34-Year-Old Right Wing – Montreal Canadiens
Ales Hemsky Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Canadiens in July of 2017.
Hemsky (hip) was cleared to suit up at Habs' training camp.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hemsky’s second season with Dallas went a little better than the first, as he was able to lift his point total from 32 to 39, but that would only be good news if he was a defenseman. Unfortunately for Hemsky’s fantasy prospects, production like that doesn’t play at right wing, and as an often banged-up veteran entering his age-33 season, there’s a lot more downside here than upside. He will, however, presumably get some chances early in the season to ride shotgun for Jason Spezza on the second line. That would be a boon, but fantasy owners certainly can’t count on it – he’s averaged less than 14 minutes of ice time in his first two seasons as a Star.
Hemsky was a disappointment in his first season with Dallas, recording just 11 goals and 32 points in 76 games. It was the third different team in two years for the 32-year-old, who has seen his production drop off significantly after producing at just under a point-per-game pace for six straight years beginning in 2005-06. While more was expected out of Hemsky last season, he still put 140 shots on goal, marking his highest shot total since 2008-09. With an expected improvement in shooting percentage alone, there's reason to be hopeful about Hemsky raising his production, though the addition of Patrick Sharp may prevent a top-six role from materializing at the beginning of the season. Still, Hemsky appears well positioned to see second power-play unit duties, and should he land on the third trio, the Stars boast enough forward depth for him and his linemates to get the better of their opponents most nights. And if an injury to a top-six winger opens up a spot for Hemsky, he possesses the necessary offensive tools to challenge for 40 points, particularly if he gains ice time with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
Hemsky's potential has consistently overshadowed his actual production throughout his career. No one, including Hemsky, can explain why. But things sure changed when he moved to Ottawa late last season. There, he lined up with Jason Spezza on the top line and was a revelation, recording four goals and 13 assists in 20 games. In Dallas, Hemsky is being reunited with Spezza and will be on the second line, tucked neatly behind the power duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. That means that he and Spezza will likely find a little more open ice to work their magic because they aren't facing the opposition's top line anymore. But let's take a quick reality check here before you take him off the board too early. Hemsky is 31 and six seasons removed from a 70-point season. He won't get back to that height in Dallas, despite the chemistry he clearly has with Spezza. But a gig on the second power-play unit and 50-plus points should be on tap.
It feels Hemsky's name has been on and off the trading block for about a decade, but he is more than likely going to begin the season in Edmonton. A $5 million cap hit plus a decline in play makes that almost a foregone conclusion. If Hemsky can stay healthy, however, he could make for an intriguing fantasy play if he plays on a line with former first-overall pick Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner, a trio that won't see too many top defenders because opposing teams will worry more about the Oilers dynamic top line. He'll battle David Perron for the gig. Are 60 points a possibility if he wins the job? Absolutely and then some, but only if health and chemistry are on his side.
Hemsky's best days seem to be well behind him as his inability to stay healthy has prevented him from reaching the lofty heights both the team and he had hoped. He hasn't played more than 70 games since 2008-09 and although he did play 69 games last season, he only scored 10 goals. Hemsky is no longer the focal point of the offense and won't play on the top line or first power-play unit in 2012-13.
Hemsky was once untouchable, but after his second straight injury-shortened season the Oilers' patience may be wearing thin. He has offensive talent, very few doubt that, but that talent is not of much use if you can't stay on the ice as he has only managed to play 69 games the past two seasons. Hemsky is only signed through the end of this season and could be a target of trade rumors all season long. For now, Hemsky will once again ride the top line with Taylor Hall and Shawn Horcoff and should be able to post solid numbers, though the injury concern will always be there.
Hemsky only played in 22 games last season before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. He will be completely healthy for the 2010-11 season and is someone you shouldn't forget about come draft day. Hemsky seemed to be a player who was going to have the kind of season many pundits have predicted of him before the injury. His name has also come up in more than one trade rumor, but the Oilers have never admitted if they would be willing to trade what might be their most exciting player. Part of the problem with Hemsky is that the Oilers have been unable to find linemates that can keep up with him, often shuffling players in and out. Could No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall be the solution to that problem?
Hemsky had a terrible 2008-09 campaign only scoring 23 goals. What really kills fantasy owners is that only four of those were power play goals. Hemsky never could find a rhythm no matter who was feeding him the puck and also played a good part of the season with nagging injuries including a concussion. Hopefully a new coach will energize Hemsky for the upcoming season as he does have the talent to be a 35-40 goal scorer, and the Oilers need him to be so to contend for a playoff spot in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
The Oilers top playmaker will play on the first line with Erik Cole and Shawn Horcoff. There is no reason for Hemsky not to continue to improve and put up good fantasy numbers. Consider him a #2-3 fantasy forward.
Injuries limited the Oilers' best playmaker to 64 games in 2006-07. He’s hopefully healthy now and ready to start racking up assists in bunches. He’s best when he has a shooter on his line, and Dustin Penner should fit the bill. We’re not confident he can bounce back to the 77-point range he hit two years ago, but he should be a safe bet for 60-plus points, albeit most of those will be helpers.
In his third year, Hemsky more than doubled his previous year’s production of 34 points by leading the Oilers with 77 points. He racked up 58 helpers, 11th most in the NHL. Of those assists, 35 came with the man-advantage, which was the 6th highest total in the league. We’re hoping he continues his development in ’06-07.
A great skater and skilled playmaker, Hemsky needs to learn to shoot more. He can put points on the board when given playing time, so don't be surprised to see him on one of the top two lines in the very near future.