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All-time top hockey moustache debated by NHL.com writers

NHL Network highlighting Movember by letting fans decide on best 'stache

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Facial hair has always been a big part of hockey, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the playoff beard becomes as common as overtime games.

But the moustache takes center stage during November, which is Hockey Fights Cancer month in the NHL. As part of the annual Movember campaign to raise awareness in the fight against cancer, NHL Network is holding a Movember Moustache Mania tournament to see who fans think has the best 'stache in hockey.

The network unveiled its bracket with the eight greatest moustaches in NHL history on Friday. Fans can make their picks on social media in a five-day competition that will see the field shaved down from eight to one.

Video: Check out the bracket for Movember Mustache Mania

Match 1 on Monday will see top-seeded Lanny McDonald go nose to nose with No. 8 seed Cal Clutterbuck. Tuesday will see No. 4 seed Paul MacLean go against No. 5 seed Larry Robinson. There will be two matches on Wednesday; No. 2 seed George Parros vs. No. 7 seed Bobby Nystrom, and No. 3 seed Wendel Clark against No. 6 seed Joel Quenneville. The four winners will face off in the semifinals on Thursday, and the championship round is Friday.

But before the fans get to make their picks, NHL.com staff writers will weigh in with their thoughts on the best moustache in the game.

 

Pete Jensen, fantasy editor

Joel Quenneville has the second-most coaching wins (900; behind Scotty Bowman's 1,244) in NHL history and the best 'stache the sport has ever seen. From his days behind the bench during the Chicago Blackhawks' glory days (Stanley Cup titles in 2010, 2013, 2015), to his current role as Florida Panthers coach, or even tailgating at a Chicago Bears NFL game, his thick, gray moustache and serious game face have made him recognizable to the casual hockey fan and revered by Chicago fans for a lifetime.

 

Tracey Myers, staff writer

I certainly salute Quenneville and the 'stache that brought the Chicago Blackhawks back to their Stanley Cup glory. But when it comes to glorious, Lanny McDonald gets my vote for that tremendous moustache he sports. Thought it's now gray, there was nothing more iconic than McDonald's moustache during his playing days. And what a perfect combo when McDonald, with his flaming-red moustache, played his final eight seasons with the Calgary Flames.

 

Dave Stubbs, columnist

Every moustache in this contest is a pretender to McDonald's throne. My runner-up would be Quenneville, if for no other reason than he signed to coach the Florida Panthers because their logo is a good likeness of himself. But my sleeper in this cookie-duster race is Paul MacLean, who as coach of the Ottawa Senators during a heated 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Eastern Conference First Round was called by then-Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust "a bug-eyed fat walrus." The reply of MacLean, feigning hurt feelings, was brilliant: "Walrus? That's too easy. But I'll tell you one thing -- I'm not fat. I might be husky, but I'm not fat. I took offense to that."

 

Nick Cotsonika, columnist

George Parros is tough, smart and sophisticated. The former NHL forward went to Princeton and now runs the NHL Department of Player Safety. But what I love about his stiff upper lip is that it wasn't just to intimidate, or to twirl while thinking, or to look like a gentleman and a scholar. It has a sense of history. As Parros told GQ in 2011: "I was always fascinated with the guys in the NHL in the '70s and '80s. There's always been a strong connection between moustaches and hockey players, and the guys back then had some incredible facial hair. My 'stache was kind of an homage to them, and it's turned into the greatest marketing tool for me. It's taken on a life of its own."

 

Dan Rosen, senior writer

Legend has it that McDonald's 'stache can be seen from space, that the red glow coming off of it during his Calgary years illuminated the earth enough to guide shuttles home, that the gray he so proudly sports in his signature facial feature prevents sunburn for him and those around him. I kid, of course, but there is no joking around about the glorious moustache this legend of hockey has taken all over the world with him. I was there on the Great Wall of China with McDonald and his moustache last year. I was confused about which was one of the Wonders of the World, the Wall or the 'stache. There is no challenger in this debate. There is no second place. It's McDonald versus the field, and the field has no chance.

 

Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

With apologies to Nick's pick, this looks like a two-man race: McDonald vs. Quenneville. And while I got to see Quenneville's moustache in all its glory when the Panthers were in Boston recently, there's just no debate for me; It's McDonald all the way. It's so much a part of him that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even recognize him if he shaved it. And what fun would that be? For all the odd looks that Movember usually brings -- there are some seriously bad moustaches attempted in the NHL every year -- you can't help but love McDonald's Hall of Fame 'stache.

 

Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

For the past couple of years, I've collaborated with MacLean for his Coach's Room column for NHL.com. Through that process, two things became evident. First, this guy knows hockey. Two, this guy knows 'staches! Go back and look at photos of when he played, especially during his Winnipeg Jets days. He had that moustache then and he still does. It wasn't schtick, it wasn't a way to get recognized, it wasn't a way to garner publicity. It was his look, bushy as it was. Always has been, always will be. Perhaps the best 'stache snapshot involving MacLean was when he coached the Ottawa Senators and his doppelgänger -- complete with facial hair -- would sit behind the bench in the first row of Canadian Tire Centre. If you thought you were seeing double, well, you were. Classic.

 

Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

All the selections here are good. The game has sported some legendary handlebars throughout its history, but I can't believe Wendel Clark hasn't got any love from the panel. Clark's horseshoe moustache -- don't call it a Fu Manchu -- was the perfect marriage of form and function. Clark was a hard man throughout a 15-season career defined by three tours of duty with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and there is no more intimidating moustache than the horseshoe, which has been the province of bikers and outlaws for decades. When Clark was honored by the Maple Leafs in 2008, stick-on versions of the moustache were donned by current Maple Leafs players and fans alike. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there is no denying how they all felt about Clark's 'stache that night. More than a decade later, the love remains, even if I am the only panelist to pick it among a talented field of moustache maestros.

 

Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Although there are some other impressive contenders, in this age of social media, Quenneville is the easy choice here -- and not only because of his 900 coaching wins. Quenneville's moustache is so powerful that it has its own Twitter account (@CoachQsMustache) with 42,000 followers hanging on its every word about the facial hair choices of other coaches and players. After Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks last season, his 'stache kept a stiff upper lip and continued tweeting, often wondering if his young replacement in Chicago, 34-year-old Jeremy Colliton, has the ability to grow facial hair.

 

Tim Campbell, staff writer

I was just in the presence of the great McDonald's moustache at the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, and it remains royalty. But I will disagree with my colleague Dan Rosen; there are many worthy members of the royal family that surround the king's upper lip. My favorite is MacLean, who's always been such a multitalented guy. He could shoot. He could score (324 goals in 719 NHL games). He could play tough and mix it up (968 penalty minutes). And he could grow an all-star moustache and continued to do so during his post-playing days as an NHL coach. How many contenders on our board have their own body and moustache doubles? MacLean's double, who once sat behind the bench when he coached the Ottawa Senators, is both tribute and endorsement to MacLean's ability to groove it and groom it in the NHL spotlight.

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