Sooo you're berating a guy for showing heart and physicality.
No I'm berating him for reactive nonsense as well as being chronically injured. I don't want Hemsky playing tough, the team shouldn't want him doing that. Theres a proper role and place for every player.
I bet you are one of the same guys that would criticize Hemsky for playing soft if he didn't initiate contact as well. Horcoff gets injured just as much as Hemsky does, why don't people ever say Horc is made of glass?
You'd lose the bet. This is not a new opinion to me either. I've expoused this concern about Hemsky for years here.
Hemsky just can't win in red neck Edmonton, which is why I wouldn't mind if he was traded and ripped it up on a team that deserved his play. WE NEED EM GOOD OL CANADIAN BOYS YA HEAR!
Interesting how your mind works. This here confrontation of "redneck Edmonton" blatantly exposes a prejudice on your part.
I've been holding off on this one, but this is ridiculous. I apologize if I'm repeating some arguments, and I know both sides are set at this point and this won't change any minds but here I go anyways.
Take it into context that he was unnecessarilly rushed into the league after he was drafted.
The production in his first year was an anomaly due to the fact that they put him, Nilsson and Cogs together and threw them against buttersoft opponents and the line caught fire to close out the season. This gave people unfair expectations of what he should be able to do, when 18-year-olds under 6 feet should just be learning the pro game if the team is dumb enough to rush them into the league.
Looking at past players experiences, the last 2 years (in terms of point totals) are about par for the course for comparable players in the past such as Doug Weight, Doug Gilmour and Vinny Damphousse, as has been covered in depth at Lowetide's blog over these years. This is despite the fact that he's been on one bad team, and one historically GOD-AWFUL team that should break any young player. On top of that, his position on the roster has been something akin to a yo-yo, and he's never been allowed to develop parts of his game before being thrust into a new role.
This year, he's been treated as a veteran despite being 15 months older than golden boy (deservedly so, I admit) Jordan Eberle. Eberle's had Horcoff to show him the ropes however, while Gagner's been shot all around the lineup and is currently playing with 2 rookies in their first North American season.
It's at THIS POINT that we can finally compare him with other people in his draft year around the same spot. And you know what? He's tracking well...
The draft, as we know went Kane-JVR-Turris-Hickey-Alzner-Gagner-Voracek-Hammill-Couture-Ellerby-Sutter in the top 11.
-Kane is obviously a cut above. Cup winner, point a game, top overall pick.
-JVR is a bigger body and Turris was a raw wildcard, so they get a slip from typical objective analysis.
-Hickey, Alzner and Ellerby are all Defensemen, so they're also exempt.
-Hammill is a bust
-That leaves us with Gagner, Voracek, Couture, and Sutter. Lets see how they're tracking:
Considering Voracek and Couture are highly though of league wide, and have been playing on much better teams in much better situations this year, I don't see the issue. The fact that after all this time Gagner has kept his head above water and emerged as a leader despite his age and terrible circumstances is a positive sign for me.
Lets take it one step further and look at the 21-to-22 year old seasons (the one Gagner is in the midst of developmentally) of the players mentioned as traditional Lowetide comps in their 21-year-old seasons in the so-called 'live puck' era:
Doug Weight (1992-93) 78-17-31-48 (Split between NYR and EDM)
Doug Gilmour (1984-85) 78-21-36-57 (STL)
Vincent Damphousse (1988-89) 8-26-42-68 (TOR)
Damphousse is a cut above, but the other two match well with what is expected of Gagner this year.
The development argument is a tough one for me to handle because we've put him in quite possibly the worst position to succeed and he's still treading water. I say the jury's still out for at LEAST one more year, better to say two before we can say he isn't developing. At least let him play with a decent team in reasonable situations first.
This was worth quoting... I'd add that you should, by all means, include JVR and Turris... it will further your argument, as neither are going to dwarf (no pun intended) Sam this year.
I'm not sure that I'm (or anyone should be) expecting Doug Gilmour or Doug Weight out of Sam Gagner at any point in his career anymore... but the comparison has reminded me where I am standing, and just how crosseyed one can get when you stand too close to the TV.
If you compare him to Gilmour or Weight, you should also compare him to all the other smallish players who put up 40 point seasons when they were 20/21 too.
Obviously comparing him to great players is going to look great for your side of the arguement, but I bet there's countless players who put up 40 points back since Gilmour's days that amounted to nothing more than flashes in the pan.
Tell me. Where on a Cup winning team would you see Gagner? 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line? Center, Winger? AHL?
2nd line center. Easy.
He works hard, has tons of skill, can add offense, can play defense, has good leadership, is good in the room, and can play with a bit of an edge at times...
He's small-ish, yes, but doesn't shy away from the rough stuff. He also isn't great at draws, but is 21 years old.
He's a part of the solution, not the problem in Edmonton and he needs to stay.