Ales Hemsky is a dividing figure among Oiler fans. Some see him as being the straw the stirs the drink, others look at him and see major flaws and a few in the middle feel he’s quality but that no team can compete with a player of his calibre as their best offensive player.
One thing most (not all) Oiler fans can agree on is that the club was poorer without him. When Hemmer left the stage in 09-10, the rest of the band managed to go 17-41 for the rest of the season. I sincerely believe he could have helped.
- Boxcars: 22gp, 7-15-22
- Shots: 57
- Plus Minus: +7
- Corsi (Rel): 2.85 (1st but DNQ)
- GF/GA ON: 17-10
- 5×5/60: 2.85 (1st but DNQ)
- 5×4/60: 4.71 (3rd but DNQ)
- Quality of Competition: 8th F (DNQ)
- Quality of Teammates: 2nd F (DNQ)
- FO Percentage: 100% in 1 FO
- Offensive Zone FO %: 43.5 (toughest but DNQ)
- Cap Hit: $4.1M
- What do these numbers tell us? Beauty player. Just a beauty. Ales Hemsky is one of two current roster players (the other is Penner) who can create offense 5×5 all by his lonesome. It is a valuable item, like platinum or Jill Hennessy. Hemsky’s explosive offense is pure reflex, he is a sublime talent whose only real issue is finding men who can form a solid rhythm section under his riffs. Wonderful Corsi again, stupid cap number. I think his injury came at a point where he had a better 5×5 than PP number (per 60) but suspect he would have turned it around by season’s end.
- How could these numbers be better? Health is a concern with this player. No matter the talent level, the man needs to stay in the lineup for more than 22 games. I don’t think Hemsky is ever going to be a consistent 2-way winger. This is not to suggest that he lacks stones, because in fact Hemsky is the most physical of Edmonton’s pure skill wingers (by a furlong).He’s from the Guy Lafleur family, all motion and flow and instinct and reaction. It is beautiful to watch but a challenge for a button down coach. Hemsky is somewhat vulnerable with the current head coach because of his approach to the game. I don’t think it’ll cost him the 1line RW job in Edmonton, but I didn’t think they would trade Visnovsky either.
- What about a trade? There is a train of thought that a team starting over with the 2010 draft pick should cash 83 and use Cogs and Gagner as the outer marker age-wise. I don’t think it makes any sense at all, since Hemsky is still on the good side of 30 and seems to be happy as an Oiler. Should this trade happen, Steve Tambellini get more than 100 cents on the dollar and that’s a fact. Hemsky’s don’t fall out of the sky and trading him at this age is just this side of batshit crazy.
- What about playing with Horcoff? I think it is the ideal combination, certainly more important than Penner on LW. Horcoff is Hemsky’s Lemaire, playing high until the zone is gained and doing the heavy work when needed. I don’t think there is anyone on the Oilers roster who can match their chemistry and there’s really no need to split them up.
- Is this injury thing going to be chronic? You never know. I’m tempted to say he’ll be fine once the Oilers trade for Regehr and Boogard, but the truth is that 83 plays the game with abandon and there are going to be injuries in the future. I guess the bottom line is that all players are a risk and Hemsky’s injury history is already pretty long for his age. It is a concern.
- Will they continue to play him against the toughs? It depends on how the club wants to use Horcoff next season. I don’t think we should be concerned about Hemsky being on the tough minutes line. Although he does commit turnovers in spots Pat Quinn can see through his coke bottles, the guy has been brought up playing tough opponents and has thrived on it in the past.
- When will Hemsky give way to Gagner as PP QB? He may never give up the title. Gagner’s number was impressive this season but Hemsky has a long track record and is exceptional with the man advantage. I don’t know that they can play on the same PP since their skills are quite similar.
- 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
- 06-07 5×4 per 60m: 5.45
- 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 5.93
- 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 5.00
- 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 4.71
Predictions Past 2009-10: 75gp, 24-66-90 (1.20 per game)
Performance in 2009-10: 22gp, 7-15-22 (1.00 per game)