HERE IT IS OFFICIALLY, as per Oilers release: OILERS HEMSKY TO HAVE SURGERY General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today right winger Ales Hemsky will undergo surgery to repair his left shoulder. Hemsky, 26, has played in 22 games this season recording seven goals and 15 assists. The Pardubice,Czech native has played his entire career with the Oilers skating in 443 games, tallying 353 points, including his 100th career goal on November 23 vs. the Phoenix Coyotes.
UPDATE FROM ROBIN B (12:42 MST): Given Quinn’s reaction to the question about surgery being needed for Hemsky, we can only wait and see on this one. I’m trying to provide ON readers with the most up-to-date stuff here and I felt based on what I was told and who told me it was worth posting. The rumour spread pretty quickly among reporters this morning and I don’t know if other outlets posted items, but they were certainly all over it when word got out. All I can tell you is my info didn’t come from that "Did you hear about Hemsky?" buzz among reporters. All I can say at this point is I’m still inclined to believe what I was told — I don’t see why Hemsky would meet with doctors today to discuss the MRI if the opinion was "it’ll be fine with 10 days rest." If the team provides an update, you’ll get it here.
FURTHER UPDATE (11:26 MST): The Oilers have not confirmed the need for Hemsky to have surgery. At his availability with media after the morning skate, Coach Pat Quinn said Hemsky is meeting with doctors today to discuss the results of Thursday’s MRI. When asked about the possibility of surgery for Hemsky, Quinn said, "I’m not aware of anything like that." Stay tuned for more details over the day.
UPDATE FROM BROWNLEE (10:30 MST): I’m hearing that Ales Hemsky will need surgery and is likely done for the rest of the season. No official word from the Oilers yet. Will update later.
Fans can boo Dany Heatley until their vocal chords are raw and they spew $8 beers Friday, but chances are he’s going to get the last laugh when the San Jose Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.>
The fact is, Heatley, who flipped off the Oilers last summer when he refused to waive a no-movement clause that would have brought him to Edmonton from the Ottawa Senators for Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Ladislav Smid, is already laughing out loud at our expense because he got what he wanted — and that wasn’t the City of Champions.
Heatley’s playing for a better team than the Oilers in the Western Conference leading Sharks. He’s drawing his $8-million salary in the Silicon Valley, away from the fanatical fishbowl-like existence that is Edmonton. And, just to rub it in, he’s among NHL leaders with 18 goals and 29 points.
I’m relatively certain, then, Heatley will manage to stay composed when an angry Oilers faithful gets after him before, during and after the Sharks take out their frustrations on the Oilers after losing 7-2 to Chicago Wednesday.
"Heatley sucks. Heatley sucks." Yes, that’ll shake him up.
Just another game
I’m guessing Heatley will spin Friday as just another game when reporters ask about his first visit to Edmonton since he queered the deal and made Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini beg last summer.
The Oilers, still stinging from Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, certainly did so this morning when asked about Heatley. What else are they going to say? "Screw you, Heater. You could have been a part of this . . ."
"It’s one of those things that got made up bigger than it probably should have," coach Pat Quinn said.
"It was an attempt to bring Heatley to this hockey club. It didn’t happen. You move on. It should be gone. It doesn’t matter. He’s a good player. He’s a good kid, but he plays for someone else. We don’t care about that."
With the Oilers slipping out of playoff contention with four wins and a 4-10-2 record in their last 16 games, Quinn’s take is the pragmatic approach. He’s certainly got bigger problems.
Fans, though, will want their pound of flesh, even if trying to collect it will come on a night when Heatley and the Sharks are likely to put the wood to the Oilers after getting embarrassed by Chicago. If Matt Greene can stick it to his former team, I shudder to think what Heatley might do.
Good luck with that.
When reporters asked Quinn this morning why so many players were missing for a workout at Millennium Place, he said he wanted to rest players who’d been playing a lot of minutes during a stretch that’ll see the Oilers play four games in six nights.
Sorry coach, not buying that reasoning, not with the Oilers having days off between their last three games and with two days off before they play six straight games on the road.
Every able-bodied player should have been on the ice today. No problem with Ales Hemsky, injured on a dirty hit by Michal Handzus, not being there. That goes without saying. For that matter, the same goes for Shawn Horcoff, who has been playing with a bad shoulder.
But what good reason, unless there are injuries we haven’t been told about, is there for captain Ethan Moreau, Steve Staios, Sheldon Souray and Dustin Penner not to be on the ice with the kids and the grunts today after stiffing against the Kings? Lubomir Visnovsky, who plays eight minutes more a night than the captain, practised, but not Moreau? Not Penner?
And . . .
— Manny Malhotra, signed by the Sharks for a bargain basement $700,000 after pricing himself out of the UFA market early in the summer, is winning face-offs at a 60.8 per cent clip in San Jose. He’s scored 4-4-8. Think the Oilers could have got him for less than the $1.25 million they offered Mike Comrie?
— Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot and Ryan Stone all skated today. Nilsson put in extra work and was one of the last players off the ice. Can’t see him being ready for San Jose, not with Ryan O’Marra and Colin McDonald summoned from Springfield.
— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.
General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today right winger Ales Hemsky will undergo surgery to repair his left shoulder. Hemsky, 26, has played in 22 games this season recording seven goals and 15 assists. The Pardubice,Czech native has played his entire career with the Oilers skating in 443 games, tallying 353 points, including his 100th career goal on November 23 vs. the Phoenix Coyotes.