WEDNESDAY MORNING, 9AM

There are moments in life that are completely heartbreaking. Like that scene in Toy Story 3 where Andy is introducing Bonnie to his old toys, and sees Woody at the bottom of the toy box (he wasn’t supposed to be there). Andy hesitates, and then proceeds to tell Bonnie about his special friend. I watched that movie in Seattle with my son (on holidays), cried like a baby. We went to Johnny Rockets afterward so Dad could settle down (and I’m not even kidding).

It sounds like today’s PC is a “we’re fine, it’s all good” moment and that’s a great outcome. It seems unfair for 83 to leave now, when the good times are just around the corner. Ales Hemksy has been a member of the Oilers since 2002 fall, I can’t imagine him leaving this way.

Plus, Hemsky can help! Dellow and I were talking about this yesterday, 83 is a solid option when you need to get the puck out of the zone. We talk at length about him as an offensive player, but his skills with the puck are extremely useful everywhere. MacT and Hemsky’s PC might be for a trade, or an injury, or (I don’t think so) a rettirement.

But maybe it’s for something good. I think we should proceed as if that’s a possibility.

And if Hemsky is staying, I’ll be thrilled. This guy is one of us, he’s been here for all of the bad times and come out the other side. The point of view is different–Hemsky’s got the coins, we pay admission–but he’s a guy who spent more than a decade getting pulverized by the caveman Regehr (with no penalties I can recall).

This could be a good or bad day, based on 9am.

projections

Scott Cullen has his top 300 scorers projection up at tsn and a few Oilers make the list. Here’s the Cullen projection with my RE in brackets:

  • Taylor Hall 71, 31-41-72 (70, 37-45-82)
  • Jordan Eberle 80, 28-40-68 (78, 28-37-65)
  • Sam Gagner 77, 20-34-54 (82, 15-37-52)
  • Nail Yakupov 80, 25-27-52 (82, 29-23-52)
  • David Perron 75, 20-27-47 (69, 20-24-44)
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 63, 13-32-45 (62, 21-42-63)
  • Ales Hemsky 67, 15-28-43 (66, 11-25-36)
  • Justin Schultz 80, 12-30-42 (80, 13-28-41)

Most of the projections match up, I’m stronger on Hall and Nuge (and I’m fine with those bets). Cullen’s projections for this group (166GF) trails my estimate for the top 8 scorers (174GF) but it isn’t a massive gap between the two estimates. The real story is secondary scoring–beyond these 7 forwards and 1D the Oilers don’t appear to have enough offense. That’s what MacT’s moves were all about this summer, but if we’re going to see someone else top 40 points my guess is it’ll come from a new arrival (Joensuu, Belov) and my guess is that it’s an extreme longshot.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

usual2

We’re live on location at the Tour of Alberta this morning, with a wide range of guests (and some additions likely). Scheduled to appear:

  • Spencer Smitheman will help guide us through the Tour of Alberta and we’ll give you a pre-race feel for this brand new event. I was downtown last night, lots of excitement and a nice crowd for the first day of the event. Slavak Peter Sagan crushed the competition in the prologue last night. 
  • Ryan Marsh, Assistant coach of the U of A Golden Bears and Campus Director of the Vimy Campus. We’ll talk about Donnan and Vimy Hockey, about their focus for young athletes, the success they’re seeing (NHL draft, WHL drafts) and we’ll talk about the Oilers rookies/Golden Bears game and the start up of hockey season.
  • Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. Bruce has a great article up this morning on MacT’s summer of change and we’ll talk about that and some roster battles.
  • Brian King (PDO) on the Eskimos. A season that had some promise is off the rails, with Ed  Hervey calling out players and Kavis Reed hanging on for dear life. We’ll break things down with Brian.

Tweets are best today @Lowetide_ but Connor will be checking the texts too at 10-1260. Hope you can tune in!

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72 Responses to "WEDNESDAY MORNING, 9AM"

  1. Logan91 says:

    Lets just hope during this conference Mac T explains to everyone how he was unable to trade Ales, and that he will remain with the club for the whole year.

    If Ales has been traded, I might shed a few tears. Hemsky will always be one of my favourite players.

  2. thejonrmcleod says:

    I appreciate the Toy Story 3 reference. I get a bit emotional every time I watch that part.

  3. Lowetide says:

    I think trading Hemsky–if they have to–will get the best return at the deadline. I’m hopeful he has a terrific year, the Oilers sign him and he plays the Alfredsson role for the next 10 years.

  4. supernova says:

    I really hope Hemsky is staying as well.

    What do you think MacT will do for his first move in season?

