HEMSKY OUT A MONTH

Tom Renney announced that Ales Hemsky could be out up to a month with a groin problem, and he will meet with Steve Tambellini to discuss if they will call up a player, or if they will go with the current roster.

Linus Omark and Liam Reddox would seem like the most likely call ups, and when I spoke briefly with Steve Tambellini he said they will look at it closer and decide this week. 

The main reason why they won’t call up someone right now is because of Ryan Jones.

Renney wanted to reward Jones for his solid, if not quietly stellar, play this year. Jones scored his 6th goal of the season Saturday, and sits 6th in goals on the Oilers behind, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff. Jones is producing with limited icetime compared to those five.

Jones is averaging 10:01 of icetime a game, while those five range between 17:31 (Hall)  to 19:28 (Horcoff). In fact, Jones is averaging four fewer minutes of icetime than every forward except Colin Fraser, JF Jacques, Zack Stortini and Steve MacIntyre.

UNDER APPRECIATED OR OVERACHIEVING?

Jones hasn’t been an NHL regular long enough to know if this is just an hot streak, or if he has the potential to be an 18-20 goal man despite limited minutes. When you look at his SH%, 19.4, you’d think that he probably won’t maintain this pace. However, Jones doesn’t waste a lot of shots. He doesn’t take a lot of shots from the outside, and most of his goals come from within six feet of the goal.

Jones gets his nose dirty and his early season success illustrates that if you aren’t a highly-skilled player, going to net is the best way to score.

Jones is currently tied for 11th in SH% with Brandon Dubinsky. Andreas Nodl leads the league at 22.6%, with seven goals on 31 shots. Jones has six on 31 shots. Jones has some pretty good company in the top ten with Sidney Crosby sitting 7th at 20.7, Steven Stamkos 6th at 21, Daniel Sedin 8th at 20.6 and Claude Giroux 5th at 21.3%.

Jones has earned his promotion into the top nine, and he does add more grit and crust into the top nine, and if Jones can keep producing the Oilers might wait a few days to recall someone. My gut, however, tells me that the Oilers will be putting out the SOS to OKC before the weekend.

Omark has 13 goals, 26 points and his +6 in 25 games, while Reddox has 13 goals, 23 points and is +11 in the same amount of games. Omark is clearly more gifted, but Reddox has just as many goals, so I don’t think Omark is the obvious choice, although probably the guy who gets the call.

One question the Oilers have to be thinking about is, do you want to play Sam Gagner with two rookies, Magnus Paajarvi and Omark?

And there is no major rush to call up a player, because the Oilers have won four in a row, and I doubt they change their top-three lines during this streak, especially because Jones has earned his spot in the top nine.

DANCE TEAM DEBUT

The Oilers dance team was going to make their debut tomorrow night v. Anaheim, but the delivery of their outfits has been delayed so they will make their debut this Friday when Stamkos and the Lightning come to town. Stamkos will be the most exciting opposing player Oiler fans get to see this year, because Crosby and Alex Ovechkin won’t be here this year, and now that you throw in the dance team, Friday night’s game will be one of the hotter tickets this season.

 

  • Dan the Man

    Ironic how the 2 players (Jones and Peckham) that most people felt didn’t deserve to make the team based on pre-season are two of the biggest surprises.

    Just one more reason why roster decisions shouldn’t be made solely on pre-season performance.

  • Hey I know for a fact the Kings need Hemsky to play with Kopitar, just sayin. That would get us Jack Johnson plus another stud D-man prospect at least if not more. Dont get me wrong I dig Hemmer and he’s a beauty to watch but these injuries are getting to be too much.

    • D-Man

      I think you’re overrating Hemsky a bit… You might get that deal straight across (I don’t think the Kings would add another prospect)… However, if the Kings were interested in Penner and say a prospect like Omark or maybe a Cogliano??? Not saying I’d want to deal Omark – but Jack Johnson would definitely shore up our top 4 defense…

  • Could it be that in Jones we have re-found our long lost Glencross? Or even better? Guy who chips in 15 goals, is gritty and agitates? Bingo! Lets keep him this time for 1.4M a season, don’t make the same mistake twice.

    Extra hard practices are counterproductive when you lose your star to injury.

