The Edmonton Oilers are about to send away Ales Hemsky without having a clear replacement. We talked about it here and since then not much has changed. The last time the Oilers went into battle, the RW’s looked like this: Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Lennart Petrell. Next season, with Hemsky gone and the club not having an obvious candidate to fill the void, it’s anyone’s guess as to what management is thinking.
Linus Omark is the player I’d think the organization would look to as Hemsky’s replacement. He is an experienced player–not in the NHL, but by age and pro hockey games played. Omark does not appear to be a favorite of the coaching staff, but they might not have a choice. Omark can help offensively, but if he’s facing the tough opposition things could get nasty. I expect he won’t win the day.
Magnus Paajarvi is trying to get his career heading in the right direction, and had a nice game in Detroit playing with Hemmer. That’ll come to a halt soon, and of course there’s no way he’ll be able to face tougher music. The tough minutes RW job may be his down the line, but that day is not today.
Teemu Hartikainen is not having a great season, but I wouldn’t bet against him long term. The question for him will be in regard to footspeed and offense, but there won’t be any problems in the effort department and Finns get special consideration on this blog. Having said that, he’s well down the list of men who’ll get a shot and it might never come.
And the winner is………
Ryan Jones. I don’t think there’s any other choice at this point in time. He trumps the group in experience and did play tougher minutes early in the season when 83 was out and being used in other situations. Based on behind the net stats, this is how things have broken down so far this season.
- Hemsky .056
- Eberle .032
- Jones -.030
- Paajarvi -.092
- Petrell -.206
Omark and Hartikainen both show well in Qual Comp but in fewer than 10 games.
- Jones 43.1
- Paajarvi 46.2
- Hemsky 49.3
- Petrell 49.6
- Eberle 62.3
- Hemsky 7.3
- Paajarvi 4.8
- Eberle 3.7
- Jones 1.1
- Petrell -17.4
Okay, so if I’m reading this right Hemsky was facing the toughest opp with mid-level zone start and had the best CorsiRel. Eberle is facing 2nd toughest comp, breezy zone starts and has a decent (but not Hall magnicifent) CorsiRel. Paajarvi is facing easy opp, slightly difficult qual comp and has a decent CorsiRel. Some nice underlying numbers. Petrell is facing table hockey opposition and the tinmen are killing him. Jones? Hell for zone starts, fairly tough opp and his CorsiRel is below the others but zone start is hell. I think he’s the one, right?
Tell me again why they’re trading Hemsky. Just one more time, and then I’ll understand.
LATE UPDATE: Via Spector through Kypreos and Matheson: the Sutton deal is done. Will the Oilers add over the summer or do they believe theyre set on defense?