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The Paul Mara Advantage

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL -- When he signed on with the Canadiens this July, Paul Mara knew he was heading to an organization steeped in history and tradition. Luckily, there’s nothing Mara loves more than respecting time-honored traditions, especially when the playoffs are involved.  

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without shaving?
You saw the result of it last year; that beard lasted from February to almost the end of April.

How old were you when you needed to start shaving?
Probably about seven. (laughs) No, I was around 14 or 15 years old I guess.
Have you ever had to shave twice a day?
No, no, once is plenty. Although the five o’clock shadow does start coming in a little after noon. 
What’s the best nickname anyone has ever given your facial hair?
I’ll clean it up for print, but basically my brother called me up once and said that it looked like someone had put Chewbacca’s butt on my face. That one was pretty good!
Has anyone ever compared you to Paul Bunyan?
All the time! Especially when it was at its fullest last year.
Who grows the best playoff beard in the NHL?
Tough call, but Scott Niedermayer grew a pretty decent one a few years ago during the Ducks’ Cup run.  A few grey hairs in there for the salt and pepper look – very distinguished.
Be honest – is growing a beard really the best thing about the playoffs?
(laughs) No, winning is. But it’s always a fun feature of the playoffs to be able to grow a nice, thick beard. 

Yours was three months in the making – how long did it take to shave that thing off?
Actually, it only took like five minutes. There was no trimming needed, either, I just grabbed my usual electric razor and it came right off with no pulling or anything – it was awesome!

Have you ever thought about growing a full-time moustache? Might we suggest a classic “handlebar” or possibly a “fu manchu”, perhaps?

We took a couple hilarious pictures of the various stages of gross moustache while I was shaving it off but after seeing it, I don’t think I could ever really pull that off

Shauna Denis is a writer for

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