June 15, 2013
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file photo/associated press/1981
Sporting beards for the playoffs is a ritual that traces back to the glory days of the New York Islanders in the 1980s, but not everyone participated.
Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Tyler Seguin is one of many Bruins participating in one of hockey’s most celebrated — and itchy — traditions.
A longtime hockey historian, author, and broadcaster said it all started "in about 1980 with the beginning of the New York Islanders dynasty." Pictured: Brad Marchand.
"It wasn't a formal announcement or proclamation to the league," said the historian, Stan Fischler. Pictured: Patrice Bergeron.
The idea is to let the hair fester and grow to represent the team’s emotional and physical playoff grind, no matter how itchy. Pictured: Anton Khudobin.
It’s unclear when the Bruins joined in with the Islanders. Pictured: Dennis Seidenberg.
Tory Krug’s is a notch above peach fuzz.
Jaromir Jagr debuted a dyed mutton chop look for the Stanley Cup Final.
Adam McQuaid said while the added hair is uncomfortable, he is reminded how far his team has come every time he looks in the mirror.
Fischler said there was a movement to ban playoff beards altogether in the late 1980s. Pictured: Johnny Boychuk.
A former studio host for Bruins telecasts said beards were associated with communists or political radicals at that time. PIctured: Nathan Horton.
The NHL has embraced the tradition, such as 2009's "Beard-a-Thon," with fans pledging to grow beards for charity. Pictured: Zdeno Chara.