Was I the only one who was jolted by what Ales Hemsky was reported to have said by the Edmonton Oilers Twitter account after a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres?

Here’s the tweet that moved about 7:40 Edmonton time:

"NHL_Oilers Edmonton Oilers "We skated well as a line and moved the puck well; but in the last 10 mins we gave up." –Hemsky"

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UPDATE: There is a segment of an interview with Hemsky on the Oilers website, but it doesn’t include the quote attributed to him by the team’s Twitter account. In the video clip posted, Hemsky says, "I think we played a pretty solid game for 50 minutes and, you know, then we kind of stopped playing. It’s a tough game. It’s a game we could win and we needed the points, so a little bit disappointed."

UPDATED 11:40: Turns out the video clip, like the Tweet that grabbed my attention, doesn’t accurately reflect what Hemsky said during his post-game interview. Hemsky said (courtesy of comment 36) : "I think we played pretty solid game for 50min you know and we kind of stopped playing… I think we skated pretty well as a line and overall I think it was a good effort by everyone just the last ten minutes we kind of gave up."

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    • It would have been a story if the tweet that moved at 7:40 last night was accurate, but you either haven’t followed along or are posting this despite that.

      If it’s the former, then pay attention before you comment. If it’s the latter, you’ve got a problem because you’ve done it before.

    • Some fans must love all the hate toward Hemmer, takes the pressure away from Gagner and his fantastic season so far ?

      Points in last 20 games played by the player (Oilers forwards of note )

      Eberle 25pts

      RNH 21pts

      Hall 18pts (3 in last 2 games playing with Hemsky

      Gagner 16pts

      Smyth 13pts

      Jones 11pts

      Horcoff 10pts

      Hemsky 9pts

      Now that Gagner is healthy 0.80 pts/gm over the last 20 is pretty good.

      He has only two less points than Hall in the last 20 games, but everyone wants to trade Gagner, I don’t get it.

      Eberle and RNH are ridiculous.

      RNH’s totals are slightly skewed by the 5pt game vs. CHI being his 20th game. If he had played one more game and scored 1 points, he would have 16pts in 20games, the exact same as Gagner.

      Hemsky said before the CHI game that he finally feels good, and has looked very good the last two games, but in the last 20 has certainly been a drag on offense.

      I’d use that as an opportunity to sign him for 2 years as cheap as I could.

      I really think people underestimate how long it takes to go from being out with an injury to back up to full speed.

      • 24% body fat

        and dont forget the three guys a head of gagner have not spent time out of the top six and are all on the first powerplay.

        anyone have the stats for ppg while on the top two lines. Eberle, Hall, and RNH would all be the same. Horcoff, Gagner, Hemsky, Smythe have all played one game if not more on the third.

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        Interesting stat for people…

        Gagner has played 323 NHL games and has 191 points.

        In his first 4 NHL seasons, Henrik Sedin played 318 games and had 146 points.

        Sedin also came into the league 2 years older than Gagner.

        People that want to give up on Gagner had better hope the Oilers get something good in return.

        I am not saying he will match Sedins career totals when all is said and done, but wouldn’t the Vancouver GM have look foolish if he would have got rid of Henrik after 4 or 5 seasons?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      FO % above 50%

      Drawn even on 5 vs 5 scoring

      One of the better give aways/per game numbers on the team

      closing in on a 50 point over 80 game pace

      Looks like exactly what you want out of a second liner.

      Just about time for you to give it up.

  • Talbot17

    the point is when a guy that has poor body language most of the time and that he gave up for 10 minutes, doesn’t bode well for your team. team didnt look like they quit for 10 minutes at the end..maybe hemsky just did. Usual.

    • the point is when a guy that has poor body language most of the time and that he gave up for 10 minutes, doesn’t bode well for your team. team didnt look like they quit for 10 minutes at the end..maybe hemsky just did. Usual.


      If you take out the 80’s Oilers, the top 4 all time Oilers in points are: (as of end of 10/11)

      Weight 577pts

      Smyth 549pts

      Horcoff 401pts

      Hemsky 395pts

      If you look at it in terms of points per game:

      Weight 0.981

      Hemsky 0.806

      Smyth 0.713

      Horcoff 0.586

      Hemsky’s usual is that he is an all time Oiler.

      Even with the 80’s guys in there, he’s 10th in all time points.