    • To your last comment, are you saying we should allow our “Star” players a pass on the extra hard practices? Maybe we shouldn’t have them at all?
      Team game my friend! The team sucks in a game they all skate, no passes! This team is finally getting the guidance they need and people are crying about injuries from a practise. jeez!
      At the end of the day Hemsky is a very skilled player but does he truly make the others around him better? Injuries are an issue with him because he will play the tough areas of the ice. The Oilers should really try to maximize moving him at the deadline.

  • Spydyr

    When you lose a skill player you should call up a skill player. It has to be Omark getting the call up.If he doesn’t , what will it take for him to get the call this year.Remember Omark has an out to return to the KHL next year.Overlook him now and he could be gone next year,with not a thing in return. The evaluator must call Omark up.

  • D-Man

    Gregor: you give Omark the shot over 28 because 28’s likely catching lightning in a bottle while Omark may really Be lightning.

    To all: I’m not tossing around the idea of dealing 83 as a light matter because I’ve loved watching him play forever. So, I’m not sure how old some of you guys are but I was living and dying with this club back in the ’03 season when he shook off the training wheels and found some real chem with Smyth and Marchant start feeding these sweet cross-ice passes to old 94 for tap-in’s.

    I’m just saying that IF he has another season like last year where you can’t depend on him for GP then do you really want to ink him longterm? And that decision will come quickly because I don’t think anyone wants to hang on to him if you can’t sign him before this summer, right? You don’t want him going into the last year of his old contract unless a new one’s already been inked.

    Now, perhaps he likes the look of the corps and he gives a bit of a discount but if he doesn’t and he misses a bit portion of this season then you gotta start thinking about his future.

    Hopefully this isn’t too big of a setback and he gets back a little quicker and puts up say 60 odd games and then it isn’t such a big concern.

    • Jason Gregor

      How can anyone say with certainty that Jones is catching lightning in a bottle?

      He hadn’t played 100 NHL games up until this season. Maybe he is maturing and rounding into his game. He won’t be a top-six guy ever, but this team needs some grit in their top-nine, and maybe he is that guy. I’m not opposed to seeing it for a few games.

      Also would having Sam Gagner play with two rookies wingers be the best plan?

      It is clear this team needs to develop more than just scoring forwards…allowing Jones to develop as good 3rd liner and PKer is a necessity for this team moving forward as well.

      • No, I can’t say for certainty that he’s catching that lightning but I would bet that he is given the underlying numbers and he doesn’t have the pedigree of an Omark.

        I’m all for having grinders and guys that can PK – and I believe I may have mentioned that to you before;) – and 28 can do that stuff on the 4th line as well as the the 3rd.

        Note: it would be just as well though to go and find cheap vets to grind and PK as well as it would be to develop them, though. Find guys like Fiddler and Nichol who you already Know can handle those roles.

    • Jamie B.

      Yes, because THAT’S who I think of when I watch Jones, Tomas Holmstrom.

      Haha I get what you’re saying, sir, I just had to laugh a little at that. Holmstrom’s shooting percentage is that high because all his shots are taken standing less than a foot away from the net.

  • for TH
    Jones the “long lost” Glencross ? spot on… …hadn’t thought of Jones like that ’til you said it…nice call.I’m one of those Glencross fans not knowing why or how he got away.

    gregor might/should know

    ‘spose with Jones[now] we don’t care that much do we…Jones does shine more [now] and i think it’s his Reddox-like work ethic that shows him in best light…but does he have the punisher in him like Glencross?

    can jones be Glencross mean? is it the only thing that would make jones better?

    why do I still want Glencross back?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    So, how do we get that 1st line center that we need..i know.. injuries. lots of injuries..
    ok so maybe last yr wont happen again.
    How do we get him then?? Via trade? prolly not without winng some games first.
    I ask all of you.. Where do we get him?!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I was debating whether to give props to Holmstrom before mentioning him and Jones in the same comment… damn nation, nothing gets past you guys!

    But for the record, even though it says Team Couturier, I’m also on Team Omark, Team Jones-should-be-on-the-4th-line, and Team Holy-crap-I-didn’t-realize-we’re-9-points-up-on-those-losers-from-long-island!