    Waivers aside. The obvious is trading a Defenceman, maybe the 3 for 1?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Supernova: I think they’ll lose a D via waivers unless they trade one, so it’ll probably be Potter or Nick Schultz for a pick. There should be some centermen available on waivers, so they get to:

    1. examine Lander, Acton, Arcobello and Miller
    2. make sure Nuge is fine
    3. grab a better option if needed

  6. mumbai max says:

    Without the Mckenzie tweet i was sure he was going home/KHL. With that as a factor I am sitting
    on the fence. At least 50% possible it is some form of departure. Very much doubt an extension.
    Hoping he is staying and they are just kissing and making up in public. Up past my bed time for this!

  7. thejonrmcleod says:

    supernova,

    I saw that MacKenzie said on Twitter that Pitkanen might not have healed as fast from surgery as expected. Maybe the Oilers can trade one of their extra defensemen to Carolina.

    Here’s more on Pitkanen: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=681383

  8. Beaker says:

    To be honest when I heard of the press conference I didnt figure it could be anything BUT a “everything is fine with Ales and we are proceeding as normal”…. If it was a trade that would be out by now.

  9. namflashback says:

    Best Hemsky memories are the number of times he made Nick Lidstrom look silly. Not many players could, but for whatever reason Hemsky had Lidstrom’s number.

  10. Zipdot says:

    TreenasOil said to keep an eye on Hemsky two days ago…

  11. bookje says:

    When was the last time a GM called a press conference with a player for any of the following?

    A player going to Europe.

    A player retiring.

    Never?

    When was the last time that the first you heard of a trade was at a press conference (as opposed to Twitter)?

    Stop freaking out!

  12. Spartacus says:

    With that photo, are you suggesting this is a Kobayashi Maru for the Oilers?

    An un-passable test that is intended to display what a team will do when confronted with a no-win situation?

    Interesting…

  13. Captain Smarmy says:

    I think Hemsky stays. Looking at the FA’s left it kind of surprising that there are still a lot of good players just sitting there.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    After trading away Magnus I believe we weaken our depth players that can move up or down the lineup. Hemmer is an expensive option that maybe able to play top 9 or top 6.

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    If Hemsky leaves for whatever reason without a real player coming back our 3rd line will be a genuine shit show. A real player capable of playing real minutes against real NHL opponents.

    Tend to agree with Bookje don’t think he’s going to Europe, retiring etc

  16. LostBoy says:

    All good:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 13m
    “He’s off the market. We want (Ales) to come in and make an impression. We want him to play a prominent role.” – GM MacTavish

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 20m
    “I’m happy to be back and I just want to help this team turn things around. I want to be a leader and help the young guys.” – Hemsky

  17. jfry says:

    Was going to mention this a few days ago, but there’s video up of jonesuu up in the oilers video section. Big guy but on some drills he looked like Bambi on ice. I really hope we have no plans to play him above the fourth line and can sign cleary.

  18. Henry says:

    I didn’t hear about the cap friendly three year extension I was fantasizing about, but this sounds great. With Hemsky and Omark mixed in with the shooters, the options available to Eakins for line blending are enormous.

    Competition for ice time, what a concept.

    Hemsky’s RE may be set at 43 points by Cullen. It could go much, much higher.

  19. D says:

    I’m excited that he’s staying.

  20. flyfish1168 says:

    No one can say hemmer is soft watching this video. Rehger may have pounded hemmer into the boards three times but I sure remember when Ales beat robin like a rented mule.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-8l43iainA

  21. ashley says:

    Yet we were asking for him to be traded for a “checker” just a few short months ago.

    He’s just barely 30 with elite skills in the best league in the world. He’s got a great attitude. His shy personality is miscast by fans and media alike as aloof and disinterested. He’s as smart as they come and just when he’s got the league mostly figured out, it is now time to keep him.

    It’s time to put to bed the Oiler model where 28 is old, 30 is ancient…trade them in. We should embrace the Red Wings model. These vets aren’t shiny and new, but they have value. Can you imagine how excited we’d be if we just acquired 83 in a trade? We’d be over the moon with thoughts about 3 scoring lines. Contempt for the familiar.

    He may not be Alfredsson in the locker room. But he is Alfredsson+ on the ice.

  22. jake70 says:

    “My own take is he’s a brilliant but fading soloist.” from D Staples. Interesting description.

  23. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ashley

    Agree with your comment re excitment if we had just acquired Hemsky but Daniel Alfredsson has scored 100 pts once, 80+ pts 3 times and 70+ pts 6 times. Ales Hemsky is not Alfredsson +

  24. russ99 says:

    I’m glad Hemmer is staying.

