By The Numbers – #83 Ales Hemsky

Interesting that Tom Gilbert and Ales Hemsky’s numbers sit chronologically on the Oilers roster.

Ales Hemsky gets injured.  A lot.  That’s my only knock on the guy.  Other than that, he’s the best weapon that the Oilers have up front right at the moment.  Let’s take a look.

A bargain when healthy. Photo courtesy nhlsnipers.com

NAME:  Ales Hemsky

POSITION: Right Wing

DOB: 13 AUG 1983 (28 on Saturday)

2010-11 NUMBERS: – 14G-28A-42PTS, 18 PIM (+3) in 47 GP

2010-11 SALARY:  $5M (4.1M cap hit), will be UFA on July 1st, 2012

THE SKINNY

Even more gut-wrenching (for me) is the thought of what’s going to happen to the Prince of Pardubice by this time next year.

He's a pinball wizard.

Averaging sixty games over the past six seasons, he’s averaging .9194 points per game, or for the non math guys like myself, he’s averaging a point per game 92% of the time.  Did that help?  In other words, I think he’s one of the best players on a team that needs at least a couple of good players.  Compound the fact that his cap hit is $4.1M a season, and that’s a spectacular amount of production for what seems like a couple of dimes in today’s NHL.

HEALTHY HEMSKY IS KEY

Around a year ago, I wrote a piece about how a healthy Hemsky is key to the Oilers successes in 2010-11.  We know that health wasn’t one of his strong suits, and as a result the Oilers lost one of their most talented pieces in their jigsaw puzzle of scoring.  It would be blind to say that Ales Hemsky’s injury plagued season was the reason that the Oilers missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, but he’s a huge piece of that pie.

WHAT ABOUT THE CONTRACT?

Ah, a contract year for Ales Hemsky.  In an ideal world with an unlimited cash flow, Ales Hemsky is signed to a long term deal after career numbers in production.  Unfortunately, things as we know don’t always turn out the way they’re planned. 

If Hemsky continues to score at his previous six year pace (near a point per game), I think management will feel the heat to keep him in the long term plan so long as he remains a beacon of health.  For whatever reason, if Hemsky’s point totals drop off, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him moved around deadline day in 2012 for picks or prospects.

Either way, Hemsky staying healthy is key.  If he’s injured for more than a game or two, his value on the market will of course be less.

WHAT COULD BE

2011-12 will be a season of improvement.  How much will again, depend on veterans like Hemsky and how much the young guns learned in season 1.0. With or without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins this year, the team will almost certainly be better, but by how much?

I’ll put on my optimist’s hat today and say that Hemsky has his first healthy season in three.  64 PTS (28G-36A) in 70 GP.  If Hemsky can stay healthy for seventy games, he’ll net at least sixty points. If he can stay healthy for the majority of the regular season and if the Oilers are within sniffing distance of the playoffs come February or March, he’ll be resigned.  If any of that last sentence isn’t true, then get your goodbyes in early.

What do you expect from Ales Hemsky in 2011-12?

Next Player:  #89 Sam Gagner

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