• Eleven Years of Pestilence, II

    by Tyler Dellow • February 7, 2012 • Hockey • 58 Comments

    “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:

    Patrik Elias.

    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.

    About Tyler Dellow

    58 Responses to Eleven Years of Pestilence, II

    1. Jonathan Willis
      February 7, 2012 at

      Yeah, but I’ll bet Milan Michalek stays late at practice and chit-chats with the media types.

    2. Jonathan Willis
      February 7, 2012 at

      Since you listened to Stauffer’s show today and I didn’t, did anyone take time from hammering on Hemsky to talk about how awful Cam Barker was?

      • Tyler Dellow
        February 8, 2012 at

        Does “awful” mean “good”? Bob conceded he was bad BUT said he’s usually awesome.

        • Jonathan Willis
          February 8, 2012 at

          I think the last time ‘usually awesome’ could be used to describe Barker was in his draft year. In the WHL.

    3. RiversQ
      February 8, 2012 at

      Holy shit this is getting depressing. The Oilers will need to replace Hemsky and probably Smyth in their top six forwards next year and they need at least three dmen, one of which needs to bump Smid and/or Gilbert down the depth chart. And they probably need a goaltender too.

      I’m pretty sure next year is a write off too. It shouldn’t be because they’re going to find their window closing pretty shortly. But there is no way that this Oilers regime manages to acquire five good NHL hockey players at this deadline, the draft, and in the offseason. No way.

    4. PDO
      February 8, 2012 at

      How many teams have finished bottom 3 with a top 10 scorer making less than $2,000,000?

      That’s gotta be some sort of record.

    5. Romulus' Apotheosis
      February 8, 2012 at

      If you understand “the last three years” to mean 2008-2011 (which is quite possible both in terms of the grammar of the sentence and in terms of Stauffer’s willingness to play up Hemsky as an underachiever: something like “even aside from this year, Hemsky hasn’t produced!”), then the statement is even more disconcerting.

      In that span (2008-09-2010-11), of Czech players who played 100 games plus, Ales Hemsky is #1 at .92 PPG and Elias is behind him at .87 PPG.

    6. OilW30
      February 8, 2012 at

      Stauffer is paid by the Oilers now. It’s his job to pave the way for Hemsky’s departure.

    7. TrentonL
      February 8, 2012 at

      The media are sheep, someone says Hemsky is a bad player and only a top 6 forward as opposed to the top line player he is and the media run with it.

      Hemsky has an unhappy look on his face due to discomfort in his shoulder but Spector or other boob says he has a bad attitude/unhappy to be in Edmonton….must be true…..

      That same shoulder injury requires rehab every day so Hemsky leaves the ice early…media take no desire to improve his game, wants out of town.

      Honestly how much better is the MSM than Eklund? Both create fabricated stories/rumors to sell paper/airtime/internet hits. Unfortunately for Oilers fans this results in running good players out of town on a regular basis.

    8. Tom Benjamin
      February 8, 2012 at

      I’ve thought about writing a post about Hemsky myself as the drumbeat about his availability has ramped up over the past few months.

      Don’t the Oilers, the Oiler media and (some) Oiler fans understand how difficult it is to find players of his quality? I understand the concerns about his health, but that also gives the Oilers leverage in contract discussions and potential trading partners leverage in trade talks. Unless the Oilers know something about his health that the rest of us don’t, I’d sign him in a New York minute.

      What do people expect to get for him? A couple wannabe prospects and a draft pick? That’ll help, for sure.

      • Jonathan Willis
        February 8, 2012 at

        Tom, it’s really straight forward.

        1) The Oilers didn’t win with Hemsky.

        2) There’s a beautiful rebuild that will fix everything going on.

        3) Once the rebuild has stopped providing the Oilers with franchise talent through the draft like manna from heaven, the seas will part and Hemsky-calibre players will pour in, desperate to play for a franchise of such excellence.

        • Tom Benjamin
          February 8, 2012 at

          I should have known.

          The funny part is that two years from now when the Oilers are finally competitive again, they will be looking for a top six forward. Did anyone else laugh when Bryan Murray talked about that earlier this year? He had traded Mike Fisher less than a year before!