    He’s (supposedly) finally healthy after a rash of injuries, so if he can stay on the ice and give us 70+ games I think we’ll be happy with the outcome, even if it’s primarily to pump his trade value at the deadline.

  25. FastOil says:

    Dare I say if the Oilers play Omark with Gordon and Hemsky they have the most talented top 9 in the league?

    I wonder if there is a verbal that Hemsky resigns at a reasonable hit or he’s still back on the block at the deadline?

  26. Hammers says:

    Good News . This gives us real competition for top 6 . Good Luck Hemmer .

  27. Woodguy says:

    *whew*

  28. hungoverman says:

    I have always what exactly Hemsky has done in the past to offend the MSM in Edmonton? Ales is a very good NHL player on a team that needs them in every position. I hope he has a great year and shoves it down the throats of Matheson, Brownlee, etc.

  29. bookje says:

    I think it is unreasonable to have reasonable expectations for Ales Hemsky unless they are as follows:

    Ales Hemsky will play between 8 and 82 games this season and get between 11 and 85 points.

  30. regwald says:

    Woodguy:
    *whew*

    I am very relieved. I thought this was going to be some bad news. Glad it was a clear the air presser.

  31. Ribs says:

    Thank you, for not trading Hemsky.

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    bookje,

    That’s not very reasonable of you to say.

  33. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    *whew*

    Oilers fans are an anxiety-ridden panicky folk. We haven’t quite reached the stage of Maple Leafs fans who are somewhat defeatist in nature (e.g. my brother-in-law’s response to the Leafs blowing game 7 last year: “I called it when Boston scored the 4-2 goal. Classic Leafs.”). We’re instead rather hypervigilant and go from zero to crisis in 0.2 seconds. “Press conference? What? WHAT? WHY? Oh God they’re fucking it up. I know they’re fucking it up. God damn it MacT! It’s Lowe isn’t it? It’s Gretzky all over again! OHGODOHGODOHGODOHGOD!” Basically, as a fan-base we have a rather insecure attachment style.

    It helps having level-headed bloggers like LT, who can temper our freak-outiness with a more tempered “this too shall pass” approach.

    Thank goodness Hemsky is staying… I guess I took all that extra Ativan for nothing! We can all relax and… what? Someone saw Nuge at Wok Box? How did he handle the chop sticks???

    (For the record… I was 75% certain this press conference would be a ‘we’re all good’ session, but a strong 25% of me was certain he was going to Europe. That same part of me that dealt with Rajala leaving by just denying it for a solid 24 hours.)

  34. G Money says:

    Glad to hear Hemmer is staying and gets a chance to show off (once again) his elite skill and puck possession capability when healthy. Hope he has a massive SIUTBOTC year.

    ashley: Contempt for the familiar.

    That’s a great line.

    Not sure it fully applies though – for a seeming majority of Oiler fans, OR is it a very vocal minority, the contempt is not so much for the familiar as it is for any player dubbed “soft”. Almost always wrongly, usually by those who also share a subtle Euro-centric xenophobia, but a very real contempt nonetheless.

  35. RMGS says:

    This was MacT’s most impressive presser yet – a great pre-emptive public relations and team-building move. I’m no MacT fanboy, but he was at the top of his game today. My favourite quotes:

    “You need good players.”

    “There are no survivors in a losing atmosphere.” (“Vish” exempted, of course)

    And, because I’m glad Hemmer’s still an Oiler: “He’s off the market.”

  36. Kitchener says:

    Good news – a pleasant surprise.

    PC was a bit odd (how often is a PC called to say ____ is staying) but it made sense to address the topic and move on.

    Hemsky/Yak/Eberle on a 3rd line is awesome.

  37. bookje says:

    wheatnoil,

    Given the long history of NHL GM’s calling press conferences with players and announcing that they are going to Europe, I can see why people were concerned about it.

  38. Mr DeBakey says:

    hungoverman: I have always what exactly Hemsky has done in the past to offend the MSM in Edmonton?

    He doesn’t talk to them after games.
    Hence, no juicy quotes
    Hence he makes their jobs harder.
    Plus his body-english is terrible.

    Plus he chews them out when they piss him off.

  39. delooper says:

    Hemsky might very well have a long hockey life. At least visually he no longer looks like an adolescent. He’s clearly gone through puberty fairly recently. If he gets into early adulthood in the next 5 years, maybe Hemsky gets a little taller and heavier. He could be the Oilers’ power forward.

  40. Bag of Pucks says:

    I’ve always found it curious as to why so many Oiler fans feel the need to stereotype those fans who don’t share their allegiance/loyalty to certain players.

