"Let’s let Toonces drive!"

This is Toonces. He gained fame with his interesting ability to drive a car during the early days of SNL. He drove some classics too (Vega? I think he drove a Chevy Vega, and he drove a nice limo in the driving Ms. Daisy skit iirc) and for those of us who saw him Toonces was something special behind the wheel. Accidents happen, and when Toonces was driving that was the outcome every time.

I think that’s a likely outcome should the Edmonton Oilers decide to trade Ales Hemsky. Trading your best player is seldom a good idea, and your best player signed to an excellent contract being dealt is kind of crazy thinking.

I could get behind dealing Hemsky if there were a quality two-way center in the same age and price range coming back. If the Oilers send away the Pardubice prince but acquire a player of similar talent with a wider range of skills, I can get behind it.

But trading Hemsky for the sake of trading him? Because he hasn’t reached our expectations at a (still) young age? I don’t think that’s really thinking clearly. Let’s begin by listing some Edmonton Oilers and their boxcar numbers since the end of the lockout:

  1. Ales Hemsky 297gp, 76-196-272 (.916)
  2. Shawn Horcoff 299gp, 77-152-229 (.766)
  3. Mike Comrie 291gp, 84-103-187 (.643)
  4. Dustin Penner 249gp, 74-64-138 (.554)

I admit this isn’t a long list but in fairness many of the Oilers forwards have arrived in the NHL since the lockout ended so putting them on the list with so few GP doesn’t make a lot of sense. Okay, why don’t we do this: let’s take the best offensive forward from each NW team over those years (I’ll select Iginla, both Sedins, Gaborik and Paul Stastny) and see where he ranks:

  1. Marian Gaborik 215gp, 129-112-241 (1.12)
  2. Jarome Iginla 324gp, 161-191-352 (1.086)
  3. Henrik Sedin 335gp, 68-257-325 (.970)
  4. Daniel Sedin 331gp, 118-197-315(.952)
  5. Paul Stastny 201gp, 64-127-191 (.950)
  6. Ales Hemsky 297gp, 76-196-272 (.916)
  7. Ryan Smyth 286gp, 117-123-240 (.839)
  8. Milan Hejduk 321gp, 118-120-238 (.741)
  9. Wojtek Wolski 248gp, 60-93-153 (.617)

I think that’s about where we’d imagine him to be offensively, behind Marion Crane, Iginla, the Piss Cutters and the grandson of Bratislava. Right? If I missed someone please let me know and there’s every chance one of the kids has a better number but this is for the group since the lockout ended.

So, if the Oilers deal Hemsky and acquire a player of similar quality then fine. If the player has a wider range of skills, good. But if this is about Ales Hemsky’s “heart” or the fact that he hasn’t emerged as an impact player then I think the Oilers are making a mistake.

Winning organizations identify weakness and fix it long term and without robbing from other areas of weakness. Who replaces Hemsky if he’s dealt for a dissimilar player? Which Oiler can impact the powerplay at the same level?

I think this season’s version of Ales Hemsky is more about injuries (Horcoff, Hemsky) and not using Penner as the third man on the line. Before they start looking to deal off Hemsky, shouldn’t we be asking about the replacement for Jacques on that line?

Losing organizations would deal Hemsky. Focus on the things Hemsky doesn’t deliver instead of what he can do and pretty soon you see him as being terribly flawed. I don’t understand it, didn’t anyone else see this team since 2005 fall and come to the realization he’s the real thing?

Ales Hemsky’s point total isn’t terrible folks. He’s going to be fine, he’ll find his way and I suspect Quinn will come to rely on him more heavily as the season wears on. A lot of the problem with Hemsky’s line has little or nothing to do with Hemsky. I understand fretting about the turnovers in bad places and there’s no doubt there are a lot of fine skill players on the 09-10 Oilers.

Not a one of them is Ales Hemsky yet. We should keep that in mind.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca