The Hemsky Quote Everyone Is Talking About

Hemsky

If you’ve missed it, there’s a story in the Calgary Herald from yesterday where Ales Hemsky publicly complains about the way he has been handled.

Dan Barnes, for my money the best sports columnist in Edmonton, writes the piece and does his best to soften Hemsky’s complaints, but here’s the money quote:

“I’m just trying to do exactly what they want. I’m becoming a checker,” he said with obvious displeasure after Monday’s practice. “We’re just doing what we have to do to win games. I’m not complaining. It’s important to win the games. I just don’t feel as important as I did before when they were riding me. I don’t feel they use me as much as they did before. If they don’t give me the confidence or trust me, I will never be playing the way I was before, the way they want. I’m just saying I don’t care about points. I know I didn’t play my best hockey. I can be better and I know they will need me. But they have got to show me they need me. Ride me. It’s 10 games. I will feel important and I will get better every game.”

The responses have been about what you would expect. The vast majority of people seem to think that either a) Hemsky’s being a big baby, or b) Craig MacTavish just moved much, much closer to the chopping block.

Personally, I’m not convinced it’s that big of a deal. Do a quick Google search for “unhappy ice time” if you don’t believe me. There are pages and pages of players complaining about their ice-time — it happens.

At the same time this isn’t a complete non-story either. Hemsky’s a star player, and there’s an obvious disagreement between him and MacTavish over his exact role. Hemsky feels that he deserves more ice-time, and I’m not at all convinced he’s wrong, although he hasn’t really earned a heavy workload this last little while.

The bottom line though is that it isn’t all that uncommon for a hockey player — even one as notable as Hemsky — being unhappy with the ice-time that the coach is giving him. So don’t expect this quote to result in much more than a talk between the coach and the star, and perhaps a few extra shifts for Hemsky; that’s about all it warrants. And as for the notion that Hemsky’s being petulant or whiny – isn’t a star player who wants to play more a good thing? While Hemsky may not have handled things ideally, the root motive — a desire to play a bigger and better role — is only a positive for this team.

  • Hippy

    topshelf FMNF wrote:

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Those teams had league allstars and future hall of famers so to say they won because of their defensive systems is a little far fetched for me.

    Don't you think a team that doesn't have (alot) of allstars should be more worried about defense then a team that does?

  • Hippy

    I was just listening to the new Depeche Mode song on Sonic – it's called Wrong. I think they wrote it about this year's Oil:

    I was marching to the wrong drum
    With the wrong scum
    Pissing out the wrong energy
    Using all the wrong lines
    And the wrong signs
    With the wrong intensity
    I was on the wrong page of the wrong book
    With the wrong rendition of the wrong hook
    Made the wrong move, every wrong night
    With the wrong tune played till it sounded right yah
    Wrong
    Wrong
    Too long
    Wrong

    Hmmm…Wrong lines, wrong signs, wrong intensity. Sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it?

  • Hippy

    lego wrote:

    All those teams had a good mix of offense and defense, Minnesota tries to do it all with defense and it hasn’t worked so far.

    Did you ever watch the Devils during their heyday? Most boring team in hockey, hands down. Minnesota has Gaborik and Koivu; the Devils had Elias and Gomez.

    Very similar teams. Not surprising, I suppose, given that those are the two franchises Jacques Lemaire has coached for.

  • Hippy

    I dont take this as Hemsky complaining about ice time at all, this is Hemsky showing his frustration with Mac T. Hemsky is not a checker, Hemsky is a point producer, with high skill who will get you the goals when you need them. This is Hemsky saying in short that he wants the pressure, the responsibility and to be the out right leader on this team. He should be the captain, he is the face of the franchise and I'm just glad he wants to be the leader. Let Hemmer dangle and do what he does, dont turn him into a 3rd line guy because this team has enough of those. Fire Mac T before Hemsky gets pissed off and asks for a trade.

  • Hippy

    topshelf FMNF wrote:

    Why not try to win rather trying not to lose.

    Sorry, pet peeve of mine – since the shootout, what's the difference between "winning" and "not losing" Because as far as I can tell, winning=not losing.

    Or did you mean "why not try to win 4-3 instead of 2-1"?

  • Hippy

    Bob Cob wrote:

    Hemsky is not a checker, Hemsky is a point producer

    Out of curiosity, is Henrik Zetterberg a checker or point producer? Mikko Koivu? Ryan Kesler?

    Is it fair to say that they're both?

  • Hippy

    topshelf FMNF wrote:

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Hockey, to me anyway, is about players filling roles.
    Why isn’t Horcoff producing? He is expected to contribute offensively yet he struggles. Why do you, JW, think this is? (sorry to stray off topic)

    Oh, I like to see players filling roles. In a power-vs.-power alignment (currently the most common at the NHL level), the chief role of your top line players is to score more than their top line players.

