Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by BlackRanger, May 30, 2006.
What's the history behind this???
Well, if I had to guess, a player forgot to shave once before a playoff game and had a great game so he decided to not shave until the end of the playoffs. Then the idea took off.
Just my theory.
IIRC, the Islanders teams of the early 80s are generally credited with starting the tradition as a show of unity.
Flyers as well did it in the 70's
Clarke and 3 players on one team did not have one
I am old enough to have watched the games
The first player I remember with any beard in the NHL was Cowboy Flett in the early 1970's.
I recall Cowboy Bill Flett, MacLeish's 'stache, et al but IIRC, those were permanent fixtures rather than something to do for the playoffs.
Not that this article is the defining word but it goes into the beards a bit:
Likewise, growing a beard for the Stanley Cup playoffs didn't come into vogue until about 1980, when the New York Islanders began their run of four straight championships.
That, at least, is the consensus of several National Hockey League veterans who were asked to track the origin of the tradition.
``I'm pretty sure we started that because the Canadiens won the four Cups before that and [Canadiens President Sam Pollock] had a rule that [prohibited] their players from wearing beards,'' former Islanders assistant general manager Jim Devellano said. ``We didn't care if they wore a beard or wore their hair down to their [rear ends]. So we had a bunch of guys with beards.''