This is Ales Hemsky. Despite clear and obvious skills, he is another player that leaves the fanbase divided. Some see him as an electric offensive talent, others see him as a turnover machine whose plodding decision making impacts every powerplay.

Oilers Nation has done this forever, by the way. I well remember Paul Coffey hearing the boobirds at Northlands in a game he was dominating against Chicago and Murray Bannerman. Slats had just gone public about money and contract, with the smooth skating offensive defenseman becoming public enemy number one on a team so talented observers were spoiled at puck drop.

People used to call Hemsky "no balls" (actually it was Kyle Woodlief from Redline report) but that bias is long gone and any fool can see #83 is fearless to the point of routinely putting himself in real danger. His list of injuries reflect that tendency to take on challenges that a lesser man would avoid at all costs.

The Oilers powerplay is addled, it’s been that way since Hemsky arrived (with some exceptions). I tend to blame the coaching staff but do understand that we as fans point the finger at the most talented offensive players. I sometimes think that PP failure–along with the turnovers at the opposition blue–are the real reasons so many people are anti-Hemsky.

Hemsky’s 5×5 numbers (equal strength) have always been a strength:

  • 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

  • 10-11 5×5 per 60m: 3.08

That number–the 10-11 number, ranks him 5th in the entire league. The chart is here. My thanks to Oiler Mag for pointing it out.

If Steve Tambellini does trade Hemsky, he needs to get exceptional value in return.

  • Dan the Man

    So Burke has bailed on his quick rebuild plan and not only that he also gave up a draft pick for a player (Voros) that he could have claimed off of waivers for nothing a couple of days earlier.

    I’m pretty sure he has no clue what he’s doing and people think Tambellini is incompetent.

    • well it’s always gonna be fun to make fun of Burke:) but I’m more concerned how Lowe’s puppet is gonna make out: the same guy who was passed over for GM TWICE by his old org.

      Let’s see Tambo or Lowe win a big trade and then we can believe in them.

      and before anyone starts crowing about Whitney again let’s check the GP and injury history.

  • I love Hemmer, but I say make a deal. It seems that every Tom Dick and Harry is buying this year. The deals I see going through to date seem to be in favour of the sellers. Hemmer just might be the most talented player available. So the return could be fantastic.

  • Ducey

    I say trade Penner he’s slow and does’nt use his size like a big man should.

    Now if hemmer is gone where does horcoff and Penner get there points from lol.

      • John Chambers

        It’s difficult to evaluate GMs on the small things they do, and much easier to measure the impact of franchise-transforming moves.

        Like everyone who participates in this blog, I’m observing ST with a degree of curiosity and skepticism. I’ll form a more solid opinion after July 1 once we’ll have observed what he’s done to influence the makeup of this team long term.

        I think at this point it’s too early to unequivocally grade Tambellini. He’s done good things by re-building the farm system, obtaining Jones for nothing, and getting rid of underperforming veterans.

        But it’s how he handles Penner and Hemsky, the development of our young core, and the acquisition of veterans to complement our existing talent that will make me a fan or a critic.

        ST’s pedigree is very good. He has a lot of professional experience in the NHL, and has worked alongside Pat Quinn, Brian Burke, and Dave Nonis. How he translates that experience into success on the ice we shall soon see*

        *soon meaning 24-36 months

        • Fair enough, but I’d like to point out that it is the small things that separates the good GMs from the bad ones.

          He does still have the chance to change my mind obviously, but until he does something major we all have to base our opinions on presumptions. Based on what he has done to date I cannot presume that he will act competently making big moves when he has largely acted incompetently making small ones.

          • John Chambers

            I kind of hate Tabellini, especially after this 5-6 years before we’re competitive business, but it’s only a small-time hate. You have what someone might call a big-time, or deluxe-sized hate.

            If he fleeces another GM for some quality young stud, re-signs Hemsky and Penner to twin 5-year 12.5M extensions*, or nails Paris Hilton, I’ll probably like him. Not like him enough to have him over for dinner or hang a picture up in my locker, but have genuine respect for the man.

            If, as I think you’re forecasting, he deals away our best players for guys named Brock Beukeboom, or thinks I have the patience to wait 6 years before we make the playoffs again, I take several gallons of gasoline over to La Casa ST and burn the place down**.

            We’ll see.

            *Not likely to happen

            **Somewhat likely to happen

          • thinks I have the patience to wait 6 years before we make the playoffs again

            I think this is the more likely of the two.

            Funny thing is, I don’t know yet if I hate him or not because he refuses to do anything of consequence.

            I just have a problem when people assume than since he has the job he must be qualified, as though everybody ever hired as GM of an NHL team has been qualified.

        • Well reasoned, and thank you for causing me to rethink my position. I asked Robin Brownlee some time ago if he thought that ST was the answer as a GM. At that time he indicated that we need to be patient and let time determine this. I agree, and appreciate your perspective.

    • John Chambers

      The Dude: Look, nothing is fugged, here, man.

      The Big Lebowski: Nothing is fugged?

      The Big Lebowski: The god damn plane has crashed into the mountain!