      The big question about Hemsky is his health,not his heart.

      He has broken his body putting up points on crappy Oilers teams for 8 years, and he’s high on the Oilers all time lists because of it.

      I don’t get why people question him when his results are there.

      Now that he seems much healthier and is playing with players who won’t waste as many of his passes, I expect him to return to 0.80 pts/gm +

      Don’t trade an all time Oiler who is still only 28.

      • Talbot17

        funny you do all of that over how i was just stating the guy quits, or at least shows he is lazy. See Chicago game. Hemsky is a great player, but has never taken that next step and being 28, when does he get there?

        • Hemsky, Hall and Gagner out chanced Toews/Hossa in that game.

          That is one of the best lines in hockey.

          That’s what Hemsky did all game.

          At the end of the game he pulled up (after being on the ice for a very long 1:30) and looked like he shied from the hit on the icing.

          You can say he quit.

          I say he was exhausted from a long shift after a long game of out chancing one of the best lines in hockey, and pulled up to avoid putting himself in a vulnerable position.

          He didn’t shy away from all the hits he took all game to out chance the #1 line of a Stanely Cup Favorite in one of the toughest buildings to play hockey in.

          They way I see it, its throwing the baby out with the bathwater, not seeing the forest for the trees, pick your favorite idiom.

        • Hemsky is a great player, but has never taken that next step

          He’s a career 0.80 pts/gm player.

          Very few players every reach that level of production in Hemsky’s era of the NHL.

          Why dislike a player because he doesn’t score as much as you think he should?

          Why not admire a player for attaining a level of production that is not common in his era?

          No Oiler player has achieved his level of production since Doug Weight.

          You don’t throw guys like that away.

          • Talbot17

            i am not saying give him away. But clearly there is stuff going on behind the scenes leaving him unhappy. whatever is the case, theres always been reason for Hemsky discussion whether its inflated or not, its there. I’d re sign Hemsky regardless of the production he is at this season, so I’m on your side here.
            and yes, Hemsky is playing better and he says he feels better. But i dont remember a season where I’ve seen him so outspoken and frustrated, or this much drama around him before

          • lol, i am not saying give him away. But clearly there is stuff going on behind the scenes leaving him unhappy. whatever is the case, theres always been reason for Hemsky discussion whether its inflated or not, its there. I’d re sign Hemsky regardless of the production he is at this season, so I’m on your side here.

            Hemsky has publicly said he likes the direction the team is going and also said he likes Edmonton.

            There is not clearly stuff going on behind the scenes.

            There may be stuff going on, but I wouldn’t characterize it as “clear”

  • Rob...

    I think fan expectations got a little high. We were hoping for a push for the playoffs and got pretty excited by the start of the year. But now we’ve fallen back to earth and after missing the playoffs for several years in a row, fans are getting antsy.

    Originally, most of us expected the Oil to be better but miss the playoffs and I’d say they’re par for the course right now. But that has not stopped fans from being impatient. They need to blame somebody. The goaltending has been better, so can’t blame that. Injuries abound on the D, so you can’t blame individual players for being hurt. Can’t blame the kids because they’re the darlings. So, unfortunately, the blame falls to Gagner and Hemsky.

    I think Gagner has been very good the last few weeks. He’s shown a lot of hustle out there and points are starting to fall his way. Hemmer is returning from injury and probably still not 100%. He did miss a bit of time earlier this year when his shoulder flared up again.

    At the beginning of the year, I was hopeful like everyone else, but I knew it was probable that they would miss the playoffs again, but have the opportunity to add another elite prospect.

    Speaking of prospects, was anybody else thinking of possibly adding an elite goaltending prospect to the mix after watching the game last night? I thought that until the collapse in the 3rd.

  • Oilerbill

    Twitter didn’t twist what hemsky said that much. It’s ultimately what he was saying. I always laughed at my buddy when he girlfriend treated him like absolute crap and he never could see it.

    RB was doing his job – stirring the pot and questioning the integrity and loyalty of what some may say is an oiler “all time great”. I wouldn’t put hemsky on that list – but numbers are numbers i guess.

    The fact of the matter here is that Hemsky doesn’t need to address the media and say that he gave up with 10 minutes left. Over the past several games you can see that in his game – plain and simple. So why even argue over his comments – let’s start arguing over his actions. I mean the guy gave up on an icing he should have had against Chicago. That’s just disgusting.

