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Rust and Zucker Competing Against Each Other in The Mustache Faceoff

The teammates are going head-to-head to raise money for Movember and the Mario Lemieux Foundation

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

For years, Bryan Rust has been growing a mustache during Movember, as it's a cause near to his heart. His father Steve overcame prostate cancer, which inspired Rust to get involved.

The "Rustache" has become legendary ever since, and ended up providing some inspiration to his Penguins teammate, Jason Zucker. The two of them have known each other since they played together for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2008-10.

"Zuck came to me and asked me if I wanted to do something for this month," Rust said. "He obviously knew the Rustache was a thing and that it's alive during November, so he was trying to have some fun with it. We came up with this idea."

Watch: Youtube Video

That is for Rust and Zucker to compete against each other this November in The Mustache Faceoff. They're asking everyone, from their teammates to the fans, to support them by buying a shirt or making a donation.

All proceeds, regardless of player selected, will assist both Movember and the Mario Lemieux Foundation - but only one player can be named victorious in The Mustache Faceoff.

Zucker said he chose Rust as his competitor for a simple reason: he's the weakest link.

"Arguably the most disliked guy in all of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh sports in general…just a terrible person and a horrible mustache," Zucker said.

At that point, Zucker could no longer keep a straight face.

"No, in all seriousness, it's a fun thing to do," Zucker said. "Any time you can raise money for charity, that's something that's always been near and dear to my heart and my family. 

"Bryan's an awesome guy. We've obviously known each other for a really long time now. So it just seemed like a good opportunity to team up with him and do something fun, and create a little competition within the team."

Watch: Youtube Video

Alliances are already being drawn in the Penguins locker room.

The other day, Kasperi Kapanen said he'd probably have to go with Zucker, especially since he's still looking for his first goal of the season. 

"They're both trying to woo me and bribe me right now, so I'm waiting to see what offer's going to be better…but if I had to tell you guys right now, I'd probably go Team Zuck, because he's my linemate. I need all the help I can get right now," Kapanen said.

Their other linemate, Evan Rodrigues, is also a "Sucker for Zucker," so it appears that Zucker's strategy revolves around more of an on-ice perspective. For Rust, his strategy is centered around more of an off-ice perspective.

"It's pretty much, do you like me better or do you like Zuck better?" Rust said with a laugh. "Pretty much that simple."

He's already managed to get a huge locker-room presence on his side, as veteran leader Jeff Carter took a picture by Rust's stall wearing his No. 17 shirt.  

And when speaking to the media on Friday afternoon, Rust pointed out his seniority within the team, as he's been a member of the Penguins since they drafted him in 2010 while Zucker was traded here in February 2020.

"I'd like to think everyone in this room would vote for the Rustache. It's been around a while and obviously -" Rust jumped out from behind the podium to showcase his shirt - "The shirts are here. So if you want to get one, you can (laughs). But yeah, it's something that we're having a lot of fun with. It's good to get the recognition and it's for charity, too, so it's fun."

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