Put your money where your mouth is
Then we can get something going
In order to win you must be prepared to lose sometime
And leave one or two cards showing
Seen some hard times
Drawn some bad lines
No time for shoeshines
Hard Nose the Highway
The news today (Hemsky out for a month) is not welcome. Ales Hemsky’s (increasing) list of injuries have all kinds of impact on the Oilers and their future: should you sign a brittle player to another long term deal? How much does this impact his trade value? Will it force him to change his style of play?
First things first.
In the interview that got him sent to Chocolate land, Sheldon Souray said the following:
- "I wasn’t even ready to play when I came here, but it was like, ‘We signed you, you go out and play.’ I hadn’t been cleared to play yet, but I was being questioned by the organization: ‘When are you going to be able to play?’ I go out, play six games, and I get hurt."
Have the Oilers changed their ways? Hemsky played on the road trip, but then didn’t play against the Leafs. He was also scratched against St. Louis. Coach Renney in Toronto:
- "At this point in time, I would say Ales is doubtful. We’ve got to protect our athletes, it’s a long season, there’s a lot of work to do, I’ll be prudent with him.”
That sounds better than the old timey "Hey Mike Grier, just throw that shoulder back in would you? There’s a penalty to kill" days of the early 00’s. It would appear as though the organization is learning from past errors and that is good news.
Oilers have a couple of choices in terms of recall. Linus Omark and Liam Reddox are having fine seasons, and offer a nice variety of skills. If Ryan Jones can score enough goals to play on the Gagner line, perhaps Reddox can help the PK and add energy and speed to the 4line. If not, then it’s time for Linus.
Ryan O’Marra is another option. He might help on the PK and in the faceoff circle. Since the Oilers have a tremendous need in that area, it should at least be considered.
Ales Hemsky is at the point of his career where we can safely use the phrase "injury prone" when mentioning him. It could have major impact on the organization as they make their decisions moving forward.
Do you prefer Hemsky for 40-65 games a season or a healthy Dustin Penner?
I believe Ales Hemsky is a wonderful player, but from this point on the idea of signing him to a long term deal must be questioned by the organization. He’s brittle, and that’s a fact. Can he change his playing style and remain effective? Have no idea. But we do know that NHL salary caps are riddled with lost soldiers who signed long term deals and then couldn’t answer the bell.
This injury is more serious than the number of games Hemsky will miss. This injury could change the course of the organization moving forward.