Window Shopping: Ales Hemsky

Derek Leung

Free Agency preview heads to Ottawa where deadline-acquisition Ales Hemsky is prepared to leave cash-strapped Ottawa.

Ales Hemsky

#83 / Winger / Ottawa Senators

6-0

180

2013 Cap Hit: $5,000,000

Age:30


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2013 - Ales Hemsky 75 13 30 43 -15 24 2
0 1
138 9.4%

Strengths:

Hemsky's game should be well-known to most Avs fans by now as he's been a big part of the Oilers fiasco from the start. Always considered a truly gifted offensive player, Hemsky has battled a metric ton of criticism throughout his career (lol Edmonton media) despite consistently putting up sound offensive numbers. Not a big-time goal scorer, he still has amassed 146 goals in 672 GP. Where Hemsky truly excels, however, is moving the puck. His ability to dangle is truly generational as very few players in the NHL currently possess the raw ability to make something out of nothing quite like Hemsky. His vision and playmaking ability is off the charts, which is the main reason he has managed 348 assists throughout his career for a very respectable .52 APG. As he continues to age and his speed slowly erodes, Hemsky could have an Alex Kovalev-like ability to produce long after his prime has left him thanks to his wonderful puck abilities.

Weaknesses:

Speaking of Alex Kovalev, Hemsky shares many of the concerns the great underachiever Kovalev did during his playing days. Like Kovalev, Hemsky suffers from extreme bouts of defensive laziness and is far more interested in playing with the puck than trying to take it away from anybody. His passive nature leads to marshallow soft defense overall and Hemsky lacks any physicality whatsoever. His lack of interest might make one think Hemsky suffers from Haphephobia but rather it might just be the extensive injury issues he's had throughout his career that makes him so reluctant to come into contact with other people. Hemsky has never once in his career played a full 82 games (He had an 81-game season in 20005-06, though!) and as he continues to age, it would seem counter-intuitive to believe he'll be any less brittle than he has been his entire career.

Contract:

Hemsky is completing a 2-year, $10M contract and if rumors are to be believed, he doesn't appear ready to accept a paycut of any kind as the internet claims he is looking for a contract in the $5.5M AAV range. He recently declined Ottawa's extension offer of 3-years, $10M but clearly scoffed and declared his desire to test the free-agent market. Honestly, I have no doubt there's a GM out there dumb enough to give the made-of-glass Hemsky the kind of price he's looking for. He's still a productive offensive player and his game figures to age nicely as he gets deeper into his 30's. With the rising cap, Hemsky is likely looking at this opportunity as his final play for a big-time payday and this is one of the situations where a simple "Highest bidder wins" resolution seems likely.

Why It Works:

I'm...not really sure it does. A defensively soft point-producer is already on the roster and PA Pareanteau's contract is very reasonable. When we inevitable trade him and assuming we don't re-sign Paul Stastny, the hole in the top 6 definitely opens up if the team for some reason loves Hemsky. Story has it the team looked into trading for him in the last 12 months but with the roster constructed as it is now, he doesn't really provide a lot that we don't already have.

My Take:

I'm not sold at all on the idea of bringing in Hemsky but crazier things have happened. You know, like letting Paul Stastny get to the open market. If the Avs were to let Stastny leave and bring in a guy like Hemsky to try to replace his production, I'm not sure you could reasonably make the argument that they've upgraded in any sort of fashion that matters. We'd be more stylish but...honestly, so what? If the Avs traded Parenteau and signed Hemsky as a PA replacement, that's a transition I could handle much more readily. Still, with his early contract demands and lack of realistic fit for the Avs, I can't see the team jumping on him. Of course that pretty much guarantees we make an announcement right after FA opens saying we signed him trololol.

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