          Healthy, Hemsky can help every team in the league. He will still be a good player when the beautiful rebuild is finished. I thought the Oilers were stupid to let Smyth go and he was 32. Hemsky is not in decline. Unless he is demanding a ridiculous amount of money, why on earth would any team decide to trade him?

          I guess it is me. I think Hemsky is really good. Tambellini and lots of reporters and fans obviously don’t. I think the hard part to building a good team is finding lots of good players. I would never, ever punt away a 28 year old who can play.

          • Jonathan Willis
            February 8, 2012 at

            Yeah, my only question on Hemsky is health. When he’s healthy, there’s absolutely no question this team is *far* better with him than without him.

            • Tom Benjamin
              February 8, 2012 at

              The health is a risk for sure, but is there a better bet than that he will snap back and make the team far better? Is there another player on the horizon that can possibly have the same impact?

    9. Lobanovskyi
      February 8, 2012 at

      “Ales Hemsky should be amongst the top five Czech players in the National Hockey League on a nightly basis.”
      What a strange measure of relative worth.
      I wasn’t aware that the NHL had impiosed Slavic import restrictions; maybe the Oilers can trade Hemsky for the league’s best Montenegran.

    10. godot10
      February 8, 2012 at

      The Oilers don’t have the cap room to keep Hemsky for longer than 1 more season. He is in his prime. A 10% raise on his current actual salary takes him to $5.5 million, which is the absolute minimum that he is likely to sign for.

      The key to the Oilers rebuild is to lock up as many UFA years in the 2nd contracts of Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins as possible. That is going to put a 6 or 7 handle on their contracts. Your 4th best forward cannot also be earning a 6-handle unless he is a centre, which Hemsky isn’t. Hemskly’s money has to be spent on an elite defenseman.

      • Triumph
        February 8, 2012 at

        I’d be shocked if Hemsky got $6M per year, unless it were on a one year deal. There is far too much risk involved with signing a player like that to a big-time deal, and he’ll almost certainly be coming off a poor season.

        • godot10
          February 8, 2012 at

          He is currently earning $5 million. All of Hemsky’s advocates say he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Ever know of a very good player in the prime of their career take a pay cut.

          $6 million is a mere 17% salary increase, which is small for people hitting the free agent market, particularly in a lean top six forward free agent market this summer.

          I have no problem with a 1-year deal for $6 million for Hemsky. I doubt Hemsky signs it without testing the UFA market, and why would he sign it with Edmonton, where he is now only the 2nd best RW on the team, and the premium ice time and line mates will no longer be his to assist him in reestablishing his credentials. Wouldn’t he look to Pittsburgh, for example, where he would be guaranteed one of Crosby, Malkin, or Staal, instead of Gagner or Horcoff (Eberle getting RNH).

          Hence the Oilers trade deadline conundrum.

          • Triumph
            February 8, 2012 at

            Hemsky is injury prone and he doesn’t score very many goals, he’s been on a bad team for ages, and he was also born on the wrong continent – I just don’t see that sort of player being in very high demand. I could see him getting 4 years at or around his current rate, but what has he done to earn a giant raise?

            Also your original proposal is ridiculous – if the Oilers can’t add a 4th skilled forward to the Hall, RNH, Eberle trio, this rebuild is over before it begins. Now I don’t think the Oilers will be keeping Hemsky, but I don’t think the salary cap is the reason why.

    11. Tom Benjamin
      February 8, 2012 at

      The Oilers don’t have the cap room to keep Hemsky for longer than 1 more season. He is in his prime. A 10% raise on his current actual salary takes him to $5.5 million, which is the absolute minimum that he is likely to sign for.

      The key to the Oilers rebuild is to lock up as many UFA years in the 2nd contracts of Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins as possible. That is going to put a 6 or 7 handle on their contracts. Your 4th best forward cannot also be earning a 6-handle unless he is a centre, which Hemsky isn’t. Hemskly’s money has to be spent on an elite defenseman.

      I think $5 MM is closer to the mark, but it seems to me that this is a very bogus argument. Cap problems that may or may not materialize two or three years down the road are meaningless. If those problems do materialize in two or three years, I will be very happy as a GM and I will find a solution.

