Ales Hemsky turned 30 today. Hemsky, one of the most skilled players in Oilers' history, has had a rough couple of years after reigning as one of the league's premier and highly underrated players. From 2005-06 through 2010-11, Hemsky scored 331 points in 360 games, but it wasn't enough for sports writers and fans in Edmonton. His 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons were plagued with injuries and Hemsky was limited to just 69 games over those two seasons.
Even though he totaled 64 points in those 69 games, the media brought out the long knives and the fans quickly followed. Hemsky, even with the injury issues, was one of the best forwards in the game, but because he doesn't speak to sports writers, he was one of the key causes to the Oilers being the worst team in the NHL for seven seasons.
As is their custom, Jim Matheson and Mark Spector used their platforms to hit Hemsky with complete hatchet jobs like they did with Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Dustin Penner, Tom Gilbert and Shawn Horcoff, and if not for those distasteful bloggers, the hatchet jobs would have gone unanswered.
The man averaged .92 points per game for six seasons, played through injuries during the last two seasons and still averaged .52 points per game turned 30 today and here was how he was greeted on Twitter first thing this morning.
Happy Birthday Ales Hemsky! I hope you get traded today!! #Oilers— Matt Frey (@CyclesFrey) August 13, 2013
The guy who once skated through the Red Wings...
...is now the lone remnant of that team, and literally the only remaining scapegoat for sports writers and fans. Where will the writers and fans turn when they're out of decent non-teenaged players (watch out Sam Gagner, Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Petry - you are the new generation of players too old to have crushes on) to turn on?
Fans like Matt Frey get the team they deserve.
Happy Birthday Ales, I hope you'll be able to play in front of better fans soon.