Nothing defines this time of year like the NHL postseason, and one thing we can always look forward to is an infinitude of playoff beards.
In honour of the scruff seen on the ice, The Gazette presents the best facial hair in sports.
- Scott Niedermayer
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were looking for veteran leadership this year when they signed now-captain Niedermayer. The 32-year-old defenceman looked the part with his greying salt-and-pepper beard. A beard like his commands the respect a captain needs to succeed in a franchise just a hair classier than Euro-Disney.
- Hulk Hogan
Hollywood Hogan defined wrestling throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and there isn’t a wrestling fan alive who wouldn’t recognize his bleached-blonde Fu Manchu. Hogan’s facial hair was essential in distracting fans from his hairline as it rapidly receded into oblivion.
- Reed Johnson
We’re usually not ones to rep the billy goat, but scrappy Blue Jay Johnson earns his spot on this list by going above and beyond the wispy patch we all remember from high school. Johnson defines professionalism on the field with facial hair long enough to braid.
- John L. Sullivan
The Boston Strongboy’s tour through the United States was defined as much by Sullivan’s high-octane nose-tickler as it was by the 30 men he reportedly knocked out. This ’stache solidifies Sullivan’s reputation as a regular 19th-century badass.
- Jake Plummer
One year after growing a dirty mustache into a full-blown Jesus beard, Jake Plummer’s interception count dropped from 20 to seven. Not only does Plummer now look like the star quarterback (and caveman) we all knew he could be, he’s also turned facial hair into efficiency on the gridiron. Well done, Jake.
- Lanny MacDonald
Former Calgary Flames captain MacDonald grew his facial hair to match his jersey, sporting a massive orange mustache over top of a soul-patch. The mustache turned into a full beard during the playoffs.
- Ricky Williams
Just when we thought Ricky Williams was cleaning himself up by cutting off the dreadlocks, he went out and grew the dirtiest stoner beard imaginable. He couldn’t do a better job solidifying his Rastafarian image if he lit up a joint at the 50-yard line in Dolphins Stadium. Thankfully, he traded the beard in for a nifty Argos ballcap.
- Koy Detmer
Remember the endless Gillette Fusion ads during the Super Bowl? Detmer wasn’t watching. He may need to keep his neck warm in frigid Philadelphia, but when your beard makes a seamless transition into your chest hair, it’s time to consider laser therapy. We’re a little bit scared to imagine Detmer’s mother.
- Baron Pierre de Coubertin
In 1894, de Coubertin organized an international congress to revive the Olympic Games, changing the athletics landscape while sporting one of the coolest mustaches in history. De Coubertin’s handlebar was the size of the Colosseum, a fashion trend desperately in need of resuscitation. Hopefully a few of these beauties resurface during next year’s playoffs.