Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Come playoff time, no one tests that adage quite like some of the beauties in the Canadian Hockey League when it comes to hair.
Crazy playoff hair has become a tradition in junior hockey, much like complaining about poor officiating and long bus rides. Last year we went through the post-season transformation with Niagara IceDogs forward Mitchell Theoret, who went from the clean-cut boy next door to freak of the week in a matter of hours with the help of his barber, Will, at Blackbeard's Barbershop.
This year, he went back to Will and they kicked the crazy up a notch with a look Theoret's calling the old man. (see photo above)
"Last year's was a little more stylish, something you might consider wearing," explained the seventh-round pick of the New York Islanders. "With this I'm just trying to get a glimpse of what I might look like in about 60 years.
"Hopefully I'll still have some hair."
When asked if he'd seen Theoret's hair, the response from IceDogs coach-GM Marty Williamson was brief.
"Yes, and I can't repeat what I said. Unbelievable."
If you're an Islanders fan you've got to be pretty pumped about this, because if Theoret's going to be this dedicated off the ice, just imagine what he'll do for your team on the ice. Plus if you're an Islanders fan nothing truly scares you anymore, anyway.
"A lot of my teammates just shook their heads and said, 'I can't believe you actually did it again,'" said the Kitchener, Ont., native. "I was just in downtown St. Catharines a few minutes ago and everyone that drove by just looked at me like I was from a different planet."
Yes, Planet Awesome.
The IceDogs, favourites in the Eastern Conference, start their first-round series against the Oshawa Generals on Thursday night, but Theoret has already started thinking about his hair for next year's playoff run.
"I don't know what I'm going to do next year," said the 18-year-old. "I'm running out of ideas quick ... I think the key is to have really long hair, because if you have long hair you can pretty much do whatever you want."
Great playoff hair is akin to a great piece of art which makes you think and question things... mostly, 'Why?'
Other hair-iffic looks around the CHL:
A classic playoff look, Czech forward Lukas Sedlak -- a sixth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets -- shows off his blue mohawk for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. The Sags open their 2012 QMJHL playoff run against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Friday.
(stick tap: CBJ Prospects)
B stands for Brendan, Belleville, Barrie and Bowl. The bowl cut is proving to be popular in this season's OHL playoffs.
Or maybe it's just a Brendan thing?
First up is NHL draft prospect Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls with a look captain Luke Judson called "priceless."
Last year the Belleville stylist that cut his playoff hair was so upset with her work, she refused to take money from Gaunce.
"She said she wasn't proud of it," said the Markham, Ont., native.
This year he was able to pay for it ... mostly with his dignity.
(Photo courtesy: Luke Judson)
Then there's Barrie Colts forward Brendan Bell, whose coif is reminiscent of Moe Howard from the Three Stooges. The only thing missing from this photo (below) is the actual salad bowl used to guide the scissors around his head. I really wanted to hate this cut, but the braided rat-tail is so epic, I just can't. It's so incredibly bad, it's good.
And finally, you can't have a hockey hair post without mentioning the traditional "hockey hair." Hockey and mullets go together like peanut butter and jam, or Patrick Roy and QMJHL fines. Speaking of the QMJHL, we can thank that league for three of the best most interesting Maritime mullets outside of Dartmouth, N.S.
Moncton Wildcats forward Ross Johnston, left, is sporting some pure grease. But, in fairness, he captures the spirit of the thing -- because nothing says: "business in the front, party in the back," like rocking a mullet while wearing a suit.
In the centre is Wildcats teammate, defenceman James Melindy who is showing off his ginger flow. No matter what he does with his hair, nothing will ever be as embarrassing as those Trask & Melindy promotional videos.
On the right is Memorial Cup champion Stephen MacAulay of the Saint John Sea Dogs, with probably the least jarring cut. Not sure if this falls into the mullet or fauxhawk category, but it has a nice punk DIY aesthetic. Also judging by some of the gouges at the top of his head, it looks like it was done at home for free -- and not at some fancy salon.
At the end of the day the spirit of playoff hair is about team bonding, team building, having a few laughs and going as far as possible in the post-season so you don't have to go back to your hometown with only butchered locks to show for it.
(Stick tap to: @linners2984)
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