      Second, I would much rather spend “Hemsky’s money” on Hemsky because he is a bird in the hand. Spending Hemsky’s money on an elite defensemen might be a good idea but elite defensemen are even harder to acquire than an Ales Hemsky. Is there a plan to find one? How?

    12. Captain Obvious
      February 9, 2012 at

      Great thread. I’m new to Edmonton and so was giving management the benefit of the doubt last year. I had all sorts of optimism heading into this year only to see the team get every possible break and then throw them away by making bad decision after bad decision.

      Anyway this team is never going to win. They’ve gotten best case scenario performances out of the young players, the special teams, and the goaltending and they are still the second worse team in the league.

      The burning question for me isn’t whether the Oilers make the playoffs next year. I know they won’t. The question is how bad is it going to be when all of these things get worse. Where is the improvement going to come from to offset the inevitable drop in production?

      Now, maybe I’m wrong and the team doesn’t re-sign Barker, they keep Omark and he scores 60 points, Paajarvi scores 25 goals, etc. But I’m not optimistic.

    13. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      Shouldn’t the largest consideration on keeping Hemsky be whether the GM sees him as a critical component for a legitimate Cup contender? It’s not 2006 anymore and try as I might, I can’t envision him cracking the Top 6 of actual contenders like Boston, Chicago, Philly or Vancouver. Ales Hemsky is a Top 6 forward on a mediocre team. I would suggest it’s yet to be confirmed whether he’s still that player on a good to great team.

      • dawgbone
        February 9, 2012 at

        As of right now, the Oilers are a terrible team. So if Hemsky is a top 6 player on a mediocre team, it’s safe to say that the Oilers are going to need him, or a player like him, in the near future.

        With their terrible FA record, Tom’s point about it being a bird in hand is spot on.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis
        February 9, 2012 at

        So you’re contending points are easier to come by on a bottom feeder of a team? Hockey is still a team sport right? Where having talented support enhances your performance?

        BTW since 2006, so from 2006-07-2011-12 (including Hemsky’s abysmal current year), among forwards who’ve played more than 300 games, Hemsky ranks 36th at .86 PPG.

        If the definition of top 6 means the top 180 point producing forwards in the league (6 x 30), then Hemsky ranks in the top 20%. That would put him at top six on 6 teams out of 30. Unless you assume “actual contenders” is a smaller number than 6 six teams that’s where Hemksy belongs.

        If you discount this year as a slump or aberration he climbs still higher.

    14. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      Sign players that aren’t good enough to help you win the Cup cos it’s the best you can achieve. Yep, that’s a sure recipe for ongoing mediocrity. Sounds like the same arguments you hear from guys that ‘settled’ for that perfectly acceptable wife with the cottage cheese thighs and the bad breath.

      • Passive Voice
        February 9, 2012 at

        I hope that “cottage cheese thighs” becomes Hemsky’s new nickname.

    15. David Staples
      February 9, 2012 at

      Why not sign Hemsky?
      Well, first what does he want? This is the key.

      If it’s five years at $30 million, what then? Isn’t that money that should be slotted for the first line wingers and the top power player wingers, not for a second-line winger, with second line power play minutes?

      Because that is what Hemsky will be for Oilers in next five years. If you give Hemsky $6 million a year (and some team desperate for a top line winger just might) how does that play out in terms of signing Hall/Eberle?

      P.S. In the end, I’m thining the injury issue is not such a big issue if Katz is ready to eat Hemsky’s contract if Hemsky doesn’t recover and keeps on being a bit of a dud.

      Anyway, a good issue, one of toughest one to face team in some time. Still thinking and researching it through myself . . .

    16. rickithebear
      February 9, 2012 at

      Ales Hemsky is a great PT/gm player.
      The cap, However, is paid for the expectation of producing 100% games.
      Ignoring Hemsky’s: rookie and 22 game season’s, He has 6.7 seasons of performance.
      During that time he has produced 67GM 16G 39A 55P per season. The last 1.7 years: 52GM 11G 27A.

      It has been said it is better to keep what we know. I know what hemsky is the last two years.

