LA KINGS TRADE PREVIEW: ALES HEMSKY

Like most well-kept hockey secrets, news of Ales Hemsky’s potential or prospective trade to the LA Kings became publicly traded information within a week. Let’s get past the who said what to whom when and focus on the player the Edmonton Oilers wish to trade and the Kings may covet.

Goals. We need more of them. There are two means to this end. Acquiring a goal scorer (sniper) or a play maker. Though the two are not mutually exclusive, for the latter my favorite statistic is P/60 – points per 60 minutes of play. The top 10 relevant players (those who have played sufficient games to be relevant) are, in order:

(1) Sidney Crosby (3.98), (2) Pavel Datsyuk (3.56), (3) Steven Stamkos (3.24), (4) Daniel Cleary (3.09), (5) Ales Hemsky (3.08), (6) Rick Nash (3.05), (7) Alex Burrows (3.04), (8) Daniel Sedin (2.97), (9) Henrik Sedin (2.90), (10) Daniel Briere (2.84).

Nice company.

Anze Kopitar is number 21 behind Alexander Semin and ahead of Brad Richards. Three back of Anze is Justin Williams.

This season, Hemsky has 12 goals and 25 assists in 41 games. By comparison, the player now rumored to be in the Hemsky trade talks, Wayne Simmonds, has put up 9 goals and 11 assists in 56 games. As an important side note, I have personally never heard Wayne to be part of the trade but some credible hockey writers (I am looking at you, Bernstein) insist on it and so I consider it important to a complete analysis.

Is Hemsky what we lack?

Yes.

Surprised by the answer?

Consider this. Anze has no one to feed him the puck. More often than not, he is looked upon to make the plays and score the goals. He can do both but not on a consistent basis. It is too much to ask from any one player not named Crosby or Ovechkin. We do know Anze Kopitar has a wicked wrist shot he doesn’t use enough and the size and speed that would open time and space for anyone with a scoring touch. A true top line skilled winger on Kopitar’s left or right would put up 30 goals. Add a play making ability to said winger and you have a Kopitar armed, ready & dangerous each time the pair hit the ice.

Like all good things, Ales Hemsky comes with baggage. Injuries. “Is Hemsky still out?” was a common question asked in jest on hockey message boards. Shoulder, concussion, groin, you name it. Hemsky has been there, done that and is still doing it. 2011 is off to a bad start for the mighty play making right wing. Do the Kings wish to inherit such fortune for the promise of something far better? Yes. But at what price?



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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8 replies

  1. If Hemsky doesn’t land with the Kings; would you take Andrei Kostitsyn as plan B?

    • He has talent but he is likely not a Lombardi type character player. He is also not as proven as Ales.

    • No, I live in Montreal and I see the Canadians play on a daily basis. Lombardi would not be dumb enough to take a unacheaving player like Kostitsyn.

      They need to go for a star player, they can afford one…

  2. Somehow I knew that Simmonds name would crop up in the trade talk here. Yes, he’s had a rough third season compared to the previous two, but that’s sort of to be expected as people now recognize that he has to be dealt with, or he’ll hurt you. To trade the generally sturdy Simmonds, who has played well with Kopitar, for the often banged up Hemsky doesn’t really seem like a great deal for us. We’ve already acquired Mitchell, and his injury baggage, and Sturm with his, to mixed results. Give the training staff a break and get someone who is generally healthy. Hemsky for Simmonds I don’t like. Some other combination, perhaps.

  3. Good points and a good case for Hemsky.

    BUT … injuries scare me. Unless it’s Parise we’re talkin about, then I’m all “Injuries? Hell screw it, roll the dice!”

    That being said … I see Hemsky as a low risk trade … can we please do a deal for a Parise, or if it’s Edmonton, why not Penner?

    Where’s the BIG trade ? Not Blockbuster necessarily but bigger than Sturm/Hemsky.

  4. I also heard Simmer ..LA fans will be pissed off if that happens! I vote sturdy as well..no more injured guys please.
    Did anyone else hear of the Alanta deal Lombardi tried to pull off with Alanta?

    • Gotta give to get. Hemsky is an exceptional talent. Simmonds’ ceiling is likely a 2nd line wing. Still, I am not advocating we make this trade, just pointing out that you can’t get value without giving up value.

  5. Wow, just saw the Avs and Blues deal.

    1st and 3rd round picks for a third liner and a young star for young star exchange. I don’t think these formulas fit DL’s style. We might be fielding the same team after the deadline.

    I personnaly don’t want Simmer to go anywhere, though he hasn’t been the same player this year. And I don’t want another injury prone player. Don’t like the trade-off, though I understand we need more skill.

    Glad I’m not the one making these calls.

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