Best Playoff Beards in NHL History

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIApril 18, 2014

Best Playoff Beards in NHL History

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    The National Hockey League is fueled by passion and tradition, but no tradition is more fan-friendly than the superstitious belief in the world-renowned "playoff beard."

    For those of you who are new to this epic and storied tradition, players will not shave their facial hair once the Stanley Cup playoffs begin until they are crowned champion (or are knocked out of the playoffs). 

    Certain players, like superstar forward Sidney Crosby, live their entire lives around superstitions and rituals before the puck drops. 

    Crosby, unlike the players on this list, cannot grow a thick, colorful, bushy, and overall truly great playoff beard.

    Here are the best playoff beards in NHL history. Enjoy. 

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

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    CBS Sports

    San Jose utility man Brent Burns actually showed up to the team photo looking like the second-coming of Chewbacca, then raised over $23,000 by shaving the ridiculous beard for charity.  

    Burns has played in 27 playoff games during his ten-year NHL career and, just recently, he switched positions from an all-star defenseman to forward. 

    During the 2013-14 season, Burns racked up more points than superstars like Daniel Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Mike Richards and Joffrey Lupul. 

Mike Commodore, Carolina Hurricanes

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    During the Carolina Hurricanes' magical Stanley Cup run in 2006, defenseman Mike Commodore kept one of the most ludicrous hairstyles in sports history throughout the entirety of the playoffs.

    Commodore toed the blue line for seven different clubs during his eleven NHL seasons, and during the 53 playoff games in his career, "Commie" was sure to maintain a solid beard until his team was knocked out of the playoffs. 

Paul Mara, New York Rangers

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Former seventh overall draft pick Paul Mara spent 12 seasons in the NHL for six different teams.

    During his impressive career, the defenseman made sure to set the league standard for playoff beards, including the now-popular "Galifianakis" look. 

Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers

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    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    Flyers grinder Scott Hartnell has proven to be one of the most important assets for the Philadelphia Flyers come playoff time. Hartnell can score goals, crash the boards, drop the gloves and chirp the opponent.

    Most importantly, Hartnell educates hockey players and fans worldwide how to grow an utterly epic playoff beard and match it with his pure personality. 

    Hartnell's Flyers are set to take on the hated New York Rangers once the puck drops for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Nothing but a hat tip to Calgary Flames legend Lanny McDonald and his all-time playoff beard. 

    McDonald played seven seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs and another three for the Colorado Rockies (now the New Jersey Devils) before finding his eventual Stanley Cup champion squad in Calgary.

    Lanny played in over 100 playoff games during his illustrious career and, together with his Craig Stadler, "Walrus"-esque mustache, eventually helped carry his team to a Stanley Cup victory.   

Niedermayer Brothers, Anaheim Ducks

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Brothers Scott and Rob Niedermayer both suited up with amazing playoff beards for the Anaheim Ducks during their Stanley Cup run in 2007. 

    Though Scott is just one year older than Rob, the dab of salt in his epic playoff beard suggests he is wise beyond his years. 

    Scott racked up a Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman along with multiple All-Star and Stanley Cup appearances during his astonishing 18-season career in the NHL, while his brother Rob played 17 seasons in the league and won his first Stanley Cup with the 2007 Ducks. 

Max Talbot, Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Before his days with the Avalanche and Flyers, forward Max Talbot helped Penguins captain Sidney Crosby win a Stanley Cup after scoring a career-high 8 playoff goals in the 2009 Stanley Cup chase. 

    During the Penguins' reign over the NHL, Talbot rocked one of the gnarliest playoff beards in the league. 

    Currently, Talbot is on the young and talented Colorado Avalanche team that finished with the NHL's third-most regular-season points at 112.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, Los Angeles Kings

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    These two should really just have their own reality show. 

    Current Los Angeles Kings forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have one of the most lovable "bromances" in sports today. 

    Both forwards were part of the Philadelphia Flyers' Stanley Cup berth in 2010 before being shipped out to Los Angeles, where the dynamic duo helped bring the Los Angeles Kings their first Stanley Cup in 44 years in 2012—epic playoff beards and all. 

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    If Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara's seven-foot frame wasn't intimidating enough, the big man grows an epic playoff beard to add to his persona. 

    Chara has proven his talents in the playoff beard category multiple times as he's led the B's to the Stanley Cup Finals two of the last three seasons. 

    This season, Chara has once again brought his team to the playoffs in search for a Stanley Cup. The Bruins were the league's top team with 117 regular-season points. 

Ken Morrow, New York Islanders

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    Steve Babineau/Getty Images

    Islanders defenseman Ken Morrow started his NHL career with four straight Stanley Cup-winning seasons in New York. 

    Urban legend holds that the original "playoff beard" tradition was born in the 1980s, around the same time the New York Islanders were absolutely dominating professional hockey.  

Bill Flett, Philadelphia Flyers

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    Rusty Kennedy

    During the 1970s, the now-storied Philadelphia Flyers were better known as the "Broad Street Bullies" for their brash and no-holds-barred style of play.  

    During their dominant years, forward Bill Flett showed off his memorable facial hair (according to Esquire)

    The best part of Flett's amazing playoff beard is that he was a true pioneer for the tradition. One can only imagine the ridiculous hairstyles modern NHL players would wear if allowed to play without a helmet. 

Scott Parker, Colorado Avalanche

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    David Zalubowski

    While former NHL enforcer Scott Parker's playoff beard is one of the most impressive on this entire list, the forward is best known for his brawling skills on the ice.

    In fact, while with the San Jose Sharks, Parker was given a misconduct penalty and thrown out of a game for fighting before he climbed on top of the players bench just to throw a few extra swings on his way out. 

Dustin Penner, Washington Capitals

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    Andy Marlin/Getty Images

    Washington Capitals forward Dustin Penner rocked this ridiculous playoff beard with his missing teeth during the Los Angeles Kings' Stanley Cup run in 2012 as well as in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks. If the Caps can make a run in the playoffs next year, Penner is sure to bring one of the best playoff beards in the league. 


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