Ales Hemsky’s surgically repaired shoulder and Ryan Whitney’s re-attached ankle tendon aren’t 100 per cent and could keep them out of the line-up when the Edmonton Oilers open their pre-season.

Beyond that,  as in being healthy enough to start the regular season against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rexall Place on Oct. 9, nothing is certain, although both players sounded optimistic today after skating at the Kinsmen Arenas.

Whitney played just 35 games last season before a tendon on the inside of his right ankle tore loose, forcing surgery. Hemsky was limited to just 47 games in 2010-11 because of a strained groin and a concussion before the shoulder put him out for good..

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"The shoulder is pretty good. It’s not 100 per cent, yet, but it should be ready for the season," said Hemsky, who just returned from seeing his surgeon in Cleveland.

"It’s not 100 per cent. It’s still a little stiff, but other ways I feel pretty good on the ice."


"It’s getting better," Whitney said. "The past two days I tried some new insoles in my skates, orthodics, and they feel pretty good. I’ve tried them before but never really stuck with them.

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"The training staff are making me wear them for two straight weeks. You’ve got to try whatever you can. The first two days have been pretty good." Pretty good, however, doesn’t mean completely good.

"No, not 100 per cent," Whitney said about his status for the opening of training camp this weekend. "But I’m getting there and there’s still a lot of time before the season starts.

"I won’t be playing in any of the first two or three exhibition games, but I can’t say that for sure, even. The doctor knows I’m ready to go full-bore with my ankles, it’s just about how it reacts to practises and games."


"It’s like a range of motion thing," Whitney said. "It’s just a little tight. It’s just tight. I mean, they put the tendon back.

"Obviously, you put something back brand new and it’s going to be tight and not as loose as it was for the 28 years I was skating prior to that. It’s just range of motion and tightness. It’s in there good and the surgery was a success."

It’s not like Whitney has to make the team, so there’s no reason for him to rush back. The Oilers need him for the long haul.

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"If I was a rookie right now, I’d be pretty rattled," Whitney said. "As it is, I’m still a little frustrated, like I’ve said, but I also know that I’m going to be here and I do myself and the team more good coming back feeling 100 per cent.

"I came back early in Pittsburgh and played brutal and got traded that year, so I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t be selfish and want to come back early because it doesn’t help me or the Oilers."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

    • Eulers

      How about?

      It won’t be the FIST time the Oilers’ top players have been out with injury–especially where Hemsky and Whitney are concerned. But, if Hordichuck & Eager use their FISTS, it should be the ‘LARST’ time Hall will be sidelined at least.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    I know it’s no surprise for Whitney, but Hemsky??? Is this a surprise that he’s had about 8 months off and still isn’t completely healthy? It is to me. Maybe I wasn’t reading between the lines but I thought Hemsky would be healthy all along.

    I know i know, Hemsky injured = no surprise but Hemsky still injured after 8 months of rehabbing = disturbing.

    • Not surprising to me. I’ve had that surgery. Even with craploads of rehab, the joint will still be stiff for quite a while from all the time being immobilized. On top of which it takes as least as long as the injury time to get your full muscle tone back, even if you’ve been getting Faradic (electro) stimulation treatments.

      I’m just hoping they used some extra bailing wire in his shoulder. Re-injuring previous surgeries really sucks.

  • OutDoorRink

    I too am surprised. I thought that I read a while ago that Hemmer was going to be good to go. Oh well, could be some more ice time available to some of the youngsters.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    As long as these don’t cut into reg season games it’s no biggie. Maybe someone catches fire in their absence.

    Due to cutbacks, we may have to turn the light out at the end of the tunnel for one more year.

  • Kevin S

    I’m just a super negative Oiler fan that won’t allow myself to get my hopes up because they’re been dashed so many times before. I’m sure you all feel my pain. I’m optimistic about the kids though.

  • OilFan

    Doesn’t sound good. Thanks for the update Brownlee. Wasn’t Tambo interview not to long ago and he said Hemmer was in the best shape he has even been in coming into camp ? Could have been last season or the season before for that matter.

    • Kevin S

      Reaching a bit, aren’t you? No indication yet that Hemsky and Whitney won’t be ready to start the regular season.

      Better to have them completely healthy and see them stick around than rush, no?

