Oilers at San Jose, G42 ’10-’11

Congratulations to Ales Hemsky. The Oilers winger will play in the NHL’s All-Star game this winter. This has caused a split in the fanbase, as many feel he is not deserving of the honor. I understand Hemsky has been injured but math gives the thumb’s up based on things like 5×5/60 (leads the team, 2.52).

No he doesn’t shoot enough and yes he doesn’t play station to station. It seems to be working for him, right?

The split on Hemsky is pretty much identical to the feeling I had in the months before the Expos traded Gary Carter. The thought process went “we’re losing with him, we can lose without him” and so Murray Cook traded a king for four 6′s and Expos fans spent the next few years getting acquainted with Mike Fitzgerald, Nelson Santovenia, Jeff Reed, John Stefaro, Marty Pevey and Gil Reyes. And you know what? I bet you money there’s a few more too.

I’m not suggesting that Ales Hemsky=Gary Carter, but would politely suggest that when our teams lose we tend to stare at the best players and wonder why they’re not doing more to change the situation. It’s a team game. Ales Hemsky has flaws, but we’re miles from having to worry about them. I’ve kind of given up on defending him, it is exactly as John Sebastian suggested 45 years ago:

I’ll tell you about the magic, and it’ll free your soul
But it’s like trying to tell a stranger ’bout rock and roll

The Oilers are posting an enormous season of rookies. How big? Well, strong enough that we can begin to follow their rise up the all-time Oiler rookie scoring charts:

  1. Jari Kurri (80-81) 75gp, 32-43-75
  2. Jason Arnott (93-94) 78gp, 33-35-68
  3. Dave Lumley (79-80) 80gp, 20-38-58
  4. Glenn Anderson (80-81) 58gp, 30-23-53
  5. Sam Gagner (07-08) 79gp, 13-36-49
  6. Andrew Cogliano (07-08) 82gp, 18-27-45
  7. Raimo Summanen (85-86) 73gp, 19-18-37
  8. Miro Satan (95-96) 62gp, 18-17-35
  9. Jaroslav Pouzar (82-83) 74gp, 15-18-33
  10. Mike Grier (96-97) 79gp, 15-17-32
  11. Kyle Brodziak (07-08) 80gp, 14-17-31
  12. Rem Murray (96-97) 82gp, 11-20-31
  13. David Oliver (94-95) 44gp, 16-14-30
  14. Ales Hemsky (02-03) 59gp, 6-24-30
  15. Jozef Beranek (91-92) 58gp, 12-16-28
  16. Todd Marchant (94-95) 45gp, 13-14-27
  17. Dean McAmmond (93-94) 45gp, 6-21-27
  18. Martin Gelinas (89-90) 46gp, 17-8-25
  19. Mats Lindgren (96-97) 69gp, 11-14-25
  20. Scott Fraser (97-98) 29gp, 12-11-23
  21. Jordan Eberle (10-11) 37gp, 9-14-23 
  22. Taylor Hall (10-11) 41gp, 12-11-23
  23. Jason Chimera (02-03) 66gp, 14-9-23
  24. Mike Comrie (00-01) 41gp, 8-14-22
  25. Jarret Stoll (03-04) 68gp, 10-11-21

Right now both are on track for a Sam Gagner-calibre season. I suspect one or both will post stronger second half numbers but either way they’re going to make it way up the charts. The Swedes could get into the top 25 too (MP, Omark) by season’s end.

While I’m at it, here are the rookie blue. I don’t think Belle/Petry will make this list but you never know:

  1. Tom Gilbert (07-08) 82gp, 13-20-33
  2. Paul Coffey (80-81) 74gp, 9-23-32
  3. Randy Gregg (82-83) 80gp, 6-22-28
  4. Marc-Andre Bergeron (03-04) 54gp, 9-17-26
  5. Steve Smith (85-86) 55gp, 4-20-24
  6. Dan McGillis (96-97) 73gp, 6-16-22
  7. Kevin Lowe (79-80) 64gp, 2-19-21
  8. Tom Poti (98-99) 73gp, 5-16-21

The salary cap is bringing us unique hockey teams. Example: San Jose. All world up front, morgue at the back. The Sharks are paper thin along the blue and it has a really good chance of costing them the second season. Here is their depth chart with, GP, TOI and career games:

  1. Dan Boyle 44; 26:59; 720
  2. M-E Vlasic 44; 21:27; 353
  3. Doug Murray 35; 19:30; 324
  4. Jason Demers 38; 19:17; 89
  5. Justin Braun 15; 16:47; 15
  6. Kent Huskins 35; 16:20; 259
  7. Niclas Wallin 39gp; 15:40; 579
  8. Derek Joslin 13gp; 13:09; 49
  9. Mike Moore 6gp, 10:06; 6

If there was a team that should move their trade deadline up a few weeks it is the San Jose Sharks.

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