In the next 12 months or so, we’re going to hear a lot about Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky. Both make north of 4M per season and both will be UFA 2012 summer, and both can create offense on their own. There’s every chance one (or both) will be gone by 2012
The Oilers are blessed and cursed with two lottery picks (Gagner, Hall) and more on the way–possibly two more by summer 2012. Those entry level contracts aren’t cheap, and Shawn Horcoff’s cap hit will be rolling along too. Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Nikolai Khabibulin will also be on the books for 2012-13.
It may come down to one or the other.
- 06-07 5×5 per 60m: 2.09
- 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.36
- 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 2.08
- 09-10 5×5 per 60m: 2.85
- 06-07 5×4 per 60m: 5.45
- 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 5.93
- 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 5.00
- 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 4.71
By the numbers, Hemsky is extremely consistent. His EV numbers come on an addled team and his PP numbers are exceptional considering the help. Ales Hemsky is an injury concern and he is not a tremendous player without the puck, but he is a demon with it and has little fear. He creates so much offense (and room) that it is hard to imagine 83 on another team. Then again, I expect a long lineup if Tambellini makes him available. He’s a beauty player.
- Boxcars: 82gp, 32-31-63
- Shots: 203
- Plus Minus: +6
- Corsi (Rel): 16.8 (1st F)
- GF/GA ON: 58-48
- 5×5/60: 2.43 (1st F)
- 5×4/60: 3.97 (4th F)
- Quality of Competition: 9th F
- Quality of Teammates: 3rd F
- FO Percentage: 47.6% in 420FO’s
- OZone FO %: 45.4 (toughest F)
- Cap Hit: $4.25M
Considering the team he played on, this is like looking at Johnny Bench’s 1970 APBA card. The only slight question mark is quality of competition, and that was such a moving target this season you can make a case for disregarding it entirely. His RelCorsi is all world–and doing it with the Edmonton Oilers 09-10 was spectacular.
Late in the season, the Oilers were playing Dallas on PPV. Stars 3, Oilers 0. Penner got the puck down low early in the second period and created a powerplay. The Oilers didn’t score, but kept the puck in the Dallas end for the first time in the game. Later, he caught a break on a turnover at the Edmonton blueline (Cogs sent him away) and he scored on a breakaway. After that, he manhandled two Stars defenders, created another powerplay, but the Oilers never got it because he dished to Pouliot who scored on the play.
That sequence–and the numbers above–tell us Dustin Penner is an above average player. He may end up at center, or on the wing with gifted linemates, but he will be the one carrying the mail.
The Oilers may have to make a choice between these two talents by summer 2012. Or maybe they’ll deal away one of those lottery picks instead. It’s going to be interesting.