Aug 11, 2012, 5:20 PM EDT
It’s reasonable to gravitate toward all the young talent in Edmonton – three consecutive No. 1 overall picks will do that – but veteran players matter, too.
One of the surprising returnees is star-crossed winger Ales Hemsky, a talented forward who transforms to a tease because he’s so rarely on the ice.
Here’s the amount of games Hemsky played in recent seasons:
2009-10: 22 games played
2010-11: 47 games played
2011-12: 69 games played
The difference between last season and previous ones is that in most campaigns, his near point-per-game average made his frequent absences that much more disturbing.
Last season wasn’t the same, though, as he only scored 10 goals and 36 points in 69 contests.
Many believed that would sound the death knell for his time with the Oil, yet a notably loyal front office kept him around despite all the health headaches.
While another year of progress for the team’s prospect-pros and a hopeful boost in defense draw the greatest focus, getting more out of veterans such as Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff would be ideal.
The Czech-born playmaker actually needs to be on the ice to make that happen, though.
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- Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage 32
- Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension 9
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 12
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 15
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 37
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 15
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications (92)
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- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues (69)