    • Oilerbill

      What I think is disgusting is that a player gets labeled as someone who has given up for trying to protect himself.

      Was the let up on the icing disappointing? Yes… Some people should really think before they label someone. How many times in the past 8 years has Hemsky played with a fearless edge taking the puck in to traffic at full speed? More times than I can remember that’s for sure. His numbers are posted enough already I don’t need to go there.

      After 8 years and the last 2 being much less than a 100%, two shoulders and a concussion! Give the guy a break. Earlier in that game he saw their best defensemen leave the game after a brutal hit on a race for icing. Our ever wise media say Gilbert should have protected himself better knowing who was on the ice. Hemsky slows up and looks back to make sure his season and potentially his career isn’t going to be ended on the play and he is thrown under the bus.

      It makes me embarrassed to be grouped in with those other Oiler fans.

      • Eddie Shore

        Wow that is reaching. All Hemsky has to do is touch the puck and the game is over. That was a soft play by a veteran who knows better at a crucial time of the game. Totally unacceptable. He isn’t being thrown under any bus because of that play. That is a play he HAS to make. Everytime.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Is it possible 83 is trying to force the Oilers hand and move him?

    Ales watched what happened when Sheldon Souray wanted out, perhaps Hemsky’s turned it up a notch letting his play confirm his intentions. At this point, like the Souray situation, the Oilers are looking like they’ll get peanuts for Hemsky when his sentence here in Edmonton is at an end.

    Can’t be good having all these new kids absorb what’s going on here with 83.

    • Oilerbill

      I can’t see that. He is 40 games from being a UFA. If all he wants is out of town then he’s got it. He doesn’t need to be traded. I don’t see the benfit. If Hemsky is as selfish and has no heart like some are saying, wouldn’t he play as hard as he can (for himself) so he can sign a big contract, go to what ever team he wants and then mail it in if that’s what he chooses to do?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        I was also thinking Hemsky thought he could easily make it through this year and call his shot July 1st. The way things have gone the first 40 he maybe fells like he’s being singled out for poor performance. The media has 83 under a magnifying glass it seems and maybe he’s just grown tired of it earlier than planned. After 10+ yrs, Edmonton would go stale on a lot of these player types, he’s done his time and it’s obvious he wants out now rather than wait till the summer.

        • Eddie Shore

          He’s under a magnifying glass because he is struggling. It has nothing to do with his tenure or a media conspiracy theory. If he played better, he’d be left alone.

        • There is something to what you say about Hemsky feeling singled out. The way he ended the interview he did in Leduc before the team left — with profanity and saying he’s had enough of the questions — tells me that much (he didn’t like a line of persistent questioning by Jim Matheson). And, like I’ve said before, he’s just never been that thrilled doing interviews to begin with.

          He’s frustrated by not being healthy enough to perform as he’s capable and he is constantly the focus of inquiries — that happens when you’re a first-line player and not a fourth-line plugger. It’s been a tough couple of years for him health-wise and the losing hasn’t helped.

          I don’t think what we’re seeing now is Hemsky being devious or trying to set-up a scenario where the Oilers get sick of the situation and move him along. I don’t think he’s manipulating anybody. He’s just having a bad time right now.

          Also, yet another update and FYI (and that of anybody else interested in how this item even came to be):

          Having spoken to somebody on the road with the team this morning, I’m told the Tweet that was sent out at 7:40 was a flat-out mistake made by an inexperienced person on the team social media staff. This person is in their first season doing the job and travelling with the team. It was on honest mistake of inexperience. It also speaks to the challenges of trying to cram context, particularly with a quote that could be contentious like this one, into 140 characters.

          That’s why in my initial opening paragraph to this item (which I changed as I did updates), I posed the question as to whether this was a partial quote, and inaccurate quote or a quote taken out of context. Turns out it was all three.

          • Talbot17

            RB – the only thing I would add is that Hemsky also has an attitude of “heh no that I am going where’s everybody else to help me”. Well Ales where have you have been when the team has needed you? As you said he is a Top 3 forward not a bottom 6 forward and they need there best. Think of where the Oil could be right now with a consistent, health Ales Hemsky???

            Also thanks for the follow-up on the Tweet-saga – very professional and courteous.