    Put the most exciting and least defensively-responsible forward (obvious choice here) with 91 and 89 and let’s get on with some losing already!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    The Oilers need to stay a step ahead. Waiting until the team crumbles isn’t the time to decide to call someone up. The Oilers are on a bit of a hot streak, however it’s been against weaker teams – teams who don’t have a legitimate star.

    I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time that this line up will flutter, and only then the Oilers will finally clue in that an Omark over a Macintyre would have been the better option.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    This would decided it IMO. Hemsky has been one of, if not my favorite player over the last 5-6 years, but theirs just too much risk to commit long term now.

    Unless he’s willing to keep his contracts 2 years or less, we need to trade him while he has value.

  • It takes 2 to tango and Omark was not forced to sign with the Oilers and he did agree to the 2-way deal, essentially not guaranteeing him a roster spot.

    That said, if they don’t call him up now when he leads the baby team in scoring (+6 also), producing what the org. wants him to, then what set of circumstances need to exist for his callup??

    Rewarding Ryan Jones, a much needed physical presence in top 9 who may score in the NHL, although a very good idea, should play 2nd fiddle to start determining Omark’s future.

    Find out what you got in this player, he isn’t 19 or 20, don”t f&^%$#k around because he won’t be in Oklahoma next year to give him a shot.

    If his remarks on the way out of town in camp are rubbing decision-makers the wrong way, suck it up, let him have time in the NHL and then trade him alone or in a package if you decide his he has a less than desired attitude.

    Rant done.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Call up Omark. The Oilers only have one year to decide whether to offer him a one way contract next year. If they don’t call him up now when they have a glaring need for an offensive player they might as well trade him for a fifth round pick or send him back to Russia or something because there will never be a better time for him.

    If you want to reward Jones and keep him on the Gagner line, fine. Play Omark with Penner and one of Cogliano/Brule and put the other on the fourth line.

    As a fan new to the city and hence the Oilers this is a litmus test for me. If they don’t call up Omark it is a giant red flag that these guys don’t know how to manage assets. Omark is of unknown, but depreciating, value. Every day he spends in the AHL he loses value to the Oilers. Even if he isn’t part of their long term plans he has to play in the NHL to have value to other teams.

    • Maybe they know how to manage the assets, and that’s the reason that they don’t bring up Omark…

      Maybe they don’t want this squad building up too many points right now and are stacking the deck against them. There is a lot of other evidence to support this theory. That may be the only explaination for some of ST’s moves (or non-moves).

  • Its not like 91 and 23 are your standard “rookies”.

    91 is already more defensively responsible than 13 and 67, and 23 has more pro games than 89.

    Its not like the kid line from 06/07.

    There’s every chance that 23 is better than 13 and 67 right now. You have to give him the chance to show what he can do at the NHL level this year, so its perfect timing.

    If he gets cut from training camp next year, he’s gone.

  • positivebrontefan

    @ Menacer

    That is ridiculous theory. First, it is a horrible idea. No one is that stupid. Second, it would be absurdly complicated such that anyone smart enough to pull it off could never be stupid enough to think it was a good idea.

    My theory is that they are neither particularly intelligent nor particularly stupid. They are just ordinary people trying to do their job.

    In this case the ordinary people who are NHL regulars do their job by typecasting players. Because they think of players as types and not
    individuals they are unable to properly recognize those talents that don’t fit their roles neatly. In this case it means they don’t think Omark is a particularly valuable asset and hence there isn’t anything there to depreciate.

    Why else would hockey people continue the fiction that there is such a thing as top six forwards and energy lines? These are meaningless terms that have been made up to cover over their descriptive inadequacies. It would be much more useful to describe players as effective/ineffective. They don’t do this because that would raise the question of having to identify effective players.

    • I don’t know if that is what they are doing, but the idea is neither absurd nor complicated. If you can’t at least see the possibility, then you’re not looking at the big picture.

      The players will want to win as many games as they can, but that doesn’t mean that management’s goal is the same. ST has ownership’s buy-in for a rebuild. The best possible outcome this year to achieve that is another lottery pick – how would you achieve that with knowing that the players will try and win the games? You stack the deck against your team so that the odds are against you out of the gate.