    Don’t like Smytty? You must be some sort of Calgary loving, white collar commie?

    Don’t like Horcoff? You must be a herd mentality, upper deck fan with a short memory?

    Don’t like Hemsky (or Omark or Lander or Visnovsky, etc.)? You must be a mouth breathing, euro-hater who doesn’t appreciate the subtleties of the game.

    The reality is there are valid (albeit subjective reasons) to like Ales’ game and valid reasons not to like it.

    For me, my antipathy towards this player does not derive from a supposed Euro bias, insinuations of soft play, or any alleged attitude issues.

    It boils down to A) You can’t count on him to consistently produce in the lineup because of durability issues & B) Finding linemates that play well with Ales (yes, the chemistry issue) has always been an issue with this team going back to the Eric Cole days.

    To me, Hemsky is a Ducati. When it is performing properly, the entertainment quotient is off the charts. Unfortunately the repair bills and unreliability issues have a negative impact on the overall ownership experience. And good luck getting a decent return on your investment when you finally decide to trade it in.

  41. delooper says:

    Hemsky doesn’t make the desmo valve chatter. He’s probably more of an Aprilia.

  42. delooper says:

    Or maybe a Cagiva GP500. Two stroke racing bike, about the same age as Hemsky.

  43. Bag of Pucks says:

    Hemmer’s valve chatter is the accompanying clamor in Rexall for him to shoot the puck.

  44. Doomoil says:

    jesus fucking christ, i knew i should have just turned off the radio when lowdown ended.

    how do you go to work and not just throttle spector to death. such a disgusting human being.

  45. DeadmanWaking says:

    The Sinews of War

    Other artifacts also point to the central importance of catapults in Roman society. The [copper alloy] washer in the figure was found at a Roman temple in Bath, England, where pilgrims would cast votive objects into a sacred pool.

    When archaeologists drained the pool in 1979, along with coins, statuettes, and curse tablets they found a piece of a catapult. Its size suggests a small arrow-shooter.

    The washer must have been a prized possession for the person who offered it to the goddess of the temple. Perhaps an engineer had come to thank the divinity for having survived many campaigns.

    It takes epic skill to build such a machine in 400 BCE. Less ingenious was the cattlepunk, in which a six foot long object of wrath is impelled toward a broad rampart from a four foot distance (despite a common misconception among those who possess such a weapon, the close and sustained physical contact of the “impelling” motion is entirely unrelated to the brief and intense physical contact elsewhere revered as “hitting”) .

    One cattlepunk design that found limited favour involved braiding the torsion spring from a thousand craggy doilies frisbeed over the sturdy timbers of the royal shear chute. Waste not, want not. Highly effective at making real men cringe.

  46. LMHF#1 says:

    Doomoil:
    jesus fucking christ, i knew i should have just turned off the radio when lowdown ended.

    how do you go to work and not just throttle spector to death. such a disgusting human being.

    What did that bonehead say this time?

  47. Jordan says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    It boils down to A) You can’t count on him to consistently produce in the lineup because of durability issues & B) Finding linemates that play well with Ales (yes, the chemistry issue) has always been an issue with this team going back to the Eric Cole days.

    To me, Hemsky is a Ducati. When it is performing properly, the entertainment quotient is off the charts. Unfortunately the repair bills and unreliability issues have a negative impact on the overall ownership experience. And good luck getting a decent return on your investment when you finally decide to trade it in.

    I really like your comparison. But for my liking, this is the exact reason you don’t try to trade him. You’ll never get full value for what he’s capable of if you try to trade him in, and even if he’s not as reliable as you’d like, he’s still a hell of a lot of fun to watch and have around.

    WRT Hemsky & Cole… You do remember that Cole is a RW who was trying to LW with Hemsky, right? Because I sure remember a lot of times when they ended up on the same side of the ice. I don’t think that’s an issue you can put on Hemsky alone. Management and coaching probably played a role there too.

  48. Zipdot says:

    delooper: Hemsky doesn’t make the desmo valve chatter. He’s probably more of an Aprilia.

    No way, Aprilias have airplane engine technology in them, reliable as hell…

  49. Henry says:

    Doomoil:
    jesus fucking christ, i knew i should have just turned off the radio when lowdown ended.

    how do you go to work and not just throttle spector to death. such a disgusting human being.

    I’ve only seen Spector on SportsnetTV and read some of his stuff. Maybe I’m wrong but he didn’t seem to be such a DB when he was breaking in as a reporter 20 years ago. Apparently he didn’t miss this opportunity to slag Hemsky some more. What did he actually say?

