Mar 26, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein (8) keeps the puck in front as Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell (19) closes in during the third period at Madison Square Garden. New York Rangers won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Playoff Beards

Good morning one and all! It’s finally Rangers Game Day and time for another #AskAllison!! In honor of playoff season,

today’s Ask Allison will discuss NHL Playoff beards, their origination and why they matter! It’s so exciting that the Rangers have made it to playoffs this year despite having a rocky start to this season.

The playoff beard began in the 1980’s with the New York Islanders when they would play 4 games in 5 nights and Denis Potvin, famous at MSG for the notorious “Potvin Sucks” chant heard at every home game, stated that they playoff beards were “something that just happened” during playoffs. There has been some speculation that the playoff beards also started as a result of the Stefan Persson and Anders Kallur acquisitions from Sweden. It is possible they carried Bjorn Borg’s tradition of not shaving during Wimbledon over into the NHL. Since then, playoff beards have become a popular trend for playoffs for many teams, including the Detroit Red Wings who used “The Beard is Back” as their slogan in the 2009 playoff series. Playoff beards have become a way for teammates to show solidarity, be united together and sometimes laugh at each others playoff beards. One of the most impacting statements I read was about how Playoff Beards encouraged players to think of the game from the first thing in the morning when you looked in mirror.

Although the Islanders may have started the playoff beard tradition, in 2009 the tradition took on a new meaning.  In 2009 Beard-A-Thon was created to help raise money for charity through growing out your playoff beard, and since then have raised over 2.5 million dollars by all NHL teams participating. Beard-A-Thon works through gaining pledges who are willing to “pledge” you, or contribute money to charity to watch your beard grow, and the New York Rangers Garden of Dreams have been a major charity organization benefiting from the playoff beards.

There are few rules to the playoff beard other than simply grow out your beard until your team is eliminated, then you must shave it. Some proponents of the playoff beard say that every time your team loses that you are to trim your beard (not shave it!), that you are not to shave your beard because it’s hot, for a wedding, for graduation, or because your girlfriend told you to cause she doesn’t like it. There is some argument to grooming the beard, some say you can tend to it, some say absolutely not. I have also read that if you can’t grow a beard (which some can’t) to grow a playoff mullet (which I reject wholeheartedly) or grow a playoff mustache, although some say that playoff mustaches are not the same and are discouraged. Ultimately the rules are up to you, as long as you grow out your playoff beards to support your team.

As far as female fans go, it’s up to how you want to grow a playoff “beard,” some women refuse to shave their legs, armpits, etc but it’s totally up to you. In 2011 the Washington Capitals started a “Rock the Bush” campaign to encourage female fans to support their teams in playoffs. Ultimately, whatever you decide to do to support your team in playoffs will suffice.

Well that’s all I’ve got for you guys today! Get some sun, enjoy the day, and LETS GO RANGERS!!

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Tags: #AskAllison New York Rangers Playoff Beards Playoffs

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