      There has been blog after blog over the last year questioning ST’s moves and wondering where the logic is behind his personnel moves or why certain (obvious) holes have not been addressed. If his moves were not consistant with the mandate from management, why would they let him continue to make them?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    There is a world of difference between not signing veterans in a misguided attempt to finish 10th in the conference and running good players out of town in a misguided attempt to get a lottery pick.

    So sure, the Oilers aren’t trying to make the playoffs but that isn’t the same thing as intentionally losing. The conspiracy theory is nonsense and obvious nonsense to anyone who can see the big picture because losing on purpose in order to gain a lottery pick isn’t going to serve the big picture.

    It doesn’t make any sense. Either Omark is good, in which case playing him is an essential part of the next winning team; or he isn’t good in which case playing him is an essential part of getting a lottery pick. Thus, by the lose on purpose logic playing Omark is a good idea either way you look at it.

    If Omark isn’t called up it is evidence that they don’t think he is important. That isn’t evidence of Machiavellian deviousness. It is more in keeping with the banality of evil.

    So I’ll say it again the Machiavellian plan is a bad plan that would require good execution and there isn’t anyone out there that is smart enough to execute it but dumb enough to think it is a good plan.

  • positivebrontefan

    DANCE TEAM DEBUT

    The Oilers dance team was going to make their debut tomorrow night v. Anaheim, but the delivery of their outfits has been delayed.

    I don’t see the problem.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Quicksilver ballet’s comments are a little too perfectly ridiculous, if you know what I mean. It’s like he’s studied crazy oiler fans and is doing a spot on impression of all of them, somehow. Hiss irrationality is textbook to the point of suspicion. That, combined with his fantastic avatar has me wondering if his every post is a brilliantly satirical piece of performance art, and he has played his role so consistently that everyone has been sucked in?
    That he could pull this off for so long without anyone noticing is a stunning indictment what real oiler fans sometimes talk like. That those same oiler fans are some of the most knowledgeable in the league is a staggering criticism of fans across the continent, and since those fans are average people everywhere it becomes a bold critique of democracy. (These people can vote?)
    *Stands like the critic at the end of Dirty Work*
    Bravo, sir! Bravo!

    If that’s not the case: I’m just joshin ya. No offence meant.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Also, could we please stop talking about Gagner like he’s a vet? He is one year older than Eberle; stop penalizing him for making the team early.

  • Many of you think tanking on purpose is the way to go but magic can be found elsewhere in the draft than #1. There may be a trade or two at the deadline but we took Eberle at 22 Messier late What 3rd round etc etc I want to see if Stu MacGregor’s Draft last year was an aberration or a sign of things to come. If he has a sixth sense when it comes to judging hockey talent we could find him to be the most valuable “player” the Oilers have. I know 2009 draft was not that great but the man needed some time to get his ducks in a row in his new job. He only needs to find a Pavel Datsyuk at 171st overall and a few others.

    We now have a legit farm team and it looks like the ownership is willing to spend the coin to keep it that way. In other words potential draft picks wont rot on the vine like some have in the past. (JDD really comes to mind here could he have been a legit top goalie in a better system?)

    All in all I really like were we are heading there are some rough edges but if this trend continues Stanley could soon be our friend again!

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    We should call up Omark and then let Jones leave at season end and complain that we let Glencross 2.0 go without giving him a chance.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Gregor what is up on waivers with Omark and Reddox. I missed the end of your show and I can’t see how that guy was right about Omark as Omark wasn’t signed by the Oilers last year.

    If a player cleared waivers and is subsequently recalled during the same year, he does not have to clear waivers again unless he has either played 10 or more NHL games or has spent 30 or more days on an NHL roster since last clearing. Otherwise, he will have to re-clear waivers to be assigned.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/10/1/1724582/re-entry-waivers

    Wouldn’t the above pretty much mean Reddox only goes on waivers if he plays more than 10 games? As for Omark I can’t see anything that suggests he would have to go on waivers. The bottom kinda voids that whole european clause that the caller was talking about.

    For Players age 20 or older, Professional Games include NHL Games, all
    minor league regular season and playoff games and any other professional games,
    including but not limited to, play in European leagues when Player is on Loan to such
    club, and while Player is party to an SPC.