  50. delooper says:

    Zipdot: No way, Aprilias have airplane engine technology in them, reliable as hell…

    The Cagiva is probably a good example. 2-stroke race bike. Probably needs frequent engine rebuilds, but when it’s running it must be heroic.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jordan: I really like your comparison.But for my liking, this is the exact reason you don’t try to trade him. You’ll never get full value for what he’s capable of if you try to trade him in, and even if he’s not as reliable as you’d like, he’s still a hell of a lot of fun to watch and have around.

    WRT Hemsky & Cole… You do remember that Cole is a RW who was trying to LW with Hemsky, right?Because I sure remember a lot of times when they ended up on the same side of the ice.I don’t think that’s an issue you can put on Hemsky alone.Management and coaching probably played a role there too.

    Agree that he’s not worth trading at this point. At $5mil per and oft injured, he’s probably untradeable, so the upside you realize if he can manage to stay healthy outweighs the scant return you’ll get on the trade market. Hence today’s presser.

    I chose Eric Cole as the most obvious example of the chemistry issue, because iirc, they brought him in specifically to provide a complimentary linemate for Hemsky. But there have been NUMEROUS examples of players that have struggled to find chemistry with Ales over the years. I think the very unpredictability that makes him fun to watch, makes him very difficult to anticipate as a linemate. Fun to think about what a player like Gretzky might have done with a linemate like Hemsky? I suspect the Great One’s mighty brain could’ve solved the puzzle and formed a potent duo with him.

    Btw, I forgot to mention another aspect of this player that’s fair to question if not outright dislike (inconsistency of effort). Hemsky has been bafflingly invisible in quite a few games over the years and that disappearing act does not help to alleviate insinuations regarding his work ethic or attitude. When it occurs, his fans suggest he’s playing through injuries. His critics suggest otherwise. I suspect the truth is that he’s just an inconsistent player. When he’s good, he’s very good and when he’s not….well, we’re back to the conclusion that you can’t rely on him for consistent production.

  52. Lucinius says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Cole is actually a bad example of your argument, however, due to the circumstances. Cole, as a player, never once showed he could play LW — and in fact all of his power moves that led to his success depended on him coming down the RW side.

    When acquired a number of people, including myself, thought it was a great addition if he was to be the second line RW, and would be a disaster if they forced him onto the first line (which they did for the first 20 games, and then again later on in the season).

    It was horrible coaching, horrible asset management.

    That said, your argument itself is fair; Hemsky is a hard player to play with. He’s a pure instinctual player and he plays the east-west style of hockey, which makes him doubly hard to play with. He’s not alone in this, of course. Jagr causes many of the same reactions. In Boston this past year (and Dallas previously), despite the fact he played well (he never scored in the playoffs but he was one of Boston’s better offensive players) his team-mates commonly commented on how hard he was to play with. His style of game just doesn’t mesh with how the game is coached or how players are taught to play at younger ages.

    The irony of it all is Hemsky has had a number of LWers with whom he found excellent chemistry.. and they were all sent away. Smyth, Samsonov, Penner among the most notable. Smyth and Penner actually worked well with Hemsky for very similar reasons; lots of effort, but slower players who were smart enough to learn how to adapt to Hemsky’s playstyle near the blue line (something Gagner in particular, even though he’s a center, has never been able to work out) and learn all they needed to do was be strong on the puck in the corners, be open around the net, and never stand still and they’d find success — which is exactly what happened.

    Too bad MacT hated Penner despite the fact he was actually a pretty good first line LWer here, results wise, Samsonov didn’t get to stick around.. and Smyth got traded and then got old.

  53. delooper says:

    Btw, I forgot to mention another aspect of this player that’s fair to question if not outright dislike (inconsistency of effort). Hemsky has been bafflingly invisible in quite a few games over the years and that disappearing act does not help to alleviate insinuations regarding his work ethic or attitude. When it occurs, his fans suggest he’s playing through injuries. His critics suggest otherwise. I suspect the truth is that he’s just an inconsistent player. When he’s good, he’s very good and when he’s not….well, we’re back to the conclusion that you can’t rely on him for consistent production.

    I don’t think it’s inconsistency of effort. He plays injured often, which slows him down. His offensive game only really works when he’s in full-flight. That, and his tendency to go-it-alone allow other teams to shut him down if they focus on him. If he utilized his line-mates more, or if he had someone else on his line that was complimentary and dangerous offensively, he would likely show better. He’s played far too long with players that aren’t all that offensively driven.

  54. supernova says:

    Lowetide:
    Supernova: I think they’ll lose a D via waivers unless they trade one, so it’ll probably be Potter or Nick Schultz for a pick. There should be some centermen available on waivers, so they get to:

    1. examine Lander, Acton, Arcobello and Miller
    2. make sure Nuge is fine
    3. grab a better option if needed

    I think Potter and Larsen will probably be exposed to waivers unless there is a trade.