          • Oilerbill

            RB – the only thing I would add is that Hemsky also has an attitude of “heh now that I am going where’s everybody else to help me”. Well Ales where have you have been when the team has needed you? As you said he is a Top 3 forward not a bottom 6 forward and they need their best to help this team. Think of where the Oil could be right now with a consistent, health Ales Hemsky???

            Also thanks for the follow-up on the Tweet-saga – very professional and courteous.

          • Think of where the Oil could be right now with a consistent, health Ales Hemsky???

            I think we’ll find out soon.

            Hemsky says he feels healthy for the first time all season.

            He, Gagner and Hall look very good together.

            If that trio stays together I’d put the over/under on 10 points for him in the next 10 games.

            I’d probably take the over too.

          • melancholyculkin

            Did you hear the entire Matheson interview in Leduc? I saw you there the first day, but didn’t notice you there on the second day?

            Anyway, I know you probably can’t say one way or the other, but what did you think of Matheson’s interview?

            I thought it to be boardering on harassment. He asked the same (or similiar) questions repeatedly after basically telling Hemsky the leaguewide perception of him was damaged goods (I think he used “injury prone”).

            I think there is a difference between asking questions for the sake of gathering information and trying to get a reaction from the player.

            I know if I was standing in Hemsky shoes that day, I would would have been annoyed (and even pissed off) with the manner in which Matheson was coming at him.

  • Oilerbill


    That’s a possibility but if anything I think that would hurt his value on the open market. Rather than be a good team member, shut up and complete the season.

  • Yes, Oilerbill, there is.

    If you think you are going to deliver a lecture about journalism 101 and ethics to me on this website, you are mistaken.

    Seeing as your comment was directed at me, I read it, dismissed it for what it was and deleted it. If the intention was to enlighten me, you tried and failed, but at least I took the time to read it. If you posted it with some other motive, like to generate ridicule directed at me, as I suspect, too bad. Like I said, that’s not going to happen here.

    Try to get under my skin again — six minutes or six months from now, doesn’t matter — and you’re gone for good. Don’t like it? Too bad. You’ve been warned.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Knowing that the Oilers would get pennies on the dollar in exchange for Hemsky now, it may be in the Oilers best interest to buy themselves another 2 yrs. 2 seasons at 4.5-5.5 per would buy them more time to deal with this semi elite player. I could see him being a 90+ point player if the right situation developes.

    The direction of the club changes on a yearly basis. Hemsky is the type of player that can prompt change. If extending him or trading him helps better this hockey club, then so be it.

  • I don’t think Hemsky will ever get 90 points in this league, but your point is taken: if you try to move him now you’re doing it when his value is at its lowest.

    In the end, all the “body language” talk and trying to read between the lines about what Hemsky thinks or what he wants doesn’t mean squat. Management has to sit down with Hemsky and his agent, find out what he wants, make their own assessment of what best fits the team and take it from there.

    Dumping Hemsky for a lousy return because he’s struggling to come back from two shoulder surgeries and “doesn’t look happy” makes no sense.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I couldn’t agree more with this.

      At the end of the day the fans here seem to form into two groups concerning Hemsky.

      1) those so dazzled by new boobs they don’t even want to look at the old ones anymore and happy to let Hemsky go for a song.

      2) those of us hoping the brass manage Oiler assets with some foresight.

      I’ve defended Hemsky a lot on here. But it’s not because I can’t imagine the Oil without Hemsky. It’s because the eagerness to get rid of him in some corners seems like a recipe for bad asset management. You don’t trade players, esp. good ones, because you’ve gotten tired of seeing their face everyday. It’s not a marriage.

        • Torcida

          By the way, forgot to mention, I’ve never been a huge Hemsky fan, but I do still see value in him as a player. As a person, he deserves our patience as he continues to recover from those surgeries. He will make Oiler fans proud again soon – I’m sure of it.

  • I love Hemmer, he has been our most dynamic player for years.
    And we should keep him, otherwise we go Hossa Whale shopping again in 2 years time.
    Having said that, if Hemmer stays, where does MP fit next year? And Hamilton and Pitlick after that? And Omark? I doubt if they would all feel great staying down on the farm for the next 3 years as callups.
    Tough call. Glad I’m not Tambi.

