NHL Hockey Hair: 23 Best Mullets in NHL History

Zachary Stanley@@SFLeaguesCorrespondent IJune 9, 2011

NHL Hockey Hair: 23 Best Mullets in NHL History

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    Throughout the world, there are defining characteristics that signify common forms of expression within particular sports.

    Standing the test of time in the NHL is the mullet.

    While the mustache and tattoos have left their mark on MLB and the NBA, "hockey hair" has become a universal phrase used for comparing a wild haircut to the stylish hairdos that graced the NHL in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The mullet will forever be associated with the NHL and arena rock, and while the latter has faded, the mullet continues to fight for survival in the game of ice hockey.

23. Jose Theodore

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    A modest clipping with a lax-bro vibe, Jose Theodore is one of many players in NHL history whose mullet has been hindered by a goalie mask (more to come).

    Theodore will always be remembered for some remarkable playoff runs as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, including a 2004 upset over the Boston Bruins as a seventh seed.

    Theodore's mullet was always well tended to, but unfortunately didn't stay around long enough to gain the proper recognition.   

22. Mikhail Grabovski

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    With a significant amount of locks spilling out of his helmet, Mikhail Grabovsky was blessed with the kind of bushy blond hair that bears close resemblance to a lion's mane.

    Grabovski has maintained his gaudy mullet for most of his professional career, playing for both the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.

    At age 27, Grabovski is one of several players that have an obligation to carry on and honor a proud history of hockey hair.

21. Derian Hatcher

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    Another player sporting the lion-like locks was Derian Hatcher.

    One of the NHL's most brutal enforcers, you could always see which player was in danger of being leveled by a Hatcher hit based on the curly blond beast trucking up and down the ice.

    Hatcher won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and ended his career with 1,581 penalty minutes.

    Along with New Jersey's Scott Stevens, Hatcher was one of the most intimidating players of his time.  

20. Patrick Roy

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    Known as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time, Patrick Roy displayed a relatively subtle mullet throughout most of his NHL career.

    In 1995, Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche from the Montreal Canadiens.

    Roy had already won one Stanley Cup with the Canadiens at age 20 and would go on to win two more as a member of the Avalanche.

    Roy gained a reputation as an egotistical hothead throughout his career and continues to cement it as coach of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

19. Marko Kiprusoff

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    Mark Kiprusoff donned one of the NHL's most quickly forgotten mullets.

    Drafted in 1994 to the Montreal Canadiens, Kiprusoff only played 24 games in the NHL before playing two seasons in Sweden. He now plays in the French league, Ligue Magnus.

    It's a true shame that Kiprusoff couldn't have been a more successful player, as he had the opportunity to groom a real winner.

18. Brendan Witt

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    Ah, what a picture.

    Brendan Witt is another player that deserves legitimate praise for his effort in avoiding mullet extinction.

    Not only did Witt don a luscious mullet, but he also has several tattoos. 

    Witt played for the Washington Capitals, the Nashville Predators (briefly) and the New York Islanders in a 14-year NHL career that featured 1,424 penalty minutes.

    Don't worry, there are still many more dirty blond mops to come.   

17. Darius Kasparaitis

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    It would have seemed difficult to make Darius Kasparaitis look any more frightening than he already was, but the lightning bolt streak of blood down his face managed to do the trick.

    Kasparaitis' blond hair was too straight to allow the Darien Hatcher-type bounce, but Kasparaitis still rocked the length for several years.

    Kasparaitis played the part of the goon (anyone notice a trend here? You don't mess with the mullet) throughout most of his career, and is credited with one of Eric Lindros' many knockout blows.

    Kasparaitis logged 1,379 penalty minutes in his career, while only scoring 27 goals.   

16. Roberto Luongo

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    Roberto Luongo's bouncy black curls are some of the more underrated locks of hair in the game today.

    Luongo may look slightly grungy after a long night in the net, but, oiling up at his leisure, one of the world's best goaltenders maintains a stylish cut at any other venue. 