    It will be interesting to see the players on PTO here, it could be a indicator of where MacT will look for help first.

    Waivers were seemingly more active last season than other years with more quality players.

  55. supernova says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    supernova,

    I saw that MacKenzie said on Twitter that Pitkanen might not have healed as fast from surgery as expected. Maybe the Oilers can trade one of their extra defensemen to Carolina.

    Here’s more on Pitkanen: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=681383

    Jon

    I agree with Carolina as a potential landing spot for a defenceman.

    Even before Pitkanens setback it seemed like a great trade partner but cap space is a concern.

    Maybe a trade of Schultz and cap retention will be enough to acquire a 2 or a 3 from them.

  56. G Money says:

    delooper: I don’t think it’s inconsistency of effort.He plays injured often, which slows him down.His offensive game only really works when he’s in full-flight.That, and his tendency to go-it-alone allow other teams to shut him down if they focus on him.If he utilized his line-mates more, or if he had someone else on his line that was complimentary and dangerous offensively, he would likely show better.He’s played far too long with players that aren’t all that offensively driven.

    If a critic’s dislike of Hemsky is his tendency to be injured, that’s understandable. He hasn’t had a 75+ game season since 2005/06, and that certainly undercuts his value as a player.

    The fact that he is a soloist (and I think that can be categorized as a fact) is a less valid knock, since he *is* talented enough to build a line around. It therefore becomes incumbent on the GM and coach to find players to complement his style and that immense talent. The template for this IMO remains the 2005 season, when Hemsky had his greatest success paired with a fast two-way player (Horc) who could cover for Hemsky’s sorties, and a gritty puck-retrieving hard-plays-at-the-net goal scorer (Smyth). Perhaps we may come close if we see Hemsky with Gordon (who can cover defensively) and Omark (who can take the puck to the net and score).

    But the idea that you can criticize Hemsky for being “inconsistent” is in the same vein as him being “soft” – easy to say but not supported by the facts. From 2005 to 2010, these were Hemsky’s PPG rates: 0.95, 0.83, 0.96, 0.92, 1.0, 0.89. Seems the very model of consistency, no?

  57. OilClog says:

    Anyway we could get a petition going with the objective being.. “Relocating Staples” Guy is a joke.

  58. G Money says:

    delooper,

    P.S. Just to be clear, I agree with you, just adding some numbers to the point.

  59. G Money says:

    OilClog:
    Anyway we could get a petition going with the objective being.. “Relocating Staples” Guy is a joke.

    I know a lot of posters on this blog don’t like Staples, which has always mystified me. Agree with him or not, his posts are usually knowledgeable, and I think his “Neilsen numbers” work is a genuinely valuable contribution to the world of Oiler fancy stats.

    Or did you mean Spector?

  60. ashley says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Oft-injured is not the same as inconsistent. I will admit that he is a little streaky, though I would like to give him the excuse of poor linemates, something he has suffered through for many years here in Edmonton. Remember the Comrie, POS, Ryan Stone team?

    You see poor effort where I see lack of supporting cast, and sometimes lack of confidence. The latter has improved with age. When he gets rewarded for his efforts with goals and assists, he seems to grow 2 sizes out there. He begins to ooze confidence and becomes a serious offensive threat.

    He had some great years with MacT. He’s a guy that needs to be stroked every now and then. He’s got the vote of confidence from the GM today, and if he gets off to a good start early in the season, he could have a spectacular year.

  61. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:

    But the idea that you can criticize Hemsky for being “inconsistent” is in the same vein as him being “soft” – easy to say but not supported by the facts.From 2005 to 2010, these were Hemsky’s PPG rates: 0.95, 0.83, 0.96, 0.92, 1.0, 0.89.Seems the very model of consistency, no?

    Why are you eliminating recent seasons? Massaging the data to support the argument?

    The inconsistency I’m referring to is game-to-game not season to season. Yes, Ales get his points but he tends to do so in a streaky fashion. Many NHLers are streaky so this is hardly the critical factor in condemning Ales IMO. Just another element to consider when evaluating this highly talented but IMO flawed player.

  62. OilClog says:

    G Money,

    OMG! yea.. I meant spector… I was filled with White rage.. I’m sorry STAPLES!