  • John Chambers

    You definitely cannot ignore the value of a guy who consistently puts up points on a team that has tremendous difficulty scoring.

    The only way I deal Hemsky in February, 2011 is for a top-shelf prospect (Schenn, Seguin, or Carlson) as the basis of the deal. Boston’s TO pick may also qualify as a starter.

    Even if Hemsky refuses to re-sign after July 1, he’s still likely to hold enough value to return secondary prospects (the Voynov’s, Forbort’s, Blum’s, etc) plus a first at this point next year.

    Building chemistry with his young teammates and getting him re-signed should be ST’s priority.

  • Brewer to Tampa as per TSN, not sure on return.

    Come on Tambi, the action is heating up, get in there and make the move that will define your Reign as Hockey Czar in Edmonton.

    This move definitely puts pressure on Montreal to up their D-Corps.

  • derrickhands

    I don’t think its a good idea trading Hemmer to a team in our Conference. Also Edmonton needs a big, right handed center, or big stud of a defensemen and LA does’t have this to trade. I would love to see Schenn playing hear, but he’s not what the Oilers need. Also it would be a bad idea to trade for any 2011 draft picks, hold for the 2012 which would be a much stronger draft.

    I’m not backing up Tambo, but in most of his trades he was dealing from a position of weakness. Now he’s the one that holds all the cards and he has stated he’s not going to make a trade unless it’s too good to refuse. Right now I can only see Hemmer be trade for that defensemen they need and Florida and Atlanta hold the ones I would be interested in.

  • Crackenbury

    12 months ago the Oilers were a cap team saddled with aging players with untradeable contracts. 12 months later they are the second youngest team in the league with cap room to spare and a stable of young prospects. Wow what a crappy plan ST, you should be fired!

    • fuck off

      This is exactly 1/2 of the reason why Tambo has done a GREAT job so far. As for the other half, that’s simple! Instead of acting foolishly like everyone here who seems to think he needs to make a BIG DEAL to accomplish the task of being a good GM; ST has instead invoked that ageless golden quality…


      • Crackenbury

        I agree with the patience. There’s no point in trading anyone unless you’re improving your team. It’s one thing to talk about Hemsky for Schenn, but the other team has to want it as well. A late first round draft pick and a so-so prospect isn’t enough. You need a proven roster player or absolute stud prospect to get rid of him. Lack of commitment for the future from Hemsky might pressure the Oilers into a move they don’t want to make. I hope not, he’ll be hard to replace.

  • Ender

    Brewer to T-Bay. I’ll be interested to see what Brewer’s value is these days.

    UPDATE: The Blues get a third round pick and a prospect, probably d-man Brock Beukeboom.

    Overall, this trade makes a lot of sense for everyone. Tampa is chasing Stanley this year and Brewer will give them some depth. The Blues are officially packing it in with this move and bringing in a bit of youth. They were going to lose Brewer to free-agency in the summer anyway, so this is a pretty good return on a rental player.

    The real question will be what a guy like Brewer is worth this summer on the open market. Depending on his asking price (which I’m guessing will be a lot less than the $4.5M he made this year), the Oilers could do worse.

  • O.C.

    Did not. Did so. We all need to get a grip. Seasons over boys. Take it or leave it. Enjoy the entertainment they now call the NHL for the last few games, or not. Hopefully Tambo puts together a better product for next year. Reserve judgement until after the trade deadline, the draft and free agent signings. Then if we still blow, off with their heads.

    So, pleasssse let’s quit fighting between ourselves for trades that will never be made, draft picks that will not happen and other teams moves that we should have made. Raise a beer to the sound beating we call this season and lets all hope for exciting 17th place hockey next year.

  • Slapshot

    Instead of whealing and dealing Tambellini does nothing,whats he waiting for? Once all the teams have done their trading, is he going to start making calls? There is evaluating and then there is Tambellini,thats why this rebuild is going to take 5-6 years!!!

    • Crackenbury

      ST: Hey Dean, I want Schenn. I’ll give you Hemksy.

      DL: Pull your head out of your ass.

      ST: No really, the fans expect me to make a trade. Let’s get it done.

      DL: OK, but instead of Schenn, you can have Ryan back. Your fans will love you for it.

      ST: I don’t think so Dean. I gotta have Schenn to make it happen.

      DL: Why would I make that deal?

      ST: Because the fans here want you to.

      DL: Well your fans are idiots if they think that’s going to happen.

      • BarryS

        Excellent post. People here forget there are 29 other GMs plus owners involved in the business. So far, how many GM’s have made deals,4? 5? 6?
        ST can make all the proposals he wants, but until someone bites nothing comes of it. Just because Berkie has something on Boston(or us ut the other way around) does not mean trades will be easy. trading players for draft choices, most trades nowadays, are salary dumps. See St. Louis.

      • Slapshot

        Who said anything about Schenn? Im not the one answering Tambellinis phone.but there are other GM’s making deals to better there teams.Last time I checked we where in 30th place. Tambellini is on his 3rd coach in 3 years and he is guiding the oilers to last place in the league two years in a row,man he is doing a great job.

