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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tambellini, Lowe, and Flames Twitter Post About Hemsky

In a previous article entitled:  Oilers – “Burning Oil” And In Need Of A “Change,” I discussed the primary problem with the Edmonton Oilers and that problem is management. General Manager Steve Tambellini and President Kevin Lowe are preventing the rebuilding that they profess is in progress! Any Oiler fan would be doing better at rebuilding than these guys—anybody! Nobody could do any worse in drafts, trades, and contract negotiations—except Lowe’s buddy Brian Burke (being sarcastic with the “buddy”). Before I continue, I want to state that Lowe was one of my favorite players (and still is) and I believe that he is really a good guy but he has not done well in his positions as General Manger and President of Hockey Operations with the Oilers. He provided a lot of great moments as a player and I choose to keep those.   

Yesterday, Tambellini and Lowe “pulled their own pants down” and showed their insanity by extending Ales Hemsky’s contract for two years for the whopping amount of 10 million! I know it is so unbelievable that you have to shake your head and wonder why life is not fair?

Calgary Flames Twitter Post

According to the Associated Press, not long after the details were revealed about Hemsky’s new contract extension, comments were posted on the Flames verified Twitter account and they were:

“$10 Million over two year for Hemsky is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. I hope it happens. Whatajoke”

Later, the Flames posted another message trying to cover-up for the first one. They said:

“We apologize for a tweet that was sent out from our account inadvertently. We are looking into the matter.”

You know, the word “inadvertently” means “unintentionally” so they might not have realized that it was being posted for everyone to see, but whoever from the Flames who stated it was expressing their true feelings—and it would not even surprise me if it was GM Jay Feaster who made the mistake. Whatever the case, it is a disgrace for one team to publicly ridicule another team over the amount that they are paying a player. Media and fans have the right to voice their opinions but for one team to do that to another team is totally unacceptable. Honestly, the Flames never did have any manners and that is why Semenko had to break player’s noses over and over and over again.

The Hemsky Contract

Let’s have a look at just how insane this contract is and also talk about a couple of other options that Tambellini and Lowe should have exercised instead.

As everyone knows, Hemsky has had major injury problems over the past three years, but did you realize that in nine years he has only played close to a full season once? That was in 2005-2006 when he played 81 games. This year he has played 48 games, has only 27 points, and is -13! Last year he played 47 games and in the 2009-2010 season he played only 22 games. We are looking at a guy who has a major issue with injuries and who really is not performing like a legitimate 5 million dollar NHL player would play. Yet the Oilers offer him a 10 million dollar gift!

It is so absurd that I have to question why have they given him such a huge payout on his two upcoming years? The only thing that I can think of is that they don’t want to admit error for not committing themselves to trading him, no matter what, both last year and this year. They attempted to trade him but they wanted far too much, and every GM in the league knows it and so do the fans. Tambellini’s reported excuse is that Hemsky is now playing well with Hall—so what, look at the guy’s injuries and output!

The Oilers should have traded Hemsky last year even if they had to “take a big loss” but they were too greedy and stupid. They traded Dustin Penner instead and it was a mistake because he was improving every year and playing very well for the team. He is not doing well in Los Angeles and I believe that nervousness is a factor and adjusting to new people. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and hard work this year would have meant many millions more on a new contract with whatever team he signs with. Why didn’t Tambellini and Lowe offer Hemsky and a draft pick to the goal-starved Kings in exchange for Penner? That would have been a great trade for the Oilers and they could have given Penner the 10 million for two years!

The Oilers also could have traded Hemsky to many other teams in the league and taken draft picks in exchange. That would have been better than carrying a frequently injured player and filling his pockets. The fans don’t like it and neither do the players who are contributing a lot more than Hemsky! Let us talk about that now.

Hemsky’s Salary Compared to Other Oilers

How does Hemsky’s 5 million per year compare to other Oiler player salaries. Well, Ryan Jones is worth more than Hemsky and yet the Oilers tried to low-ball Jones on a contract during the latter part of last year; but, Jones held-out until the season was over and was able to get a measly 1.5 million a year! Hemsky is getting over three times what Jones is getting and Jones has played 58 of 61 games, kills penalties and has two short-handed goals, and has the fourth best shooting percentage on the team. Ryan Smyth has played all 61 games this year and has been an important player and he is making 4.5 million. Gagner is making 2.275 million, and Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins have entry-level contracts and are subsequently making less (not considering bonuses). Shockingly, Shawn Horcoff is making 6.5 million a year, and in his 61 games he has 30 points and has the worst plus-minus on the team at -19! Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney are two other grossly overpaid Oilers since they are both making 5 million!

The fact is that Tambellini and Lowe are paying some players too much and are then trying to compensate by snubbing other players. Stupidity combined with stinginess makes the Oilers the worst-managed team in the NHL!

The Oilers are also doing an utterly abominable job regarding player development. Oiler fans really need to seriously consider if they want to pay to support the nonsense that is taking place. If Tambellini and Lowe  have no intention on pleasing the fans then why support them at all?

TJ Stanley