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No joke: Oilers, Hemsky agree to two-year, $10M deal

Feb 24, 2012, 7:49 PM EDT

Bruins Oilers Hockey AP

Continuing a somewhat odd trend of Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini keeping the gang together (you know, despite that being nowhere near the playoffs factor), the team signed winger Ales Hemsky to a two-year, $10 million extension.

This serves as a solid raise for the fragile playmaker; Hemsky’s current deal carries a $4.1 million cap hit.

On paper, that’s a heck of a steal because he’s a very talented player. Unfortunately for the Oilers and Hemsky, his injury history means that there’s been a pretty big gulf between what he could achieve and what he’s been healthy enough to actually accomplish.

Hemsky has played in 47 of Edmonton’s 60 games so far this season, which is actually a solid rate considering the fact that he played 47 in all of last season. Want a telling summary of the good and the bad when it comes to him? Here are his yearly stats in games played and points since the lockout:

2005-06: 81 games, 77 points
06-07: 64 games, 53 points
07-08: 74 games, 71 points
08-09: 72 games, 66 points
09-10: 22 games, 22 points
10-11: 47 games, 42 points
11-12: 47 games, 26 points

The last three seasons justify my mental designation of Hemsky as a poor man’s, passing, right-handed version of Marian Gaborik.

Flames faux paus

Perhaps Hemsky’s injury woes explain this strange story via The Canadian Press: someone who runs the Calgary Flames Twitter feed – or maybe some unruly intern who noticed it was still logged in – posted a rather inflammatory message about the in-process deal.

“$10 Million over two years for Hemsky is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. I hope it happens. #whatajoke”

The Tweet was deleted and the Flames went through the usual rounds of “we’re going to look into the matter” blather, but one cannot help but feel like someone nefarious might have simply expressed thoughts meant to be kept off the record.

Edmonton can simply respond with “glass houses,” because the Flames aren’t exactly a model franchise when it comes to wise contract dealings either.

In a way, that mini-squabble stems back to an intriguing inner-debate for fans of the rival franchises. Would you rather root for an expensive team seemingly destined for the playoff bubble with limited future prospects (the Flames) or a cellar dweller brimming with the dream of better days (the Oilers)?

That’s a fun debate to have, but whether the Flames think it’s amusing or not, Hemsky appears to be off the market – and thus a part of what Edmonton hopes is a near-future ascent to respectability.

  1. govtminion - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    If he can stay healthy, this works out well. If he keeps missing time the way he seems to though… that’s a lot of money for a guy hanging out in the press box. Still, only two years either way.

    • James O'Brien - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      Term definitely makes it easier to accept.

  2. sportsfreak13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    They did include a NPC (no pancake clause)

  3. sportsfreak13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Wait that’s penner nvm that joke doesn’t work here

    • James O'Brien - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      I’ll allow it.

    • govtminion - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      I’m a firm believer, following the Penner incident, that EVERY contract should have room for a clause like this. IHOP will be the death of the NHL someday, and while we focus on minor issues like concussions and roster moves, the day will come that we’ll lose a star player to a Belgian waffle- and we’ll all wonder why we didn’t see this coming sooner. Well, simple- because no one listened when Penner got hurt. It wasn’t a freak incident- it was the start of something… sinister…

      …by the way, I’ve been at my desk at work now for 13.5 hours and I think I may have snapped. Just FYI.

      • sportsfreak13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        The end of the work day can’t come soon enough for you man. Happens to the best of us. Funny little rant though!

      • James O'Brien - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

        The syrup clause: I love it.

        Hope PHT helps that time go a little faster. Brutal.

  4. knicks4life - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Is he good?

  5. icelovinbrotha215 - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Hmm. I’m surprised by the resigning. Especially with all the trade speculation and the tension between him and Coach Renney.

    • blomfeld - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      Tom Renney is a Parasite !

      “an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment”

      Tom Renney is the problem in Edmonton … no two ways about it. This smooth-talking snake oil salesman has done positively nothing during his tenure there. How he continues to pull the wool over people’s eyes is absolutely incredible. Edmontonians are good, decent, hard-working people with solid core values … and they deserve so much better from their team than what this parasite offers !

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Feb 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Hahaha I didn’t know Coach was that bad. Well, maybe this is the writing on the wall for Renney.

  6. crazemastercraze - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    he’s been out with injury’s for so long, i forgot weather he was any good or not….

  7. trbowman - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Oilers have really positioned themselves well for the future. A couple of years down the line and they’re going to be seriously dangerous.

  8. bethgoesglobal - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Well now we know why he hadn’t been traded. I can’t imagine any teams willing to put up what they must have been asking for an injury-prone player that they feel is still worth $5 million a year!

  9. Exiled1 - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    The length of the contract makes it ok. boom or bust. In about 2 years though the Oilers will be really good. Need some young D-men though.

  10. cmv08 - Feb 25, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Apart from my home team, I’m a huge fan of the Oiler’s. They should’ve dumped Hemsky for a 2012 second round draft pick. This draft is DEEP with D-Men, which is what the team needs. Not to mention a Goaltender.

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