Hemsky injured ... again
ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Oilers Ales Hemsky lies on the ground after being crushed by Nashville's David Legwand during the Edmonton Oilers game against the Nashville Predators at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/EDMONTON SUN)
Ales Hemsky is back in his second home - the shelf.
The oft-injured winger is out for two or three weeks at least pending the results of further tests on his right shoulder, but with only six weeks left in a rather meaningless stretch drive, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll just shut him down for the year rather than risk further aggravation.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure yet,” said head coach Tom Renney, who described the injury as a rotator cuff problem. “It’s not torn or anything that dramatic, but it is involving the rotator cuff.
“There is still some more (tests) to do with him. I think he’s going to have another MRI procedure in the next week to confirm the time line.”
It’s the third time in a frustrating campaign that Hemsky’s been out with an injury. He missed 13 of 14 games in November and December with a groin injury, missed four games in January with a concussion and now this.
An obviously frustrated Hemsky, limited to 22 games last season before season ending surgery on his left shoulder, refused to speak with reporters on Thursday.
“I think he does play in those areas where it’s not easy to go, it’s called courageous,” said the coach. “The nature of how he plays, it doesn’t really matter what he does in the summer time he’s going to put himself in harm’s way. But I’d rather see a guy who puts himself in harm’s way than a guy who finds himself in harm’s way.”
As for the Oilers, the sledding keeps getting tougher. They’ve lost Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky in the space of two games.
“It becomes increasingly difficult as players fall by the wayside,” said Renney. “But it’s about our identity. We have some young people who can see and feel this game through different opportunities. Anyone who gets to put the jersey on from this point on, you’re auditioning for either more opportunity in our organization or an opportunity to be here period.
“The bottom line is we have to be the best team we possibly can, hopefully the best team on the ice that night, for all the right reasons, and not because we just had great goaltending or the power play scored one finally, or we were outshot tremendously but we got a timely goal.
“We just want to play a complete game and we want to do that 18 times and we’ll evaluate where we are beyond that.”