    Anyways.. Relocating Spector, and every other ass clown MSM writer slamming Hemsky today is needed. I’m opening a Twitter account just to tweet hate filled messages on how the MSM has failed me as an Hockey fan in general with their piss poor work. It won’t do much, but I’ll be happy knowing this Fan! turned that osculating fan on a 180 and spread that shit in their direction. How truly angry are Terry Jones and Brownlee in person.. all these men seem like they wake up with piss in the cereal, bush league all of em.

  63. OilClog says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why are you eliminating recent seasons? Massaging the data to support the argument?

    The inconsistency I’m referring to is game-to-game not season to season. Yes, Ales get his points but he tends to do so in a streaky fashion. Many NHLers are streaky so this is hardly the critical factor in condemning Ales IMO. Just another element to consider when evaluating this highly talented but IMO flawed player.

    If by streaky you mean, getting points in between injuries I’ll agree with that.. But game to game.. Ales has never been a streaky player, ever. When he’s not hurt, he produces at a high end. When he’s hurt, there’s no production. It’s pretty cut and dry with Ales.

  64. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why are you eliminating recent seasons? Massaging the data to support the argument?

    Bago – I didn’t leave them out, they seem to be the primary supporting argument for Hemsky’s so-called inconsistency, which is kind of strange given that even Hemsky’s critics accept that the last two seasons were torpedoed by injury (shoulder and then foot). I pulled up the previous five seasons of consistency as a larger sample counter-example.

    The funny thing is, even in those two seasons he was surprisingly consistent – 0.52 ppg and 0.53 ppg.

    And you’re absolutely right about Hemsky being streaky from game to game – just like almost every other player in the last 30 years not named Gretzky or Lemieux. Criticizing Hemsky on this basis is not like criticizing him for being soft or season-to-season inconsistent (neither of which are true), but just a massive double standard.

    I should tell you about this kid named Hall – last season he had a 5-point game and then went 5 games without a point. Streaky! Inconsistent! Burn him at the stake! :-)

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    ashley:

    You see poor effort where I see lack of supporting cast, and sometimes lack of confidence.The latter has improved with age.When he gets rewarded for his efforts with goals and assists, he seems to grow 2 sizes out there.He begins to ooze confidence and becomes a serious offensive threat.

    Firstly: inconsistency of effort and poor effort are not the same thing. Ales does try very hard – sometimes.

    Your second point alludes to something I think many of his critics see with Hemmer and it’s the point that leads to perceived issues with attitude, work ethic, etc.

    I think Hemksy may very well be an extremely temperamental player who’s performance is impacted greatly (perhaps even unduly in comparison to his peers) by his confidence level. Thus, if Hemsky gets some early bounces or the team is going well around him (ala 2006 playoffs), Hemmer starts to ‘feel it’ and his play rises a notch. Conversely, if the bounces aren’t going his way or the team starts to go south early or he gets hammered a couple times early, he can just as easily start moving towards the periphery.

    To be clear, I’m not saying he’s soft. He’ll take a hit to make a play. There’s ample evidence to prove this. What I’m saying is that he appears to be a player that requires a lot of the environmental factors surrounding him to align in his favour to prompt him to play his best game. This is why I think MacT expressed that Hemsky needed ‘a change of scene’ which could be a tacit admission that Hemsky is either a player suffering from a crisis of confidence or a lack of motivation due to years of losing OR both.

    In other words, the Ducati might be better served going to an owner not so intimately acquainted with the service history AND might thrive again with a new owner placing less demands on it?

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:
    And you’re absolutely right about Hemsky being streaky from game to game – just like almost every other player in the last 30 years not named Gretzky or Lemieux.Criticizing Hemsky on this basis is not like criticizing him for being soft or season-to-season inconsistent (neither of which are true), but just a massive double standard.

    I should tell you about this kid named Hall – last season he had a 5-point game and then went 5 games without a point.Streaky!Inconsistent!Burn him at the stake!

    I acknowledged in the initial reply that Hemsky is hardly alone in the NHL in suffering from streaky play.

    The difference for me, and it’s admittedly by eye (would be interesting to track his game by game shots to see if the theory holds) is whereas players like Hall and Eberle will suffer lulls in production (the effort and the chances are still visibly apparent). There are many MANY nights when I’ve watched the Oilers where outside the first 5 minutes Hemsky is nigh invisible.

    It’s the reason I think the player is so polarizing and often maligned by the fanbase. He has always given the impression (perhaps unfairly) that his ceiling is much higher than what’s he’s achieving and he would be a much more productive player if he could simply A) achieve more consistency of effort & B) tailor his game to achieve better synergy with his linemates.

  67. Marc says:

    OilClog: If by streaky you mean, getting points in between injuries I’ll agree with that.. But game to game.. Ales has never been a streaky player, ever. When he’s not hurt, he produces at a high end. When he’s hurt, there’s no production. It’s pretty cut and dry with Ales.