      People advocate 5M+ for 11G 40P player for the hope he gets back to being a 16G 55P player. Did you guys help the oilers Sign Barker? Cause the thinking sure fits.

      though maybe there is a cheaper version of similiar risk.
      I have a feeling that there will be a forward out of Montreal available on the cheap after buyout or Re-entry waivers. the last 1.7 seaon he has average 61Gm 4G 30P. Heck maybe he gets back to being 78GM 16G 62A.

    17. David Staples
      February 9, 2012 at

      Cap issues down the road bogus, Tom B?

      I can’t agree.

      Look at what happened to the Black Hawks, laving money on Campbell, losing out with Ladd, Byfuglien.

      • Tyler Dellow
        February 9, 2012 at

        YES! We must get rid of Hemsky (a good player) to ensure that money is available for the good players who we don’t yet have!

      • Tom Benjamin
        February 9, 2012 at

        Gee whiz, what happened in Chicago? Answer: They won the Stanley Cup. I disagreed with more than one of Tallon’s decisions, most notably the Hossa signing which assured salary cap problems the very next year. But they won and the problems were solved a lot more easily than I thought.

        Edmonton is not a Chicago verging on a Stanley Cup. They are not assured salary cap problems in two or three years let alone next year. They are way below the cap today, we don’t know what the cap will be in three years, there are no guarantees all the young forwards will need to be paid huge dollars, and some bad contracts like Whitney’s and Khabibulan’s will be off the books. If I were an Edmonton fan I would be delighted if you told me the Oilers would have so many expensive players that they would have cap problems in three years. If that is not the case, the team will still suck. For a bottom feeder the idea that they make decisions based on a possibility they may have problems fitting players under the salary cap in 2014 seems ludicrous on the face of it.

        I do agree that it depends on what Hemsky wants. If he wants out of Edmonton or he wants to maximise his earnings, he’s gone. But is there any evidence the Oilers want to sign him? If the Oilers have tried to sign him to something reasonable – say 2 years, $11 MM or 4 years, 20 MM – and he was not interested, fine. Tambellini can publicly shop him saying they have to get something for someone they can’t sign.

        But it looks to me like the Oilers have decided not to try to sign Hemsky. The Hawks were forced to trade Ladd and Byfuglien because under Gary Bettman’s stupid system, Chicago had too many good players. The Oilers don’t have enough good players and for some reason – inexplicable to me – they are voluntarily going to punt one away.

    18. The Other John
      February 9, 2012 at

      This is not that difficult an issue. Nor whould it have waited to minutes before midnight to figure out. Do the Oilers have a replacement for Hemsky in the top 6 next year? year after? in pipeline? Can they get a replacement in FA at a cost noticeably lower than Hemsky will cost?

      So how do you fill that necessary spot WITHOUT taking a step backwards.

      Quite frankly to have not even have spoken to Hemksy or his agent at all is unique, but consistent with an organization that has finished 30th overall 2 years in a row

      Some have suggested Omark as Hemsky’s replacement. I like Omark but we are not winning 2 playoff series with Eberle, RNH, Gagner and Omark playing 16+ minutes a night in playoffs. But that is another issue. IF Tyler is right with earlier posts, Pitlick and Hamilton are also not tracking to play in the top 6. So……..

      Do you sign Hemsky to a front end loaded contract fully anticipating that you may very well move him when all of Hall, Eberle and Hall have to be resigned? Could have sworn that someone in the Oiler blogosphere actually questioned the idea of burning a year of ELC for Hall and RNH unnecessarly. Good thing no one ridiculed that idea unduly because finishing 30th last year and bottom 5 again this year kinda makes that criticism look a wee bit foolish now…..

      Or is this reaally a 8 to 10 year rebuild? No pressure on Lowe or Tambellinito to compete just keep referring to “the Plan” and simply adding magic beans year after year

    19. iwin76
      February 9, 2012 at

      Do you think Kevin Lowe makes Stauffer move and talk with strings like a marionette or with a hand up his ass like a puppet?

    20. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      Rather than holding onto players that aren’t good enough to compete against the elite, how about trading those players for ones that could? This is the kind of thing savvy GMs do. Rationalize it all you want, but holding onto Hemsky past this year is like those wishful thinking types who hold onto a declining stock when every indicator is screaming dump it now.

