Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.
Local

The playoff beard



Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
chinnymsu/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
Classic playoff beard from 2006 Stanley Cup champion Mike Commodore.
captainslack/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
LA Kings forward Mike Richards before the Western Conference Finals Game 4 on May 20, 2012.
cikiri/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
LA Kings forward Dustin Penner at team practice. Penner has 10 points in these playoffs and also leads the team in overall beard growth.
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
Nicknamed Wolfman, Islanders defenseman Ken Morrow is credited with growing one of the first ever playoff beards.
hockeymedia/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
LA Kings defenseman Matt Greene, showing off the 2012 team's only red beard.
cikiri/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
LA Kings forward and captain Dustin Brown is a big leader on the ice. Off the ice, he trails all other Kings players in both beard and tooth percentage.
et2sempronia/Flickr
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
Off-Ramp intern Jerry Gorin has supported the LA Kings with his own humble playoff beard.
Calgary Flames forward Lanny McDonald hoisting the Stanley Cup in 1989. Readers of the UK's Globe and Mail voted Lanny's playoff beard the best of all time.
Off-Ramp producer Kevin Ferguson has been growing his playoff beard since age 4, and he doesn't even like hockey.
Jerry Gorin


Sports traditions can range from the fun (the seventh-inning stretch, or maybe the Lambeau Leap), to the odd (why do Indy500 race winners chug milk after the race?) to the gross (soccer players swapping sweaty jerseys after games). One of sports' greatest traditions, the hockey playoff beard, is all of those things. Depending on who you ask, playoff beards might be the most fun, most strange and most disgusting rituals in all of sports.

The tradition began in the early 80's with the New York Islanders. That team built solidarity by instituting a rule that no player would shave until their team was eliminated from the playoffs. Led by defenseman Ken Morrow, otherwise known as the "Wolfman", the team won 4 consecutive Stanley Cups between 1980 and 1983. Since then the tradition has exploded, and while few players get a chance to drink from the cup, many get to show of their face-fros.

Right now, with the days growing warmer and people rushing to get their summer trims and their first tans, the LA Kings are still donning their playoff beards as they try to win the city's first Stanley Cup in 45 years. Scroll through some of the photos above to see how their beards hold up against some of history's best.