    Only if you ignore his last two seasons, when he was healthy and scored just over .5 ppg. That is objectively terrible production for someone with a cap hit of $4.1M and $5M during those two years.

    I find it interesting the different ways that Hemsky and N Schultz are treated by many folks on here. Schultz is 31 and was a very good (but not elite) shut down top 4 D for years, but has had two consecutive poor seasons. Most people seem to have written him off as done (and they may well be right). I believe that LT said a few days ago that he’s an example of why you shouldn’t trade for defensive D with lots of miles on them. You don’t see too many people blaming coaching or his teammates for his decline – the conclusion seems to be that it’s him, and his age.

    Hemsky is almost exactly a year younger than Schultz. He’s now had four consecutive bad seasons. The first two of these might be blamed on injury – as has been pointed out, his ppg stayed at the same level as his best years, he just wasn’t on the ice much. The last two seasons though (as with Schultz) he’s been realtively healthy, and his production has collapsed.

    But reading through the comments on this thread you see people blaming his coaches, his teammates, the media and the fans, not him, and insisting that he’s still an elite player. Earlier this summer I believe that LT said he was the best RW on the team, in spite of the fact that Yakupov outscored him by 11 points this season as a rookie, and Eberle is coming off seasons of 76 and 63 (pro-rated) points – better than any two consecutive seasons Hemsky has ever had.

    There don’t seem to be a lot of voices, at least on here, making the uncomfortable point that Hemsky might just be old and done, and that the numbers tell us he’s certainly not an elite player any more, and that he may not actually even be good.

  68. fifthcartel says:

    Robin Brownlee ‏@Robin_Brownlee 10m
    Oiler asst coach Steve Smith tells us Belov is having some issues with his visa, so he’ll miss the start of training camp.

  69. FastOil says:

    Marc: Only if you ignore his last two seasons, when he was healthy and scored just over .5 ppg.That is objectively terrible production for someone with a cap hit of $4.1M and $5M during those two years.

    I find it interesting the different ways that Hemsky and N Schultz are treated by many folks on here.Schultz is 31 and was a very good (but not elite) shut down top 4 D for years, but has had two consecutive poor seasons.Most people seem to have written him off as done (and they may well be right). I believe that LT said a few days ago that he’s an example of why you should trade for defensive D with lots miles on them.You don’t see too many people blaming coaching or his teammates for his decline – the conclusion seems to be that it’s him and his age.

    Hemsky is almost exactly a year younger than Schultz.He’s now had four consecutive bad seasons.The first two of these might be blamed on injury – as has been pointed out, his ppg stayed at the same level as his best years.The last two seasons (as with Schultz) he’s been realtively healthy, and his production has collapsed. Reading through the comments on this thread you see people blaming his coaches, his teammates, the media and the fans, and insisting that he’s still an elite player.Earlier this summer I believe that LT said he was the best RW on the team, in spite of the fact that Yakupov outscored him by 11 points this season as a rookie, and Eberle is coming off seasons of 76 and 63 (pro-rated) points – better than any two consecutive seasons Hemsky has ever had.

    There don’t seem to be a lot of voices, at least on here, making the uncomfortable point that Hemsky might just be old and done.

    Good points however I think people seriously underestimate how major surgery affects people including athletes.

    Hemsky is heading into what are typically decline years for a forward’s point production, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him to rebound some because he’s a year further removed from his last shoulder rebuild, assuming he gets opportunity such as PP minutes etc.

    Also while his point production may be trending down, his value doesn’t necessarily follow if he can still play toughs. This is what LT was referring to, because Hemsky overall is a better RW than Eberle or Yak currently because he can push the river against top players which the young guys don’t yet. Yak may pass him this year, Eberle may never, we’ll see about him.

    I like Eberle but I don’t see him as elite. He may be one of those players that just has the knack and keeps producing despite like Ray Whitney or Recchi, but he could just as easily drop off as he is required to do more which likely is this year with Eakins in.

    Hemsky is a good player to have around, very versatile if he comes at the right price, which as you mentioned is too high on this contract for what he has produced. The only upgrade would be a physical player with his consistency of production, but this beast is rare.

  70. FastOil says:

    I’m surprised you’re not more chuffed with the 3 scoring lines LT. I get the feeling with how things have been going Eakins and MacT are going to choose ability over size. Either Smyth (if he has the gas) or Omark have the best chance of making the 3rd line IMO, they’ll pot a few for sure.

  71. gcw_rocks says:

    The Hemsky is injured press conference will either come in November or early February. Its inevitable.

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