An Ode To NHL Playoff Beards Past
It is a tale as old as time. The Stanley Cup Playoffs’ tradition of growing a beard is fuzzy. This still depends on who you talk to and when. Most hockey historians agree it began with the New York Islanders of the early 1980s. That Islanders team won four straight Stanley Cups.
The superstition of the beard and the growth is fun. Players like Butch Goring and Bobby Nystrom are believed to have spread the idea around. Some 40+ years later, playoff beards have genuinely taken on their own life.
Who had some of the best beards in playoff history? We expect to run at a fever pitch after this, but these were the players who kids looked up to. Here are just a few.
The Gold Standard - Lanny McDonald
There's perfection in that red facial hair. McDonald finally got to drink from the Stanley Cup in 1989.
The water cascading down that beard and mustache was a special moment.
OK, it probably was not water.
One Of The Originals - Ken Morrow
Being fortunate enough to be a kid when the “playoff beard” started allows for a unique perspective. Ken Morrow had one of the most epic beards even when stacked up to some of today's.
Not only was Morrow an Olympic gold medalist, but he was on those Stanley Cup-winning New York Islander teams of the early '80s. He was never confused with being an offensive-defenseman, but Morrow had a way of shutting things down.
Now, that beard was indeed a work of art.
Kris Draper - A Beard For The ’90s
Again, this is meant to be fun, and though there is some debate, Kris Draper had a heck of a playoff beard in the mid-1990s. There are looks for intimidation and looks on some excellent coif. This had a little bit of both.
Though Henrik Zetterberg could personally make a case with his beard, the Draper mustache and beard combination looks a good bit like Lanny McDonald’s but maybe even thicker.
Sheriff Scott Parker - Not A Sheriff
Scott Parker did not participate in a lot of playoff hockey, but he did win one Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche.
His beard was probably the class of the 2000s. It is messy and might not have the style of Scott Niedermayer’s 2003 or 2007 efforts, but the Parker beard has majesticness.
The Brent Burns And Joe Thornton Tag Team
In the 2010s, the playoff beard kings were Brent Burns and Joe Thornton. They were exceptionally talented on the ice, but their beards gained notoriety off the ice.
Again, the banter regarding the best beards rages on, but Burns and Thornton were quite a pair. May the Wookie and the Old Man live on forever in lore.
All of these incredible playoff beards are quite a sight to behold. That is what makes them legendary.
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