Who started the NHL’s playoff beard tradition?
According to hockey historians, the unofficial tradition of not shaving from the beginning of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs until your team is eliminated from the tournament was started by the New York Islanders around 1980. Members of the Islanders’ dynasty have pointed to four-time Stanley Cup champion Butch Goring as originator of a tradition that has since taken over all levels of hockey and spread across several other sports’ respective postseasons. Some players, like Penguins’ superstar center Sidney Crosby, struggle to grow a playoff beard. But others, like Predators’ thick-ginger-beard-sporting defenseman Ryan Ellis (pictured above), make the tradition a thing of beauty.