NHL players’ beards draw ire of TV executive

NHL players' beards draw ire of TV executive (Image 1)

A TV executive says he doesn’t like hockey players’ beards.

Many of the players competing for the Stanley Cup look more like Grizzly Adams than 20-somethings. That’s because of a tradition started in the 1980s. Players don’t shave until they Stanley Cup is over.

“I am getting used to it knowing who the players are with a different facial look,” Lightning fan Lori Collis said. Collis follows the team, scraggily look and all.

Bolts player Brian Boyle weighed in on his look. “I like the tradition and my beard’s pretty awful. I look like a pirate,” Boyle said.

But the chairman of NBC Sports, Mark Lazarus, has suggested NHL players stop growing the beards. “I know it’s a tradition and superstition, but I think the beards do hurt recognition,” Lazarus told the Chicago Tribune.

Former Lightning player Brian Bradley doesn’t think that sentiment bothered current Bolts players.

“I think they thought about it and laughed because you know what that is, just someone from the outside that has not played in the professional level,” Bradley said.

Fan Nathan Cartmel has grown a beard in solidarity with the Bolts players. He thinks the beards add character without hurting recognition.

“They wear jerseys with their names on the back. People know who they are. I don’t think it hurts the product if you are watching on television. I don’t think wearing a beard harms them. I actually think it creates more awareness,” Cartmel added.

“I like a guy with a beard, absolutely,” Lightning fan Michelle Odiorne said.

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