Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Importance of Signing Ales

Was getting dressed after my Capsule game last night and picked up the Blackberry and everything was lit up like crazy with those little red asteriks, the email, the twitter, the BBM, hit the last first and a pal who is an Oilers' fan gave me the news.

Anyone who has dropped by here in the last week knows where I stood on the Hemsky situation and also that my expectations were that he would be a goner, why else the eulogy?

And instead not only is he signed but he is signed to a fantastic deal, basically a no lose deal with the only caveat that if Hemsky is healthy and tears it up the next two years then obviously he's going to get paid. Considering his injury history though I really don't have any qualms about this at all. Being a GM is about making bets and this is a fantastic bet by Tambellini.

Much like Tyler Dellow I'm just going to throw out random thoughts on this.

- as I said last night this deal is not on the horizon until Hall speaks up about it. Hemsky was a goner until that point, even with Horcoff, Whitney and Gilbert all speaking up in favour of the signing but as soon as the kid spoke up you can bet management took notice.

- I really have very little to say about the dopes in the media and fanbase who think this is a bad deal. You know who matters? Those guys I mentioned above as well as Paajarvi who tweeted his excitement about the deal as well. Who knows his value more than his teammates, seriously? If you take the word of some mope like Marty McSorley or Cox or Terry Jones, who has embarassed himself beyond all repair these past few weeks, over the guy's own teammates, then, as I said on Twitter, you're a dummy, plain and simple, just like those guys.

- the money and cap hit is negligible and leaves the Oilers with tons of flexibility. Considering the money coming off the books this summer (4 million for Souray, Nilsson, Brule and whatever cut Smyth takes) and next (Khabi) its just a drop in the bucket.

- two years, seriously? I would have taken four or five. Two is incredible. If, worse case, he falls apart or gets hurt, well two years is gone in the blink of an eye

- anyone want to talk about how folks don't want to play in Edmonton anymore? Hemsky left a ton of money on the table and don't give me that 5 goal bullshit. He gets paid on his body of work and he's almost a PPG player over nearly a decade of playing mostly with shitty players against the other team's best. He is coming off of major surgery and just now looking like the player of old. He was going to get paid and yet he took a lot less term to STAY IN EDMONTON. So stop with the line that people don't want to play in Edmonton and also that Ales Hemsky is some sort of selfish malcontent (a narrative that was dropped very suddenly once contract talks heated up, notice that?).

- the whole media handling of this was very instructive, as Lowetide says it was very much a tell. Watching guys like Spector and Tencer and Van Diest and Stauffer go from taking potshots at Ales at every turn to defending him like a mother bear defends her cubs was hilarious and shows that every one of them is bought and paid for. Just ridiculous. Kudos to Jason Gregor who was the one guy who made the obvious point that good teams don't trade away proven players for futures, loser teams do that. Gregor pushed the point and defended Hemsky against the tide of naysayers and he deserves credit for that. Other than Tychowski nobody else in the media came forward with any sort of objectivity on the issue. As for Terry Jones well here's a guy who is ready for the glue farm. Any guy who says that any six WJC dmen are better than the Oilers D (read that for just a second, let it sink in) demonstrates that he knows nothing about hockey and that this Ferguson Award that he won seems to be based on (like much of hockey it seems) who is a funny guy and has the greatest stories from the road. His 'reporting' on the Hemsky story was disgraceful.

- as I have said over and over again, you need to keep your good players to become a good team. Ales Hemsky is not having a good year. Same as Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Ryan Miller, Dubinsky, Penner, Derek Roy, Ryan Whitney ... the list goes on and on. Sometimes good players have off years, especially if they are coming off of major surgery. Ales Hemsky is a good player. He was not bringing in a top four Dman, he was bringing back a prospect or a pick that might never help and certainly not for years. Keeping him means the team is better, simple as that. Oilers have nobody who can replace him. If Omark or Hartikainen turn out then great you have a surplus of wingers and can move one.

But don't argue, like Jones did, that the Oilers need D (they do) and therefore should not have paid Ales Hemsky.

