“Ales Hemsky should be amongst the top five Czech players in the National HOckey League on a nightly basis. He’s THAT skilled and THAT talented. We haven’t seen it the last three years.”
-Bob Stauffer, February 7, 2012
The complete list of Czech players who have a higher pts/gm than Ales Hemsky’s 0.79 in the last three years, minimum 100 GP:
I’m the first guy to say that points aren’t all there is to a hockey player. Hemsky’s -5 over that span; probably a plus player when you back out the empty net goals against. He’s done this on the worst team in the league, with the worst goaltending in the league. An even/plus player, over 109 games, on the worst team in the NHL. We know that Hemsky has played a lot of minutes against the tough matchups over that time, too.
Is there an argument that Hemsky hasn’t been one of the top Czech players in the league over the last three years? Sure. There are lots of Czech defencemen in the league who can play. It’s not a slam dunk though and Hemsky’s had two shoulder surgeries and a string of concussions during this period, which were sort of haphazardly diagnosed from time to time. He certainly doesn’t deserve the grief he gets from Stauffer (who mentioned the -4 in Toronto repeatedly, despite that having nothing to do with him), given the extenuating circumstances.