Mon Mar 21 02:23pm EDT
Playoff time has always been largely synonymous with two things in the Ontario Hockey League: excellent hockey and extreme hair.
Some teams take the NHL route and grow playoff beards and long hair. Some like to keep their conformity and don’t bother with anything. And some, like the Niagara IceDogs, try to see how far they can push the cutting edge.
The 17-year-old was kind enough to enlist the help of teammate-turned-photographer Ryan Strome to take Buzzing The Net step-by-step through the process of going from pre-season clean cut to post-season clown show.
According to Theoret, the whole process took roughly an hour to complete.
WARNING: Do not try this at home. Unless you really want to be laughed at.
"There were a lot of mixed reviews and a lot of questioned faces," said Theoret of the reaction from his teammates. "It was a good laugh though."
STEP 1: Grow your hair.
This is what Theoret, who calls Kitchener, Ont., home, looked like at the start of the season.
Much like Johnny Unitas -- there's a haircut you can set your watch to.
During the regular season, the winger grew his hair longer because he had originally planned to rock a mullet before realizing that's so last year.
"It seems to be the common trend these days for playoff hair, the mullet, so I thought I'd step it up a notch and see what I could come up with," said fashion-forward forward.
Theoret, who scored nine goals and added 11 assists in 66 games with the IceDogs, said the idea for his playoff flow came to him within 15 minutes.
He admits the only reason he went with the look was because his none of his teammates believed he'd actually be seen in public with what he had described to them.
"I was like, 'Y'know what? I'm gonna do it,'" recalled Theoret. "So I shaved half my head and went with the colour scheme."
STEP 2: Shave half your head.
During last season's playoff run in Niagara, the second-year forward went with a bowl-cut. He dyed the "rim" of the bowl blonde and coloured the top of his head red -- keeping with the IceDogs colour scheme.
"I guess I'm kinda known for my inventiveness when it comes to my playoff hairstyles," said Theoret.
STEP 3: Dye whatever's left of your hair blonde.
"I probably sat there for about 20 minutes."
STEP 4: Divide the remaining hair into quarters. Dye the opposite quarters of your hair red to form a checkerboard pattern.
STEP 5: Wash out dye. Blow dry. Prepare to be mocked.
Theoret, left, even helped teammate Billy Jenkins, right, develop a new style he dubbed "The Unicorn" because it's all Ed Grimley (photo below) in the front.
Despite all the stares and snickering, Theoret said he's very happy with the way his hair has turned out.
"I'm showing off my hair with pride," said the IceDog of being seen around St. Catharines, Ont. "There are a lot of stares and a lot of double-takes."
He's already thinking about his style for next year's playoffs, since the young IceDogs (45-17-2-4) are expected to be contenders in the Eastern Conference for the OHL title.
"I don't know what I'm going to do to out do this one," said Theoret on Monday. "I'm going to put a lot of thought into it."
He thinks his new look will help keep the IceDogs from getting too serious when they open up the first round of the OHL playoffs at home against Brampton on Thursday.
"The guys on the team think of me as the guy who will break the ice or keep things loose," said Theoret.
"If someone's having a bad day they can just take a look at my hair and just have a good laugh over it because maybe their day isn't as bad as mine's going."
Photos by Ryan Strome, courtesy of Mitchell Theoret