      Chicago acquired Nathan Horton via trade. Ditto Patrick Sharp for Chicago. Ditto Marian Hossa, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz for Pittsburgh. In case you’re missing the trend here, it’s GMs dealing to make their clubs more Cup competitive not standing pat with players who are clearly past their best by dates.

      What separates the great GMs from the good ones is their ability to see undervalued assets in other organizations and secure those assets through shrewd trades. Now, it’s entirely possibly that Tambellini will find a way to bungle this, but that doesn’t mean dumping a depreciating asset for one on the rise in another organization isn’t sound management.

      The theory behind the Oiler rebuild isn’t predicated on the belief that the accumulation of top 6 assets ends with RNH. It’s predicated on the belief that the pipeline will continue to stock and replenish this team with upper echelon talent on an annual basis. If theory proves to be fact in practise, that makes players like Ales Hemsky expendable for cheaper and younger alternatives offering excellent cap value.

      Either commit to the rebuild or don’t, but please, don’t waffle somewhere in the middle thinking players like Hemsky will win you the Cup.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis
        February 9, 2012 at

        So when one of those “great GMs” picks up Hemsky you’re going to say… what, again?

        It’s also interesting that your standard is “winning the cup” and apparently Hemsky is the lynch-pin on whether or not x team achieves that goal.

        BTW who “in theory” is in the pipeline that can take Hemsky’s spot? And, how do you expect to underpay this up-and-coming marvel?

      • Tom Benjamin
        February 9, 2012 at

        Rather than holding onto players that aren’t good enough to compete against the elite, how about trading those players for ones that could? This is the kind of thing savvy GMs do. Rationalize it all you want, but holding onto Hemsky past this year is like those wishful thinking types who hold onto a declining stock when every indicator is screaming dump it now.

        Chicago acquired Nathan Horton via trade.

        This is pretty funny. This cannot be resolved because we have such a fundamental disagreement about Hemsky’s value. If I thought Edmonton-Vancouver could possibly make a big trade, I’d want my team to be at the front of the Hemsky line. Tallon got Wideman, a first round pick and a third round pick for Horton. I thought he was an idiot for doing that deal. Would you take Ballard, a first rounder and a third rounder for Hemsky? Please?

        The point? Edmonton would not be on the Boston side of a Hemsky trade. They will be on the Florida side.

        Chicago acquired Nathan Horton via trade. Ditto Patrick Sharp for Chicago. Ditto Marian Hossa, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz for Pittsburgh. In case you’re missing the trend here, it’s GMs dealing to make their clubs more Cup competitive not standing pat with players who are clearly past their best by dates.

        Next year you will be able to recycle this paragraph and add “Don’t forget Detroit grabbed Hemsky in a trade.”

        I think this is the thing that pisses me off about this decision. Hemsky is going to go to a contender and I can’t see how it will be Vancouver. Somebody the Canucks have to beat to win is going to get better. I suppose that will be some consolation for Oiler fans.

    21. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      Apologies, should read ‘Boston’ acquired Horton via trade obviously.

      • Tyler Dellow
        February 9, 2012 at

        Weird that Boston acquired Horton, given that there was nothing to suggest he was a top 6 player on anything more than a terrible team.

    22. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      Possibly Peter Chiarelli knows an undervalued player when he sees one? Is it your contention that the only thing holding Hemsky back from elite status is the team he plays on?

      • Romulus' Apotheosis
        February 9, 2012 at

        I would suggest that scoring in the top 20% of forwards since the 2006-07 season (including this year’s terrible season) ranks one as “elite,” or close enough to make for an academic conversation.

        I would also suggest that the wealth or poverty of talent surrounding a player has a non-trival impact on their production.

    23. Captain Obvious
      February 9, 2012 at

      Lee,

      Where do you get the idea that Hemsky isn’t a top six forward on Philadelphia, Chicago, or Vancouver? That is a flat out strange comment?

      You don’t think Hemsky is better than David Booth, or Victor Stalberg, or Jacob Vorucek? To pick names out of hat. Don’t like those names, how about Mason Raymond, Andrew Shaw, and Maxime Talbot? Hemsky is better than all of these guys.

      Because if that is what you think this conversation has nowhere to go? There isn’t a team in the league that Hemsky isn’t a top six player.

