Ales Hemsky

Tom Renney hates Ales Hemsky’s stick

With his team mired in a slump and coming off a home loss to the woeful Carolina Hurricanes, Oilers coach Tom Renney did what any good bench boss would do:

He openly criticized player equipment.

Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun got this nugget in speaking with Renney about winger Ales Hemsky.

“You have to watch how you talk about this kind of stuff because it’s the guy’s tool, but his stick drives me crazy,” Renney said. “It looks like a road hockey stick when I was a kid.”

Investigation into Hemsky’s stick (gotta be a better way to say that) revealed little. This Edmonton Journal piece from 2009 quotes Hemsky as saying “I spent a lot of time on my sticks” and there’s message board banter about a “Hemsky curve” — referring to the bend he puts on his stick blade. I guess it’s a rather unique curve? Whatever the case, the investigation didn’t reveal much.

If I had to guess, Renney’s equipment criticism is a roundabout way of criticizing Hemsky’s shooting (or lack thereof). While he’s been better as of late — 15 shots on goal over his last three games — he looked almost terrified of directing the puck towards the opponent’s net in the early part of the season. Hemsky recorded just 17 shots over 12 games in November, including a performance against Nashville where he didn’t put a single shot on goal…despite playing almost 19 minutes.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”

Yes! Jagr’s bringing back the mullet

Ice Hockey - Day 6 - Czech Republic v Slovakia

The greatest mullet in sports history is making a comeback.

According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Jaromir Jagr says he’s bringing back the party in the back.

“I have to,” Jagr, 43, said.

Jagr’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, goalie Roberto Luongo, appears to have been the lead lobbyist in all this.

Anyway, this is fantastic.