Puck Daddy - NHL

As he discussed on Puck Daddy Radio, Ryan Kesler(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks is making inroads in the fashion industry by helping to design a signature line with Firstar sports.

And, apparently, he's also becoming Canada's Next Top Model. (Are Americans even eligible?)

This image appeared with a Vancouver Sun feature story on how marketer and former Umbro Canada VP John Catliff brought Ryan Kesler, Russ Courtnall and Brendan Morrison(notes) to Firstar to help promote its "performance polyester microfibre for underwear" as well as other hockey apparel. Said Catliff:

"Hockey players are the sweatiest creatures on the planet," Catliff said. "No one sweats more than hockey players and no one's equipment smells more than hockey players' and our product is specifically designed to combat the sweat saturation as well as the odour."

Aaaaand gross. Naturally, Kesler's beefcake portrait was not ignored by his Vancouver Canucks teammates, who were confronted with a copy of the Sun and relayed the following reactions to Ian MacIntyre after their 6-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators:

"Oh, wow," [Tanner] Glass finally muttered. "Was this airbrushed?"

"That's embarrassing," Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa(notes) chimed in. "I don't think the guys know about this." Oh, but they will. The newspaper's circulation department could open a kiosk today in the corner of the Canucks' dressing room.

Bieksa endured endless ribbing from teammates a couple of years ago when a B.C. magazine named him one of the 10 most beautiful people in the province. And Bieksa didn't do a photo shoot in his gonch, looking like he was waiting to have his pecs oiled for the final posedown competition.

"You have to be pretty confident to do something like that," Bieksa said.

Or at least know that no matter how your underwear ad looks in black and white, it's always going to be less alarming than Zdeno Chara's(notes) "Ogre in Repose" portrait for ESPN The Magazine.

One last thing on the Canucks: Their canceled-practice tribute to veterans on Remembrance Day (read about it here and here) deserves another stick-tap. Great stuff.

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