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Oilers willingly donate hair to raise money for charity

by Robin Brownlee /
EDMONTON -- Having already been thrust into the spotlight in their first season with the Edmonton Oilers, rookies Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi took on a new shine when they put their heads where their hearts are in the name of charity Friday.

Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi, along with Theo Peckham, Jeff Petry, Linus Omark and Steve MacIntyre, endured scissors and shears as part of the Hair Massacure, a fund-raiser supporting The Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, Make-a-Wish Northern Alberta and Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta.

High and tight doesn't begin to describe it.

"I buzzed my hair last year for no reason, so I have no problem doing it now," Hall said. "It's a great cause, so we want to contribute to it just like anybody else. I'm not too particular about my hair."

Hall, 19, and his teammates took a skate in the morning and then headed to West Edmonton Mall, where they had their heads shaved bald in front of a throng of picture-snapping fans to support the charities.

Suffice to say, each and every one of the freshly-shorn Oilers is sporting a new look and will make a trip to the equipment room for a helmet adjustment before they face the Ottawa Senators in a matinee at Rexall Place on Saturday.

"I can't remember the last time I had no hair, so I'm scared to see what's under here," Eberle said. "It's for a good cause, so anytime you can help, it's always good.

"I might be the guy who'll look the worst, but at the same time, you've got to have fun with it. It's just hair. Hopefully, you get it back."

MacIntyre added a twist to proceedings -- the 6-foot-5, 250-pound enforcer had his hair died bright pink earlier in the week.

"This is probably the most unique hair I've ever had," said MacIntyre, who has sported a Mohawk-style cut before, but never a hair-do died hot pink. "I don't think you'll see me looking like this very often."

In terms of taking one for the team, seeing the straight-laced farm boy from Brock, Sask., with his considerable cranium shaved to a still-pink nub might have set a new standard.

"The funniest reaction was probably Liam Reddox," MacIntyre said. "He came in the room and his mouth dropped. It was like, 'Oh, my gosh.' I mean, it's not just pink hair, it's fluorescent pink hair."

Ales Hemsky, who had his head shaved for a previous fund-raiser, opted to keep his hair for the stretch drive this season.

"I think some of the guys don't know what to expect," said Hemsky. "They think they're just going to get a little cut. I've told them it's more than just a cut. It's a buzz.

"We're doing it for a good cause. It's a no-brainer. If somebody asks you to do it, you do it. It'll grow back."

Half the fun of the event, of course, is making fun of each other after the barbers have done their handiwork.

"Ebs (Eberle) has never buzzed his head and he's got a little, tiny head," Hall said of his roommate. "I'm not too sure how he's going to look. And Pecks (Peckham) has the big melon, so we'll see."

Not surprisingly, none of the players singled out the hulking MacIntyre as a candidate to look the worst with a shiny head.

"I don't know if they're scared," said Hemsky. "Maybe. He's an intense guy, so you never know what he can do."

MacIntyre, however, didn't hesitate to cast an eye across the dressing room when asked for his take.

"I'm actually kind of looking forward to seeing the Swedes with no hair," MacIntyre said of Paajarvi and Omark. "They're probably the most proud. Vain, that's the right word, of their European looks. They dress the fanciest."

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