  • Hippy

    topshelf FMNF wrote:

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Hockey, to me anyway, is about players filling roles.
    Why isn’t Horcoff producing? He is expected to contribute offensively yet he struggles. Why do you, JW, think this is? (sorry to stray off topic)

    My guess would be because it's hard to be the #1 checking centre and #1 offensive centre at the same time. Most teams split their top opposition/defensive zone faceoffs players, but because he's the only veteran centre on the team Horcoff does both.

    He's being overused, IMO. Plus of course, he's had nagging injuries all year.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Not every offensive player has to be a defensive dynamo.

    And as far as winning vs not losing, I know that you know that there is a difference in playing to win and playing not to lose.

  • Hippy

    topshelf FMNF wrote:

    Not every offensive player has to be a defensive dynamo.

    And that's fine. But every top-line player in the league has to help his team win, and the only way to do that is to score more goals than you allow. I don't care if it's done via firewagon hockey where you win 5-4 or via defensive hockey where you win 2-1; the point is that you need more goals than the opposition.

    To do that, unless you're a guy who cashes in all his chances (Kovalchuk… uhh, Kovalchuk) you need to play well in both ends of the rink.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    And he does for the most part does he not? People need to get over the TO's. If the puck is on your stick twice as much simple math says you will have twice as many turnovers. What were we arguing about again??

  • Hippy

    @ topshelf FMNF:

    I don't know. I'm a big fan of Hemsky because he does play a two-way game; I'm very happy with how MacTavish has developed him into a responsible player.

    In general, I think people don't give attention to playing a responsible game like Hemsky does.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Oh, I like to see players filling roles. In a power-vs.-power alignment (currently the most common at the NHL level), the chief role of your top line players is to score more than their top line players.

    Which is a lot easier when you're doing your damndest to keep the puck in the other teams end instead of worrying about the risk of the puck going the otherway.
    I'm not saying ignore the possibility of the puck going the other way, but to lessen the importance of it for the top 2 lines, that's why you have defensemen after all.

    The best defense…….

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    “I’m just trying to do exactly what they want. I’m becoming a checker,” he said with obvious displeasure after Monday’s practice. “We’re just doing what we have to do to win games. I’m not complaining. It’s important to win the games. I just don’t feel as important as I did before when they were riding me. I don’t feel they use me as much as they did before. If they don’t give me the confidence or trust me, I will never be playing the way I was before, the way they want. I’m just saying I don’t care about points. I know I didn’t play my best hockey. I can be better and I know they will need me. But they have got to show me they need me. Ride me. It’s 10 games. I will feel important and I will get better every game.”

    Willis, I'm curious how Jersey, Dallas and Detroit did in the Goals-For category compared to league average in the years they won cups?

  • Hippy

    Word wrote:

    Willis, I’m curious how Jersey, Dallas and Detroit did in the Goals-For category compared to league average in the years they won cups?

    I tossed in Anaheim as well:

    98-99: Dallas – 8th in GF, 1st in GA
    99-00: New Jersey – 2nd in GF, 7th in GA
    01-02: Detroit – 2nd in GF, 4th in GA
    02-03: New Jersey – 14th in GF, 1st in GA
    06-07: Anaheim – 9th in GF, 7th in GA
    07-08: Detroit – 3rd in GF, 1st in GA

  • Hippy

    It's time to put MacT out of his so called coaching misery.

    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF
    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF
    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF
    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF
    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF
    FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF FMNF

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    99-00: New Jersey – 2nd in GF, 7th in GA

    02-03: New Jersey – 14th in GF, 1st in GA

    looks like Fans of New Jersey were treated to some exciting hockey. But everyone keeps telling me they were boring to watch, ~just like how everyone in Edmonton hated the run of 2006 when we played the trap~

  • Hippy

    @ Archaeologuy:

    In 99-00 New Jersey had a high-octane offense, but the 2002-03 team scored fewer goals than any cup winner in the past decade.

    My memories are much clearer of the 2002-03 team.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    The Devils have been my Eastern team for a long time (i needed to develop one because the Oilers have been bad since i was 8), so I was happy to watch them win games. That Devils team in 02/03 only scored .25 less goals a game than the Oilers that season. Conversely, the Oil let in .78 more goals a game.

    My memories of that Cup were of me watching the games in Ecuador on an Archy dig. You try finding a hockey game in June in South America.

  • Hippy

    RY wrote:

    MacT wants Hemsky to be more like Datsyuk or Zetterberg. Maybe the problem is MacT needs to be more like Babcock

    Funny. Babcock returned to work at the start of the 06/07 season determined to be more like MacTavish. Babcock had been schooled…and both He and the Red Wings have been better ever since.