You fucking dummy how about having good players at all positions? Its like the Stauffer idea that they should trade Tom Gilbert because of Petry's emergence.

You know what would be even better than Petry and magic beans? Petry and Gilbert, two proven RH defenders.


lol, enough ranting, eh?

- finally as I explained to my teammates on Capsule why I was (and am) ecstatic about the deal. Put everything aside and in the end its a lovely day for Oiler fans - for once, we did not dump a guy at the deadline. Forever its been the Oiler way. Dump good players for futures. For once it didn't happen. Its a wonderful feeling.


mattwatt said...

Visiting the girlfriend in Vancouver right now. Much like you Pat, I have found a terrific gal. Kind, caring, pretty, fun to be with, keeps me in line but gives me a ton of rope to work with, in all she is all one can ask for in a lover. So blessed to have her.

She does give me a hard time though that in those terse moments in a relationship, and we all have them, that I have never once let my emotions show. No tears, anger or sadness. Just a calm head that always discusses things with her in a mature manner. She loves me for it, but does bug me that an odd tear every once in awhile would go a long way.

She was beside me when I was reading on twitter that Hemsky was signed. In an instance, I got a big smile and a little tear in my eye. She asked, "what is up?"

My response, "the Oilers just signed Ales Hemsky to a very nice deal. Means a lot to me."

"You cry over Ales Hemsky but have never shown me a tear the whole time we have been together?"

Kinda a hard situation to avoid to say the least. Good thing she loves me. ;)

Liam said...

Amen, Pat.
I had a stupid grin glued to my face all night after I hear.

My wife says to me, "what the hell, this guy on my Facebook says Hemsky re-signed." I basically said he was a bullshit liar because no way could the Oil make a move that smart. Seconds later, with the rumours confirmed, I was pulling my hair out over the wave of anger I was confronted with from the morons who believe this is a bad deal.

Regardless, I can finally say this feels like a good day to be an Oiler fan.

Black Dog said...

lol good stuff Matt, she's a keeper!

Liam - yes a very good day. And anyone who thinks this is a bad deal is smoking the drapes, its beyond dumb to think so. Usually that shit bothers me too but we're talking know nothings here. Can't get worked up about them.

Anonymous said...

They signed him because no other team was willing to give up much for him. That forced Tamb hand. The only reason the rookies were happy is, there are only 5 players on this team that can be a scoring threat. Hemsky is one of them. Which says a lot about how bad this team is. 6yrs since the cup and 3 core players.

Anonymous said...

After Tamb realized they were not getting much return for Hemsky, he decided to overpay him for 2yrs and hope he can get more after Hemsky plays awhile.

It had nothing to do with the Hall or MPS . It might have had something to do with protecting his job.

Black Dog said...

lol anon so he's one of five scoring threats on the team and you still think its dumb to sign him? Better to get rid of him so there are four guys who can score instead.

Makes sense.

Same as saying paying a legit top six guy with nearly a ppg average 5M is an overpay.

Looking forward to the transcripts I am sure you can provide to show everyone what was on the table for him. Enlighten us.

Mr. Pederson said...

Man what a wonderful time to be an Oiler fan! Haha still can't really believe it, with all I was reading here and elsewhere on the Oilosphere you really got the sense that the worst was coming.

Hopefully as you say Pat the Hemsky haters back off a bit on the he's disinterested and selfish crap, and the "nobody wants to play here" Edmonton inferiority complex.


You're in Van? Let's have a beer! Although not if it pries you away from this lovely sounds lady of yours, time is dear when you're visiting.

ubu said...

exactly dog. amen.

Dixs35 said...

Hemsky signing seems like vindication for you Pat. After all the Penner and Hemsky article alas management has shown signs that the rebuild is over and now its time to win. Hemsky has 2 years to show his worth and help lead us to at least the first round(weird I know). Keep real NHL players and you may be able to compete( hopefully). IMO Hall coming out and saying he wanted Hemsky around may have been the tipping point for management. Happy to have him back for a while and having 2 lines that can put up points is well something that............playoff team have.