NHL players outside of the top 6 is not a bad thing. I could have dealt with him being moved if it made us better but I am glad that we didn't simply give him away.

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#25 RexLibris
September 04 2013, 10:30PM
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If we were to put the Oilers' forward roster in front of us like chess pieces, then match them against the defensive lines of most NHL teams in the same manner, we could see that Hemsky on the 3rd line would mean going against the 2nd and 3rd pairing defensive rotation of most opponents.

Three years ago most Oiler fans would have only dreamt of that kind of depth.

Hemsky isn't today what he was five or six years ago, nor does he need to be.

I'm not sure what, if any, chemistry he'll be able to create with his linemates, but I do know that most of his value to us fans has been more or less as a scoring soloist, pushing defensemen back with speed. The prospect of doing that against other teams' third pairings piques my interest in this coming season.

One of the benefits of keeping Hemsky around now that the worst of the rebuild is over is that we no longer need him to score the 82 pts that always seemed so elusive. He just needs to be that one extra man that the opposition isn't deep enough to cover.

This team's top nine is developing into something better than I could have hoped for four years ago.

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#26 Rama Lama
September 05 2013, 10:27AM
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VK63 wrote:

Part of Hemmers brilliance is that he has the balls to try the spectacular. It can be a very low percentage play and rarely successful but he has the self belief to give it a go. On this team of impressionable lads who we hope shall develop into game breakers a guy with the conviction to believe enough in his own skill set to attempt the miraculous can be beneficial on both the positive and negative side of a teaching exercise.

Lets face it... this cast of kids is not gonna give you a Kings/Devils kind of game and Hemmer is basically the antithesis of that style of hockey. I am often amazed at the skill set hemmer has and frankly puzzled that he hasn't put it all together and had that break out year that seems so enticingly close.

The kid has payed a large price in this league for his poorly rewarded efforts. In a just world.... that scale should balance at some point.

Well he has had over ten years to figure this NHL game out.........it's very simple, it's a team game. Hemsky plays the game as if he has no team mates and only passes the puck after he totally runs out of options.

This is a very exciting player to watch go end to end and score one out of a hundred attempts........his sole goal seems to be trying to make every highlight reel.

If he ever figures out how to play with other players, I would keep him.

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#27 Rocket
September 04 2013, 06:35PM
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I'm really interested how Eakins is going to use Hemsky this season. Where does he play? Second line? Third line? Which centre will he play with?

His linemates will have a big impact on his numbers IMO

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#28 Dave
September 04 2013, 06:43PM
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Something tells me if anybody thinks there going to get a free pass playing on the right side, there going to be filling out a hurt feelings report. Three decent offensive right wingers, Eakins will hold people accountable. Go hard or go to the end the bench!

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#29 Eddie Shore
September 04 2013, 07:15PM
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"At no point was there ever a point where I thought Ales Hemsky couldn't fit into our hockey team. I mean you need good players." This quote sums it up. Replacing Ales with a ___ round draft pick does not make the Oilers better today. Keeping him means more internal competition and provides options for Eakins. Depth is a beautiful thing, albeit new in these parts.

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#30 CaptainLander
September 04 2013, 10:02PM
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MacT pointed out that a lot of the speculation and criticism will vanish as soon as the team starts winning. How can you not respect this down to earth perception. Easier said then done of course as every other team is doing the same thing. But pretty cut and dry. Just win some games, stop the planning and talk. Go, play, win. I believe this team can do that....within reason.

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#31 The Heist
September 04 2013, 11:09PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Has anyone analyzed how Eakins played his lines for the Toronto Marlies while there?

I have heard a few comments that he doesn't tend to keep set lines and that he plays multiple different systems. I hear he has the players playing with multiple different people throughout the game and keeps the other team on their toes.

This type of analysis may tell us more about what to expect with how Ales Hemsky will be used this season.

I heard (and my source is credible) that when he was on the marlies, eakins used what was called a "newagesys."

I feel with all the additions to the team and new captaincy (gagner please) I think hemsky may be able to trick himself into believing it really is a fresh start. Trick or not, I'm very happy with this decision, at best a trade now would've yielded a 3rd or 4th rounder? No thanks. Cheerin for you ales! Just get it across the blue before you toe drag.

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#32 Greg Steinke
September 04 2013, 10:52PM
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Has anyone analyzed how Eakins played his lines for the Toronto Marlies while there?

I have heard a few comments that he doesn't tend to keep set lines and that he plays multiple different systems. I hear he has the players playing with multiple different people throughout the game and keeps the other team on their toes.

This type of analysis may tell us more about what to expect with how Ales Hemsky will be used this season.

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#33 Devolution
September 05 2013, 04:14AM
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Lowetide wrote:

It's okay. One's my limit and I lucked out with Mrs. Lowetide so it's all good. :-)

Mr. Johansson looks like kind of a douche.

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#34 Bubba
September 05 2013, 08:59AM
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Hemske's talent is there. I've questioned hie work ethic sometimes i.e. first one to leave practice- but I am betting Dallas's fitness demands will bring Hemmer to a new level and we will have a resurgence this year... as long as he doesn't get broken

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#35 Dangilitis
September 05 2013, 09:47AM
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I can watch the clip of that goal all day long

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#36 **
September 05 2013, 10:48AM
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Why did you post a jar of vaseline?, are you trying to tell us something here?

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#37 socaldave
September 05 2013, 11:10AM
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Super stoked Hemsky looks to be part of the team moving forward. He's not old by any stretch, and with intelligent utilisation by the coaching staff, I see Hemmer picking up 60pts this year. Easy.

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#38 2004Z06
September 05 2013, 11:54AM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Well he has had over ten years to figure this NHL game out.........it's very simple, it's a team game. Hemsky plays the game as if he has no team mates and only passes the puck after he totally runs out of options.

This is a very exciting player to watch go end to end and score one out of a hundred attempts........his sole goal seems to be trying to make every highlight reel.

If he ever figures out how to play with other players, I would keep him.

Hmmmmm. Maybe it's because for the first 7 years he had no team mates! Hemsky had to be a one man show for a very long time. Might be a hard habit to break?

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#39 Oilerz4life
September 05 2013, 01:49PM
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Even when the press and everyone is riding Hemsky (tradebait, injury prone, etc.), he still stops to sign autographs.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
September 06 2013, 03:45AM
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Dangilitis wrote:

I can watch the clip of that goal all day long

We rarely get to see him enjoy himself like that anymore. Doesn't appear as though he's having much fun in recent years.

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#41 NBOilerFaN
September 06 2013, 05:55AM
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This is awesome news!!

... Hemmer is the one player that has kept me interested in this team over the past 5-8 years and I bought a Hemsky jersey 4-yrs ago becauise of it.

Hemsky is still one of the best assets this team has IMO and much better then giving him away for nothing. He can fit into multiple lines and roles along with PP.

Yah!

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