    24. Lee
      February 9, 2012 at

      It’s an academic conversation until and if Hemsky is traded to an elite team. Don’t think you’ll get the chance to see that scenario however as I suspect that there isn’t a true Cup contender in the league who wants him as a rental, despite the fact that he’s a supposed Top 6 ‘lock’ for every team out there.

    25. The Other John
      February 9, 2012 at

      Lee

      Most math boys like Hemsky. Historically and even through this godawful year.

      Most Oiler MSM and “patient” Oiler fans believe whatever they are told by Oiler management to believe.

      Unless Oilers have a replacement for Hemsky, whatever happens in the next 2 weeks is a step backwards. But it’s not like we sucked for 6 years……. Wait we did? Frick, who knew

    26. Lee
      February 10, 2012 at

      Nice OJ, I don’t agree with your assessment of the player so that automatically includes me in a group being led by the MSM and/or Oiler mgmt.

      From my perspective, the math boys may be living in the past with this player. It’s not 2006 anymore and Ales Hemsky is on the downward spiral.

      More importantly, the Oil have been out of the dance for so long that the fanbase is starting to forget about the player attributes that actually matter in the playoffs. If you look at mgmt decisions through that filter, it becomes exceedingly obvious why acquiring a player like Nathan Horton is a good thing as is dumping a player like Ales Hemsky.

      • GNikkles
        February 10, 2012 at

        I take it you’re implying that Hemsky is lacking the player attributes that matter in the playoffs? What are you basing this off of?

    27. The Other John
      February 10, 2012 at

      Lee

      My point is at the end of my last post. If we do not have a replacement for Hemsky we are not adding by subtraction. We are simply subtracting from our current core which will, in part, take away from some of the progress Hall, Eberle and RNH will achieve next year. That then would put us behind of the Anaheim, Chicago and Pittsburgh models

    28. Lee
      February 10, 2012 at

      OJ, that assumes that Tambi can’t make any gains through free agency which is a fairly pessimistic pov.

      The team does not have to build the entire core internally, nor should they think that’s the only option. Lining up all those disparate development curves to hit that one perfect window of opportunity is nigh impossible. I realize that Oiler mgmt have cited the Chicago and Pittsburgh models, but the better one to emulate is the Detroit model where you simply marry strong prospect acquisition and development with prudent asset management to stay consistently competitive. Detroit has turned their entire core over once if not twice and stayed in the hunt and winning cups throughout. THAT is the model to follow and if it means we have to overpay some FA D men to supplement and create a legitimate Cup contention window for this forward heavy first core, then that’s a reasonable approach imho.

      To do this, you don’t convince yourself that players like Ales Hemsky are irreplaceable, particularly when they are trending downward with a checkered injury history and declining point production. That’s desperation talking, not dynasty building 101.

      Boston is another worthwhile model to consider as well. Chiarelli inherited a strong youth core but he made some very incisive trades to take that team over the top.

      • dawgbone
        February 10, 2012 at

        Except the Oilers have been dreadful at recognizing and acquiring talent both through free agency and trades.

        Not only that, but Detroit doesn’t scrap a veteran until they have his replacement ready to go. For instance, when Shanahan and Yzerman left, the Wings were moving guys like Williams, Samuelsson, Franzen and that up their depth chart. Guys with some NHL experience who had shown that they were getting it.

        Detroit doesn’t get rid of a quality vet without being able to replace them internally. And even if they can replace them internally, sometimes they try and acquire someone else.

        The Oilers let Hemsky go and they have no one to replace him. They have to hope they can find someone. That’s not the Detroit model, it’s the Oilers model that already doesn’t work.

    29. Hambone
      February 10, 2012 at

      Yeah but, that meanie Hemsky got cranky once and hurt Jim Matheson’s feelings. He must go.

    30. Lee
      February 10, 2012 at

      Dawgbone, I’m not making a case for Oiler management. I’m not their shill. I’m simply making the case that a competent management team could replace Hemsky and with that in mind would recognize that moving this declining asset at this time is the right move. The Oilers need many parts (not just one) and Hemsky could fetch a couple. All indications are that this is a seller’s market this year and that could set up Tambi well for getting some decent return for a player who’s play this season doesn’t legitimately deserve that.

