Though he hasn’t played since his seven-game stint with the Montreal Canadiens in 2017-18, Ales Hemsky officially retired from hockey today.
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) May 15, 2020
In a Q and A with The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Hemsky admitted that he had hoped to continue playing in Europe after spending two-and-a-half years recovering from a concussion suffered while playing for the Habs, but his body wasn’t up to the task.
Drafted by the Oilers in 2001 with the 13th overall pick, Hemsky developed into a star for the Oilers, with his breakout party coming during the 2005-06 season and the team’s subsequent playoff run. Though his prime ultimately got slowed down due to injuries, Hemsky was one of, if not the most talented Oiler during the 2000s era.
All told, Hemsky played 652 games for the Oilers over 11 seasons, scoring 142 goals and 477 points. He ranks eighth on the Oilers’ all-time scoring list, one spot behind Doug Weight and one ahead of Connor McDavid.
Personally, I’ll always associate Hemsky with Game 6 of the first round against the Red Wings in 2006…