Why do NHL players all look inexplicably scruffy during the Playoffs?
One might think they’re so pressed for time that they can’t shave. Plausible, but untrue.
Believe it or not, this is a tradition that started in the 1980s by the New York Islanders. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s customary for the players to not shave until they’re either eliminated or they win the Cup. (Some believe it’s all right to trim it after a loss in an attempt to change the luck.)
Here’s one of my favorite players, Dustin Penner, #25, of the LA Kings, with his beard. Bushy, ain’t he! (Photo by Lucy Nicholson Reuters)
Dustin is well known for his luxurious Playoff beards. There’s even someone who tweets as @PennersBeard.
Penner has earned two Stanley Cup rings, once with the Anaheim Ducks, the other with the Kings last year.
Here’s what he looks like (somewhat) clean-shaven. What a hunk.