While GMs feverishly interview pending Unrestricted Free Agents mere days before the draft, there’s one UFA in particular that Montreal CanadiensGM Marc Bergevin should be paying close attention to.
What’s so special about the injury prone winger? Glad you asked.
Here are the 8 reasons why Ales Hemsky would be a great fit with the Montreal Canadiens.
Speed, Speed, Speed, Speed, and Speed. Hemsky is an absolute force that breaks through the offensive zone, creates a play, or splits the D who later wonder where they might have misplaced their jock strap.
Hemsky’s speed and hands would be enough for anyone to drool over however his hockey IQ is what truly makes him special, and yet another reason why he’d look great in a Habs jersey. His uncanny ability to generate scoring chances and be an offensive impact player are exactly what Montreal needs going forward. Montreal’s game has always been about speed and skill, Hemsky would fit right in and compliment Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, Plekanec or any other offensive forward sorely needing an offensive spark on their line.
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Nevypadal by Hemský skvěle vedle Plekance? Oh don’t speak Czech?
Translation: Wouldn’t Hemsky look great with Plekanec? The two played on the same Olympic team, albeit on different lines (Plekanec on first, Hemsky on second) though it’s doubtful that it would take very long for these two comrades to spark some much needed chemistry.
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Powerplay Plug – Montreal’s game of cycling it to Subban and or Markov became predictable as the playoffs continued and they were quite often neutralized ending in a turnover. Infusing the Czech Gazelle on skates onto the halfboards on the right side would be a welcome addition and add an element of spontaneous offense keeping the opposition guessing. Something Vanek couldn’t accomplish.
Can you say Shootouts? Hemsky’s nifty mitts would be a welcome addition to help Alex Galchenyuk razzle & dazzle in a shootout..as you can see here:
Imagine a play developing down the rush and Hemsky breaks through the blueline with Galchenyuk and Gallagher speeding close by, imagine the lethal offensive force that line would generate with the speed and skill of Hemsky and Galchenyuk with the pitbull tenacity that Gallagher brings. It’s safe to say Hemsky would fit in nicely just about anywhere in the top 9 and would do great things for the young core’s development going forward.
At the ripe age of 30 it’s possible that Ales’ prime years are behind him, we’ve seen super stars go from hero to zero in the span of a few months – however it is also conceivable that like a fine wine he may be getting better with age. Consider this: Hemsky played most of his career as an Edmonton Oiler who were constantly a bottom dwelling team. It could be argued that his time in Edmonton was long overdue and as soon as he was traded to Ottawa the Hockey world saw what Ales Hemsky was really capable of with a half decent center. With center depth like Eller, Galchenyuk, Plekanec and Desharnais, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Hemsky was a very important offensive force for the Canadiens.
In just 20 games Hemsky went from 0.47 points per game to 0.85 points per game. Just some food for thought.
Ultimately the Habs need a replacement for Vanek; prospects Andrighetto and Thomas may see a few stints with the big club but it’s unrealistic to think they’ll be NHL regulars next year barring some monumental development over the offseason . If Montreal doesn’t acquire a big name forward like Evander Kane to enhance their top six than an offensive spark plug like Ales Hemsky is definitely worth a look or two.
Are there injury concerns with Ales Hemsky? Yes, but the Ottawa Senators sure didn’t seem to mind; the Montreal Canadiens have a stronger defensive core, a world class goalie and some very strong offensive pieces going forward – The Canadiens’ system suits Ales Hemsky’s style of play, and adding him to the roster would be a wise move on Marc Bergevin’s part.
How hard of a push would you make at Ales Hemsky as an NHL general manager?