I’ve been a fan of Ales Hemsky since he got here, he is a stunning talent and wildly entertaining. I’ve known for a long time that Hemsky’s detractors outnumber his fans, which has been baffling but the Oilers fan heart wants what it wants and that’s true of all of us. For several years now, I have been convinced it was only a matter of time before 83 left us via trade, a deadline deal that would return a 6.04, 225 left wing from Podunk University who was waivering between hockey and forest fire lookout (yes, that’s a job).
And then along comes Dallas Eakins.
- Eakins on Hemsky being a guy with a reputation of being fragile: “I think that’s a bunch of crap. That guy goes to the net, he’s been fully engaged in what we want to do defensively, this guy goes to where you are going to get hurt. This guy is a tough hockey player, and a guy I value highly.”
I can’t tell you why Ales Hemsky is a favorite of mine beyond saying watch him and then you’ll know. I believe in my heart that Hemsky was saved only by Kevin Lowe last time around, that he would have been sent out of town without Lowe’s presence in the front office. Things happen for a reason, and a new day has dawned in Edmonton—and part of the fresh start is a coach who sees the good in Ales Hemsky.