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        Reaching? Yes. Better healthy? You bet. But I still see the Oilers drafting top 5 and I have a feeling management does too. They dont even seem to have a plan A, let alone a plan B when key people get hurt.

  • VicOiler

    These things take time, I’m rehabbing from ACL surgery. 4 months in and no where near normal (for sports). Not that I’m a pro hockey player, with all the conditioning and care they have. However, you can’t rush these things, regardless of your resources. I would much rather see them both take the 1st month off (if needed to get to 100%) then risk re-injury.

  • Kevin S

    Lol I’m being disrespected as a noob to ur little community? Just cause I haven’t posted on here I get no respect. I’ll kindly ask you to shut it bro.

    • Eulers

      No, you’re being disrespected” because you started off sounding like a smart-ass knob, not a “noob,” and went downhill from there.

      And save the “shut it, bro” stuff or take a hike. Got it? Good.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    Our success this season will be strongly tied to the health of these two men. At least 70 games for both and I would be stoked. I already knew about the Whitney injury but the Hemsky news is disappointing. I had heard so many reports about him being in great shape but ,given his injury history, I am concerned whenever I hear any bit of bad news regarding his health.

    • positivebrontefan

      I agree a 100%. We need these guys if we are going to get out of the basement at all. 70 games is nice but if they play that much hopefully we can make the playo…
      Sorry, just took my rose coloured glasses off.

      I too thought that Hemmer was 100%. I guess i interpretted “the surgury went 100%” with “i am 100% ready to play”.

  • book¡e

    That the broken players are still broken is bad news because it re-enforces the notion that they are very breakable and are more likely to be broken than not broken. If they were not broken and were ready to start playing, then it would have given hope that they were not prone to being broken, but they are broken and as such this supports the theory that they will be more broken than not.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I don’t think anyone on the Dallas Stars will have 10 points by mid October, maybe not even til mid November.. They don’t really have a lot to work with.

      I’m calling it now, Sheldon will be hurt by Rememberance Day.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I know it was only one game with only 1 perhaps 2 NHL’ers in the lineup, the way Bunz moves around in his crease, it’s a very efficient style of game like Carey Price. He reminded me of Carey 5 yrs ago. Would sure be nice to see him get a couple starts in the pre-season and see if he can keep things going.

  • I like how instead of musing at a desk, chin on fist, philosophizing about how the Oilers might do this year, you actually go and find out by actually talking to the Oilers.

    It’s like you’re a journalist or something *snort*

    You sir, are the Aristotle to the Platonism of OilersNation.

    Thanks for the update. I was somehow under the impression Hemsky was ready to go. Let’s hope they both take the time they need. In the meantime, we can see Ebs and Omark in the top 2 RW. It’s almost like it was planned this way.

  • Kevin S

    Looking back I guess I did sound a little cocky hahah! Alright alright. I’m really cocky when it comes to sports.
    But now you guys are being douches just like I was.
    I respect you as a writer Robin, one of my fave writers actually.
    Hope we can put this behind us.
    hahaha BEEF BEEF BEEF

    And @ Eulers
    That’s just hilarious, well done.

  • book¡e

    For hemsky to habe any kind of trade value(if that is the route Tambo decides on) he will need to be physically 100%. You don’t don’t get back full value for a player if he is not 100%. Plus the fiasco in LA has got to play a part in the minds of any GMs considering a trade with the Oilers.On the other hand hemsky is a UFA at the end of the season and will be looking for a pat raise. He’ll want to ensure he is in tip top condition so that he can showcase his skills this coming season. Either scenario is a win win for the Oilers. Whitney better take his time. I’d be choked if he pushed himself and fubared himself permanently. We need this guy. Longterm. If he needs to sit on his ass for another year and have more rehab time he better well take it.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Injury prone or culturally Pamper prone ? This is hockey and injuries are aa constant . If you wait each time to 100 % you might easily miss most of season . This glass fragile culture seems to make them seem like a club loaded with whiny boys that need a lot of pampering . I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of tougher attitude adjustment from some of them than a bunch of built in excuses to be honest .

  • Well It is great that there surgeries were successful and I hope they take the time they need to build up there bodies and confidence to perform in the way they are accustomed. They are both gamers and deserve are full support. Go Oilers!!!