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Short Shifts

Capitals teammates show off big hair in team photo

Justin Williams, Andre Burakovsky steal show on fun picture day

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. - Justin Williams had company in the big-hair department for the Washington Capitals team photo on Monday.

Tweet from @Capitals: Step Brothers! #RockTheRed

Standing next to Williams was Andre Burakovsky, whose floppy hair might not have matched Williams' in volume, but was impressive nonetheless.

Last season, Williams' poofy hair was the highlight of the team photo. He brought it back this year at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday and brought a teammate into the act.  

"I tried to get us to stand next to each other," Williams said. "It's just all fun. Every team picture always looks the same. So of ours is going to look a little different. I was happy to have [Burakovsky] on board."

Tweet from @Capitals: What's everyone looking at?

Williams posted a poll on his Twitter account last week soliciting advice on his hairstyle for this season's team photo. "Something fresh" received 70 percent of the 6,700 votes while "Classic look" got 30 percent, but Williams decided to stick with what's worked in the past.

"I was thinking about maybe doing something else, but that would have taken a lot of effort," Williams said. "So I just kept it the same and added another player. So that's it. Fun."

Burakovsky said he hasn't gotten his hair cut in four to five months because of an agreement he made with teammate Marcus Johansson.   

"Me and [Johansson] made a little deal midseason that I'm not allowed to cut my hair because my hair doesn't really get long, it gets big," he said. "So we just talked about it that I have to save it until we're done after the season."

Burakovsky said it was Williams' idea to take advantage of his excess hair in the team photo.

Tweet from @Capitals: We now present over two minutes of @JustinWilliams talking about his hair. You're welcome. #RockTheRed #CapsPictureDay

"Justin just came up to me a couple of weeks ago [and said], 'Hey, we need to do this together. It's going to be awesome if we sit next to each other,'" he said. "So we went for it."

The look was also a nod to the movie "Step Brothers", starring John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell. Burakovksy and right wing Tom Wilson went to the this season's Capitals Halloween party dressed as the characters Dale Doback (Reilly) and Brennan Huff (Ferrell) from the movie, causing some teammates to call Burakovsky "Dale."

"Those guys are brothers, that's all I can say," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Burakovsky and Williams, they're big brother and little brother."

Williams said he went with the big-hair look once for a team photo with the Los Angeles Kings, but, "It didn't get the attention it's gotten here."  

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis liked it enough that he asked Williams to take a selfie with him in the locker room afterward. 

Williams said it doesn't take much work to get his hair to go full Ogie Oglethorpe, the infamous character with a full head of hair from the movie "Slap Shot."

 "You've got to wash it the night before and my hair gets really big anyway and it's thick, too," he said. "So I just comb it up and that's it."

Normally, Burakovsky would prefer his hair much shorter.

"I like to put some gel in and style it and put some work into it," he said. "But, obviously, right now it's not really possible. So I'm just wearing my toque and try to hide it."

Overshadowed in the team photo was defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who was standing to Williams' left. Although Shattenkirk is 28, his hairline isn't what it once was, so he didn't mind being near Williams and Burakovsky.

"There's no way anyone looks at my hair in this photo, so I was more than happy to be wedged right next to those guys," Shattenkirk said. "It was pretty special. In my heyday that's what my hair used to look like, so it was a great reminder of what could have been."

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