  • Honestly, I am a huge Hemsky fan. Can’t complain about the all the times he has made me jump out of my seat and spill my bear all over the person in front of me at RX1.

    I was simply saying that he just isn’t playing with the edge that hemsky has always played with. I can’t imagine having to go through surgery a couple times over a few seasons and be asked to step up and play 110% anymore.

    I just have a feeling that he is incredibly down on himself and it is showing in the way he’s playing. I don’t care if you’re Ales Hemsky, Sidney Crosby or Joe Shmoe playing as a third line winger for the NE Greater Vancouver Canadians at the Max Bell Midget AAA tournament (My buddy’s team 🙂 ) you damn well try for that puck.

  • D

    I believe that if a good price can be had, the Oilers should re-sign Hemsky to a decent length contract. He is at his lowest ebb right now, and we might be able to sign Hemsky to a value contract. Hemsky is a good player in this league who is going through a rough stretch. What a perfect time to lock him in for a few more years.

    • Admiral Ackbar

      I definitely agree that a value signing could be a good prospect with Hemsky although his perceived value around the league might price him out of our worth.

      As for the statistics posted above, points are not the single determinant of a player’s worth. I’d like to see Gagner and Hemsky’s turnover to takeaway ratio for the year, I’m sure it’s garbage.

      In fact, many of the Oilers simply enter puck battles and either come up empty handed or 1 in the turnover column on a regular basis. The only guys that seem to come out with the puck more often than not are RNH, Eberle and Smid.

      If the reason for their poor play (Gagner & Hemmer) is due to injury, not a bad short term excuse. Hemsky has been notorious for this kind of play though: turnovers, bad passes, absent backchecking…..

  • Hemsky is not a game breaker or dominating force out there, never has been, never will be. He has good skill , of that there is no doubt. However, people talk like he is Glenn Anderson or Mark Messier, are you kidding
    me ?? I dont believe he fits this team any longer. His heart has been questioned on several occasions. I will give him the benefit of the doubt
    that he is still hurting. However people, sore freaking shoulders dont
    have any affect on your backing checking efforts, or when you lose the puck [as usual] trying to get it back. If you want a talented in your face kind of Oilers team which i do, There is no part of his game he really excels at. If his slippery moves before he coughs up the puck are good enough for you, then go buy an 83 Jersey. I let my dog sleep on the one i had.. Hmmm a dog, just what Hemsky is IMO.

  • two smokes

    Hemsky siad it during the summer with a smile on his face……he wants to play with Hall. He doesn’t want to play with smyth and horcoff, simply because he doesn’t play their game.Those two combined don’t even get close to Hemsky’s skill level.Hes finally healthy let him play with Hall because he obvously has some chemistry with him. Let him play because he will be a key player on this team in two years.

  • Semenko and Troy

    By the trade deadline, the Oilers will have a clear indication of what their draft position will be (fail for the Nail or Mikhail?) which will impact whether they feel the need to trade or attempt to re-sign Hemsky.

    It is also not improbable that based on his past performance, close to the deadline, teams will compete to take a chance on adding Hemsky for their push to the playoffs and a run to the cup, and be willing to pay more than what the going rate would be now.

    If a top 3 lottery pick for the Oilers is looming, a solid return on defense for Hemsky would be worth serious consideration.

  • Semenko and Troy


    Thanks for your insights. It’s a breath of fresh air around here.

    It drives me nuts to see how easily some would trade away valuable commodities just because we are finally accummulating difference-makers who look to have more productive careers. There is room for Hemsky on this team, in fact their is a need for him.

    And he did look the best player on the ice last night which is nice to see his game coming around.

  • Torcida

    here at the stat as per
    hemsky gp26 gva 17 tka 11
    gagner gp32 gva 17 tka 9
    eberle gp39 gva 20 tka 13
    smyth gp39 gva 25 tka 29
    hall gp31 gva 23 tka 13
    nuge gp38 gva 19 tka 16
    horc gp39 gva 21 tka 23

  • Torcida

    Sign Hemsky while his stock is low…if you don’t think this guy is a top teir player…think again…0.8 points/game…playing with Hall…this is a lay down.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    no wonder players don’t want go give interveiws,where’s the up side to it,one wrong word and all the sudden you quite far as asset managment katz hand must shake every time he signs hemskys,horcoffs,and whitneys cheques.