  • If Steve Tambellini does trade Hemsky, he needs to get exceptional value in return.

    Therefore Brayden Schenn/unknown lottery pick ≠ Ales Hemsky

    Unless said trade option looks every bit as solid as Taylor Hall did last year. And if that were the case, no GM in his right mind would give him up.

    Does Ales Hemsky getting a team that much farther in the playoffs override a sure star player in a couple of year that might take you to the finals? I dunno.

  • Slapshot

    Hemsky is an asset. He is talented and not afraid to play in traffic. He’s an impact player. However, he’s at his peak and this team is rebuilding so, if possible, trade him for prospects with potential and/or higher picks (don’t be unreasonable and think you’re getting something in the top 5). I believe that, due to the current parity, 5 or so contending teams would be interested in making such a trade.

    We become attached to our cars and often think in the later years when imperfections start to surface that we should sell. We keep Betsy another year and then one morning she’s a changed beast. Consequently, the brother-in-law gets it for a few hundred bucks.

    Hemsky is a depreciating asset. Find and make a suitable trade!

    • Peterborough

      I think his value is crazy high right now some teams really need the playoff revenue to stay solvent and have been given instuctions to win now I’m not LA is quite there but they have a rebuilt relationship with there fans might very well have to do something to show them they are commited to winning and not in forever rebuild mode. But they are not alone in feeling a real need to suceed now and there will be over payments made and probably more later than sooner.

  • OMG!

    Courtesy Jeremy Rutherford…

    The Blues have traded Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to Colorado for Stewart and Shattenkirk. Draft picks also included.

    If the Oilers had a shot at Johnson or Stewart, they missed the boat BIG time.

    • Peterborough

      Tambo is either the world’s most patient retard or his genius is on a whole ‘nother level…one day decades from now we’ll all look back and have a laugh on how Tambo “rebuilt” the Mighty Oil…

    • Peterborough

      AND Tony T said”…Tambo is either the world’s most patient retard or his genius is on a whole ‘nother level…one day decades from now we’ll all look back and have a laugh on how Tambo “rebuilt” the Mighty Oil…”

      retard or genius…that IS the question…i’ve wondered just how much of an oaf this GM of ours is and now i think maybe he’s so much more of an abysmal failure than anything…
      o m g & w t f is understating the way this will be perceived ’round the fanbase and here …can our GM be so asleep at the switch as to miss the availability of the 2006 FIRST OVERALL draft Dman or will we be privy to how Johnson wasn’t coming here for any number of reasons through yet another award winning episode of Oil Change…subtitled privately by our GM “How Else Can I Stall The Assessment Process Without Even Trying”…. is there something we don’t know about THIS PIECE [johnson] we desperately need to ‘move forward’?
      …or is our GM really a genius?

  • Hemmertime

    I’ve been thinking. Screw the return for Hemmer. You dont trade him. You dont trade him for Hall, Eberle and our other rookies. They will inevitably slump, and having Hemmer there to cushion the offensive blow and take a tonne of the pressure off is worth the potential lessening of the return by waiting until next years deadline. Plus, we may re-sign him then.

    Unless its Schenn + 1st + 2nd

    • Peterborough

      I’m of a like mind I don’t think LA gives up shenn but they don’t have anything other than Bernier and they won’t give him tous unless a brick fall on monkey’s fly out of my bum!

      but I would prefer:

      Hemsky and Jones for Shenn and Forbort and maybe we take Zeus’ contract off them to give them more cap room for more peices.

  • O.C.

    Erik is good but not number one good.

    You would think lot of teams could have used him. Like 75% of the league. Now consider that Eric Brewer was picked up before him.???

    There must be a downside because people are saying St Loo won this.

    Would you give up Eberle and Marincin for what St Loo gave up? I wouldn’t.

  • Hemmertime

    no OC i wouldn’t give those up BUT even if Johnson’s not a #1 the AVS get fleeced on this trade?

    So there’s a secret ‘downside’ about Johnson that no one knows about? The intrigue is killing me … could he be… omg…

    ‘soft’?…like Gilbert ‘soft’???????????

    this trade still pisses me off…and what would you give up for him?

  • O.C.

    gremlins all around …trying to post a comment and it disappears then reappears…crap!

    so…i’ll try this

    89 OR 13 and oh twelves’ pick ?

    seems cheap for what appears
    to be an expensive commodity…

  • Dan the Man

    … Bogosian’s last year ELC has him at 3.7ish with bonus stuff …but the blues gave up their ace/stud and another for two coming back including a young Dman that the blues seem to be happy about? picks 2 both ways

    would they even want Bogosian?

  • Hemsky has always been a mystery to me. One night he can be brilliant and the next he can do a Kent Nillson (magic man disappearing) act. His best fit would be on a team where he could fill in like Hossa in Chicago. A skilled player that you can count on to get his points troughout the year but not an every game player like Toews, Kane, Seabrook.

    Obviusly has to be avilable for the right price, a first rounder and a proven player or can’t miss prospect.