Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Meet Edmonton's new franchise man.

Wow. After three or four days of nothing, I had gotten used to being disappointed in the lack of action from the Oilers office when I checked out my usual hockey news sites. And then: pow! Oilers sign Ales Hemsky to a six-year deal. Now that's fucking news.

I think it was Mikey who said he was getting tired of all these piddly little one- and two-year contracts being thrown around, that he wanted something a little more forward-looking. Well, here ya go. A three- to four-year deal would have meant the Oilers are banking on Hemsky's progression making him a bargain in the near future; a six-year deal, though? That's the Oilers saying that any team they ice until 2012 will be built around their first-line right wing.

Bold move. Promotes stability and sends a message to fans that this team is committed to skill as well as grit. If Hemsky is to blossom into a Alex Mogilny-like gamebreaker, it'll be in an Oilers uniform. What's not to like about that?

No financial terms disclosed on ESPN or TSN. Will keep an eye out.

UPDATE: AP reports the deal is worth US$24.6-million, which averages out to about $4-mil a year. If you ask me, that's damned good. Not only will that seem like a steal when Hemsky's closing in on 100 points every season for the last half of his contract (What? You don't think so?), but it's surprisingly reasonable for what he is now — ie. the team's 23-year-old top scorer, assist leader and capable 20-goal man — so we're not even overpaying right now. I can't say it enough. Great signing.


'Canes fan said...

Congrats Oiler fans.
He was the player that scared the shit out of me most in the Finals, and his goal, in game 1 i think, was just f-ing beeyooteeful.

jon said...

Thank God they signed him. Now you guys can update some more, lazy bums!

Steve said...

Funny, he was the player that scared the shit out of me most in the final, too.

That said, I agree with Chris!'s assessment (except for the part where he says we're not overpaying now - $4.1M is clearly too much for a player of Hemsky's *current* calibre).

I would also take a whole bunch more offensively gifted but defensively questionable forwards before I'd take the reverse.

Of course, if the $24.6M is spread out evenly (which is probably isn't), this brings this year's payroll to $32.1334M, and that's without Lupul. So much for Markov, I'm thinking.

Pleasure Motors said...

So much for Markov? We could still pay both him and Lupul $4mil a piece and have $4mil in cap space, if your math is right, Steve. Not to go all Cosh on you or anything, but why the hell wouldn't the Oil spend $40mil+ if it's what they think they need to ice a competitive team? I don't think they can cry poor after four rounds of playoff hockey.

namflashback said...

IIRC the oilers started last year at approx 34 M then extended and added about net $3M in trade deadline salaries. $37M.

THeir improvement in player salary has been mostly driven by improvements to the CAD$. Net returns on playoffs can go on the books to reduce short term debt or fall to retained earnings.

On improved spending power alone -- they could get to their 39-40M player budget. Then Lowe can push to get his deadline deal kitty as performance (and probability of a good run) looks clearer.

I think they have a little more to spend now if they can get the guy they want for the right price. Then they'll have great assets at the deadline.

mike w said...

>THeir improvement in player salary has been mostly driven by improvements to the CAD$

I don't think a jump of over $10 million in payroll can be simply chalked up to the increased value of the Canadian dollar.

But whatever: since the lockout the Oilers have been walking and talking like a mid-market team, that is, until they want to squeeze out a nice new arena deal, of course.

Love the Hemsky deal, though!

James Mirtle said...

What I can't understand is why more team's aren't pushing for deals like this. (The surprising thing here may be that Hemsky and his agent agreed to sign such a long-term deal and forego years of being a UFA — a sacriligious though for most agents.)

Steve said...

Huh. Apparently I have no idea what the salary cap is. Sorry about that. I'll stop trying to make points.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Great deal - good for the team and the player - each gave a little - imagine!

Scarlett said...

I'm surprised Hemsky signed a six year deal too, but glad he did. Good job Lowe. Very impressive.

Anonymous said...


Scarlett said...

I found the breakdown here:


Anonymous said...

Great deal for both sides. The Oil lock up a highly skilled player long term (past his UFA date too). Nice. The 4.1 cap hit isn't too onerous either. Hemmer obviously gets a nice guaranteed deal, is set for life, and still won't be 30 when the deal is done. Nice.

As for the Canadian $, well, $40 mill CAD definitely goes a lot further these days...
- back a couple (maybe three or four) years, the 65 cent dollar == 26 mill USD
- 90 cent dollar (couple months ago) == 36 million USD
- with an 87 cent dollar == 34.8 mill USD

Huge difference. Hopefully revenue sharing or something would cushion the impact of a return to a weak dollar...

Anyway, I say great deal! I was hoping they'd sign 83 long term--the kid is still only 22, and is only going to get better. Six years? Excellent!

- Rod

Anonymous said...

To my opinion, he's really good player, franchise business will only win.