NBC wants hockey players to shave their beards

BlackhawksDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY SportsChicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) falls as he chases the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison (5) and center Alex Killorn (17) in the first period in game three of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center.

The chairman of NBC Sports has thoughts on beards in hockey.

Specifically, Mark Lazarus thinks that hockey players should abandon their tradition of not shaving during the playoffs because it makes it too hard for fans to identify them on TV.

Lazarus told the Chicago Tribune, “I know it’s a tradition and superstition, but I think (the beards do) hurt recognition. They have a great opportunity with more endorsements. Or simply more recognition with fans saying, ‘That guy looks like the kid next door,’ which many of these guys do. I think that would be a nice thing.”

According to the Tribune, the tradition of growing a beard during the playoffs dates back to the Islanders teams in the 1980s.

So far, it doesn’t look as if any of the players are taking Lazarus seriously. Brent Sopel, a former Chicago Blackhawk, told the Tribune, “We’re 110 games into the season. Everyone should be able to recognise our faces by now.”

Obviously, shaving is the correct move from a trend standpoint.

But the thing about traditions and superstitions is that they tend to be impervious to fads, so don’t expect to see a lot of clean shaven playoff hockey players anytime soon.

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