To quote the great Billy Ashley, the pitchers are reading him.
No one questions the pure skill of the Oilers former wunderkind (the Oilers “next great one” seems to be getting better as time rolls by as in this decade alone we’ve had Comrie, Hemsky and Gagner) but his frustrating and stubborn inability to adjust to the game has many fans ready to throw him overboard.
“Ales Hemsky” and “turnover” are in the same sentence more often than any printed words in the English language this side of “Britney Spears” and “shaved.”
I agree he appears to be more stubborn than usual and the Horcoff line is not the reliable EV vehicle we’ve seen in the past but will argue with anyone who cares to engage me that Hemsky’s well worth being patient with again this season.
Let’s look at the numbers. First, the 5×5 numbers for last season and so far this year:
- 07-08: 2.26
- 08-09: 0.65
Unless Ales Hemsky is hurt there’s just no way this gap stays as it is currently providing MacT doesn’t move him to defense. Now, let’s compare the 5×4 numbers:
- 07-08: 5.93
- 08-09: 10.98
Here we see the other side of things, as there’s just no way to sustain this number with the man advantage.
Ales Hemsky’s boxcar numbers (7gp, 0-6-6 minus 3) are a good reflection of his contributions. He’s clearly helping offense everywhere. The question then becomes do you take action by benching, demoting, scratching or trading him?
No. The only way trading Ales Hemsky makes any sense is if the organization has decided he’s no longer the “player type” they want on their team and decide to cash him for a player more suited to the new style of play. Said player would need to be as valuable as Hemsky with a contract as attractive as 83′s. That’s a very small list and the decision on trading Hemsky belongs to the next coach, not this one.
And there is no reason to fire the coach at this time.