      Could the Oil find a way to screw up trading and/or replacing Hemsky? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right call. If you play the ‘mgmt will screw it up’ trump card every time someone debates a personnel decision, you’ll inevitably arrive at the conclusion that no move is a good one. Actually, that’s kind of summarizes internet debates in a nutshell now that I think about it.

      • dawgbone
        February 10, 2012 at

        Oilers don’t have a compentent management team though. If they did have a person in charge who had a history of being able to replace good players with other good players, I’d be less worried.

        The problem is, we have the current Oilers management making decisions. They have a history of making some pretty shitty player choices. I’m not throwing the ‘management will screw it up card’ to win a debate. I’m throwing the ‘management will screw it up card’ because most of the things they’ve done since the summer of ’06 suggests they will.

        If we were Nashville, I’d be a heck of a lot less worried.

        And I agree that the Oilers need many parts… and if Hemsky could be traded for something to fill a roster hole I wouldn’t have a problem. For instance if he could bring back a young defenceman who is on track to be an NHLer (i.e. has had some success in the NHL already), I’d be less worried and would probably welcome that kind of trade.

        Unfortunately what I think we’ll get is Penner return part 2 which is another orgs 5th or 6th best prospect at a position and 2 picks that won’t help out for 4-5 years.

    31. bone
      February 10, 2012 at

      With the Oilers scheme to run him out of town while trumpetting BArker as the answer brings me back to a classic South Park episode:

      Step 1: Collect underpants (lottery draft picks)
      Step 2: ?
      Step 3: Profit (win Stanley Cup)

    32. Tom Benjamin
      February 11, 2012 at

      Oilers don’t have a compentent management team though. If they did have a person in charge who had a history of being able to replace good players with other good players, I’d be less worried.

      Management is incompetent. I can’t tell you how long I’ve scoffed at Kevin Lowe and thereby offended Oiler fans over the years. As long as he is in charge, I think the Oilers will make mistake after mistake.

      That said, the objective is all wrong here. The scorched earth rebuild begins by shipping out everybody who is too old to help win a Cup in five years for prospects and picks. Very early then, good players are shipped out and not replaced by good players. They are replaced by players who might turn out to be good.

      The first phase done, thereafter the objective is to add good players. Period. What is the point of replacing one good player with another? That does not make you better. Letting Hemsky go and finding another player just as good doesn’t make the team better. It makes it the same. Letting Hemsky go and not finding a player just as good makes the team a lot worse all other things being equal. It pushes the Stanley Cup another good player away. Getting better means keeping Hemsky and replacing one of the shitty Oilers with another good one. This team needs more Hemsky quality players, not fewer of them.

      Now is not the time to worry about whether the team will have too many good forwards and not enough good defensemen. The problem now is not enough good players period. If you want to insist that this forward-defender imbalance needs to be addressed now, then you take one of the good young forwards and go after one of the league’s good young defenseman. Eberle for Subban or something. That kind of deal isn’t impossible – Stewart for Johnson for example – but it is very hard to find.

      Does letting Hemsky go as a rental get the Oilers closer to a Cup? How?

      • dawgbone
        February 11, 2012 at

        But if you are that worried about his injury troubles, you may feel that you have to replace him.

        • Tom Benjamin
          February 11, 2012 at

          If the Oilers know he has a chronic injury, so does any team that will be acquiring him. He would also be a lot cheaper to sign. Anyway, I think the best assumption from where we sit is that Ales – like many, many others – has had a bad streak of injuries.

          Is Tambo dumb enough to trade him to Vancouver? I can’t imagine a better winger for Ryan Kesler and vice versa. Hemsky would have the puck all night and he would find lots of options to make delightful plays. Hemsky the playmaker, Kesler the everything else.

    33. February 12, 2012 at

      “The team does not have to build the entire core internally, nor should they think that’s the only option. Lining up all those disparate development curves to hit that one perfect window of opportunity is nigh impossible.”

      Um, deciding on a win window and lining up development curves (of drafted and acquired talent) is essentially the definition of the job of hockey operations. And it’s not really that hard.

      • kinger
        February 12, 2012 at

        I bet you math nerds don’t have hot cottage cheese thigh-less wives like alpha dog Lee.

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