    Already a gold medal winner, Luongo has his Vancouver Canucks as close as they have ever been to winning the Stanley Cup.

    NHL fans watching this year's playoffs have had ample time to get a good luck at Luongo's jet-black lusciousness.  

15. Wendel Clark

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    With 1,690 PIMs in his career, Wendel Clark was small but mean, just like his mullet.

    I contemplated ranking Clark higher on the list, but I couldn't pull the trigger on such a minimal amount of hair.

    Clark's buzz-cut that turned into a semi-thick, rat-tail-looking thing, is certainly one of the rarer clips in mullet history, and the mustache only made him look more unique.

    A victim of bad genes, we will unfortunately never see another Clark mullet.   

14. Scott Hartnell

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    Scott Hartnell's "parliament red" hairdo ranks high up on a list of Philadelphia Flyers' mullets.

    Hartnell hasn't maintained the same robust length throughout his entire career, which borders on travesty.

    A recessive trait, the ginger-look only comes every so often, let alone in mullet form.

    At age 29, Hartnell has already accumulated 1,143 penalty minutes, which means he will likely surpass Wendel Clark as the King of Mullet Enforcers in the coming years.

    Hartnell owns the Nashville Predators' franchise record for penalty minutes.  

13. Wayne Gretzky

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    Yes, even The Great One had a mullet.

    When the best player of all time left his home country behind to join the L.A. Kings, he also left behind his beautiful blond hairdo.

    Gretzky could easily be argued up some spots on this list, but I find his mullet to be rather plain compared to what will be our top 10.

    Still, the fact that game's best represented sport's greatest hairdo with style and class only furthered its place in history.  

12. Ron Duguay

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    It's tough to argue that Duguay wasn't one of the original ambassadors of the mullet.

    Duguay played 13 seasons in the NHL.

    It's been said that Duguay's aerodynamic flare actually gave him a significant speed boost. OK, that's not true.

    Still, Duguay's hair helped him to make a name for himself as a flashy NHL player.

    Duguay became progressively known as a Pop Icon, rather than a talented player.

    Proof that ladies loved the mullet: Duguay has been married to two models.  

11. Michael Handzus

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    Michal Handzus separates himself from the rest of the field by his extremely bushy length.

    Zeus retained the mullet for much of his time with the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, but has since left it behind.

    I can't imagine the kind of maintenance required to keep bugs from getting in that thing, but I am sure he used some sort of Polamalu-like treatment remedy.

    Handzus' hair often looked larger than his head, and it roamed freely to the left and right as he changed directions.

    I wonder if we will ever see hair pour out of a hockey helmet more than Handzus. 

10. George Parros

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    George Parros cracks the top 10 for the dual mullet-facial hair alone.

    Out of all the players on the list, Parros is a player well worth Google Imaging.

    Parros has had almost as many altered styles as there are players named in this article.

    Parros looks like one of the fearsome warriors from 300. 

    Totaling 865 penalty minutes in just seven seasons, Parros is just one of several players that have proven the mullet has an intimidation factor.

    Parros is a worthy No.10, donating his long hair to "Locks of Love" every Christmas.

9. Guy LaFleur

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    Along with Ron Duguay, Guy LaFleur is looked at as one of the pioneers of the classic mullet. 

    LaFleur had a 17-year NHL career and became known as the "the Blonde Demon" among French fans.

    LaFleur is the all-time leading scorer in Canadiens history (518 goals and 728 assists in 14 years).

    LaFleur's hair flare was the perfect match for his style. He also gets extra points for having a grandfather clause in his contract, allowing him to go helmet-less in the helmet era. 

8. Marty McSorley

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    Now, this is vintage. 

    Marty McSorley had a 19-year NHL career, and had one of the most elegant, well-tamed mullets of all time.

    McSorley would become known as "Wayne Gretzky's Bodyguard," as he traveled from Edmonton to L.A. with Gretzky after one of the most talked about trades in NHL history.

