Tonight kicks off the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Loyal fans of the participating teams will begin practicing traditions and performing rituals in hopes of bringing their men to victory. One of these traditions includes ditching the razor and growing what is known as the, "playoff beard".
The playoff beard was introduced in the 1980's by NHL teams competing for the Stanley Cup. On the opening day of the first round series, players began growing out their beards and continued to do so until they faced elimination or tasted sweet victory. This practice became a fast growing tradition in which fans began to participate. In 2009, the NHL launched a campaign called the “Beard-a-Thon,” which encouraged fans to let their beards grow for charity. Even after all these years, that tradition still stands. In fact, it’s pretty much a given to grow a playoff beard if your team is competing for the Stanley Cup. Over the weeks to come, the faces of hockey fans will be naked no more.
This growing tradition (haha, get it?) isn’t something that is practiced only by hockey players and their fans. Players and supporters of teams in the NFL and MLB now participate at playoff time. We don’t blame them… we’re firm believers that beards bring luck, too :)
If you are an NHL superfan and wish to follow each game, you can see the schedule here. For those that like to keep track of each series and eliminations, click here for a printable bracket.
We hope you enjoy following the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year. May your team play hard and your beard grow long!