i have a confession to make: i pick favorite players for strange reasons. whether it’s latching on to maxim afinogenov because he has the best name in professional hockey, or rooting for george parros based solely on his ability to grow a bitchin’ mustache that looks strikingly similar to curly bill brocius, i like players for odd reasons.
that’s the genesis of this (hopefully) regular feature on hands of cement. me & my odd man-crushes.
as much as i enjoyed james wisniewski’s taunting of sean avery, i’m trying to keep things pg-13 or better, so i’m going to pick someone a little cleaner to get happy about.
for the debut of the odd man-crush, i’d like to sing the praises of one of the hometown boys, jerred smithson.
that’s not a shadow…that’s a mustache!
as i told kevin at the home opener on saturday, i want smithson to retire as a predator.
other hockey writers might wax eloquent about smithson’s ability in the faceoff circle, his versatility and his toughness. i’m more interested in the intangibles smithers brings to the table. not only does smithson have an amazing angry face, he grows a great creepy mustache. on top of all that, he plays good two way hockey, is versatile enough to fill in on a scoring line when asked, and is good positionally, as is evidenced in his leading the league in an often overlooked statistical category, goals scored off your ass. he’s also the only player i know of that can levitate off the end of his stick.
other players might be more flashy, might have better facial hair genes, or might even have nicknames that don’t make you think of mr. burns’ assistant, but i can’t think of anyone better for the inaugural edition of odd man-crush. he’s number 25 in your program, number 1 in your heart: jerred smithson!