    McSorley's career would come to an abrupt and disgraceful end in 2000.

    McSorley, playing for the Bruins at the time, swung his stick at Donald Brashear and was eventually charged with assault and found guilty of assault with a weapon by a court of law. He was sentenced to 18 months probation for the attack.

7. Ziggy Palffy

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    Like many players on our list, Ziggy Palffy chose to desert his mullet many years ago.

    I would usually issue a slight penalty for such treachery, but this picture deserves its rightful place in the Mullet Hall of Fame. 

    Though Palffy now plays overseas, the 39-year-old managed to make the Slovakian Olympic roster in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

    It's difficult to think of a cut that greater encapsulates the mullet than the young Ziggy Palffy.

    Not only is this the most underrated on the list, but if not for brevity, it might be at the top.

6. Mike Ricci

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    Often missing teeth, and sporting an untamed head of hair, Mike Ricci was one of the NHL's most attractive players.

    Ricci had a 17-year NHL career and was one of the league's most aggressive centers on the San Jose Sharks.

    Ricci played with an intense and spirited style, which earned him significant praise among the San Jose faithful.

    You always knew where Ricci was on the ice because of his ridiculously long hair and the controlled chaos he brought to the game. 

5. Brian Engblom

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    The history of hockey anchor Brian Engblom's mullet has been greatly damaged by his days with the NHL's new network, Versus.

    Engblom has suffered a massive decline in volume over the last several seasons, and he will probably continue to distance himself from the supreme head of hair that graced viewers rink-side throughout the 1990s.

    Thanks to the lack of photos from those days, I struggled to find the proper picture that embodied the essence of Engblom's former self.

    Engblom is still proud owner to one of the longest lasting mullets in the business, and I don't see that changing any time soon. 

4. Ryan Smyth

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    Ryan Smyth is another player to Google Image.

    Smyth gets No. 4 for the evolution of his mullet alone.

    Smyth's mane has gone from scraggly, to smooth, to flared over time.

    Smyth was a major part of the 2005-06 Oilers that advanced to the Stanley Cup, ultimately losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.

    Smyth continues to be a factor in the NHL after 15 years, and he surely has a few more in him.

    Now on his fourth team (Kings), Smyth still rocks an ever-changing mullet. Props, Ryan.

3. Al Iafrate

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    Give me a single person that you know who would dare to leave their head looking like this.

    One of the most mystifying and illogical heads of hair ever known, Al Iafrate's mullet belongs in a separate category.

    While players have been known to shave certain shapes into parts of their head, Iafrate crafted a natural, cowboy belt-buckle on his head.

    Iafrate was part of a Capitals team that set a record for most goals by defensemen on one team, and his record slapshot speed (105.2 mph) held for 16 years at the NHL Skills Competition.

2. Jaromir Jagr

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    Thick, luscious and gravity-defying, Jaromir Jagr's mullet will forever be a staple of the history of hockey hair.

    There has never been a head of hair like Jagr's in the history of the league, and his selfish on-ice personality leads you to think he spent a lot of time on it.

    Jagr won the MVP in 1999, and won two Stanley Cups alongside Mario Lemieux.

    Since leaving the New York Rangers, Jagr has been playing with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

    Jagr will be remembered for his skill, his sometimes selfish play and his hair.

1. Barry Melrose

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    I know. You must be wondering why Melrose is ahead of Jagr. 

    I have several reasons.


    Melrose has been an ambassador for the mullet for years now and continues to be heading toward the future.

    Melrose continues to style his mullet and facial hair to utter perfection.

    It certainly doesn't help that I get to see him on ESPN every night throughout the playoffs, but after much deliberating, I maintain my position on Melrose being at the top of the heap.

    Though Melrose has gone gray, his mullet still looks as elite as ever.

    As we go on in this new decade, Melrose will stay in front of the camera, mullet intact, bringing us one of the NHL's most enjoyable segments all playoffs long. 


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