There are a lot of great combinations in the world. Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and chocolate. James Bond and women.
Hockey players and mustaches are right up there with the best of them.
Take a look over the years: Wendel Clark. Lanny McDonald. Bryan Trottier. George Parros. All NHL guys who have rocked the ‘stache and rocked it hard. There’s something about hockey guys and facial hair that just fits.
In the past two weeks, you may have noticed some of your favorite NHLers sprouting mustaches of their own. It’s not a coincidence: in addition to looking bad ass (or just plain greasy), players across the league are growing mustaches for charity.
The organization behind the movement is Movember, an international foundation dedicated to raising awareness for men’s health – particularly cancer. Participants form their own teams and spend the thirty days of November growing and grooming their “mo” while raising money for a great cause.
In other words, it sets itself up to be a great partnership with the NHL.
“We noticed during Movember 2009 that some NHL players had begun to participate, and because of that, a few of the teams’ marketing departments begun to promote [it]. It was very similar to the way athletes from rugby, cricket and Aussie Rules Football had begun to embrace Movember in its early years in Australia. We thought the interest levels might be the same, so we made the NHL an initiative for 2010 and began outreach to various teams as early as the spring, starting with those who participated in 2009: Atlanta, Washington, Minnesota and Edmonton,” said Jack Choate, Director of Development for Movember North America.
This year there are over 140 NHLers (plus staff and alumni) from 14 different teams participating in Movember. Some of the names include Zach Bogosian, Sam Gagner, Ryan Malone, Mike Green and more. Cal Clutterbuck even created a Twitter account for his “mo.”
But no mustache initiative would be complete without participation from George Parros. Parros took the plunge and shaved his famous facial hair to start his Movember journey. It was a moment captured by TSN cameras that left him seemingly naked without his beloved ‘stache.
As of November 18, a look at the NHL’s Movember site has Wild player Nick Schultz leading the pack, having raised $5,325. The Capitals sit at the top of the team rankings with $19,356 in donations. Altogether the league has raised $53,513, and that number is growing.
“We’re excited to see how many NHL MoBros we’ll have once the 2010 campaign is all said and done,” Choate said. “It’s a fun thing that the guys seem to embrace. There’s no pressure like you have with the ‘playoff beard.’ Plus, it’s raising awareness and conversation about a disease and issue that every NHL player will have to confront at some point in his life.”
To join the league’s Movember team or donate to an NHL MoBro, visit the league’s page here.
Now who wants a mustache ride?