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Stars Players Making Statement in Movember

by Steve Hunt / Dallas Stars

Like their counterparts in other professional sports, hockey players can sometimes be a superstitious and ritualistic bunch. That’s why when the playoffs start, it’s not uncommon to see every member of a particular team in any sport donning a bit of a five o’clock shadow, a look which is often better known as a playoff beard.

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Well, we’re far from playoff time in the National Hockey League but many players will make their own statement by sporting moustaches as part of Movember, a national drive to raise money for and to increase awareness about prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.

Men participating in the event were to start the month clean shaven and then grow their best moustache for the rest of November. Several Dallas Stars players participated last year and it looks like at least eight current members of the roster will be sporting facial hair this year.

Defenseman Mark Fistric was the ring leader of the Stars’ Movember efforts in 2010 and he’s glad to lead the way once again.

“It kind of started last year with me and a bunch of my buddies. We were going to do it to raise some money for prostate cancer. My wife asked me why don’t I take it to another level and ask if some of my teammates want to join,” Fistric said. “I thought it was a good idea. I asked a couple of guys last year and they were all for it. We started up our website in November and joined the NHL network and it kind of took off there. Last year, I think we started kind of late. This year we’re a lot more organized. We’re already coming close to what we made last year. It’s becoming a bit of a tradition. I’m excited that I could take a little part in helping a charity.”

Winger Krys Barch is another Dallas player who is set to grow out his moustache for a good cause but he admits it wasn’t all his own idea to participate.

“My wife signed me up, so I’ve got to thank her for that,” Barch deadpanned. “I just started getting emails about it. She submitted my email address and I’ve already started getting donations, so I’m in.”

Fellow winger Jake Dowell might be one of the newest members of the roster but he’s also up for any sort of worthwhile bit involving the growing of facial hair.

“It’s just an easy, fun thing to do to raise some awareness, raise a little bit of money. It’s kind of cool that it’s a league-wide thing,” Dowell said. “It’s fun to see guys look a little different and see guys experiment with facial hair which they don’t usually do.”

The former Blackhawk also couldn’t help but throw in his two cents about which of his teammates figures to sport the worst look with a moustache.

“The worst? I’d say [Alex] Goligoski’s probably going to look the worst. I don’t see him having a real strong moustache coming in,” Dowell said.

Of course, to which his new teammate offered a quick retort.

“He [Dowell] is probably a little biased. He likes to try to pick on me but I don’t know. I think he’s just diverting attention off himself,” Goligoski said. “He’s going to look pretty stupid himself. Mine will be bad, that’s for sure but with a moustache, it could be a good thing I guess.”

Other players set to participate include Eric Nystrom, Steve Ott, Andrew Raycroft and Stephane Robidas.

“My involvement doesn’t go much further than growing a moustache. That’s as good a reason as any to grow a moustache. I don’t need a major one,” Raycroft said. “Obviously it’s exploded. Everybody back home [in Canada] does it. Everyone is excited for November just so they can grow a moustache. It’s turned into a big deal and a great cause. I think whoever started it should be proud of the movement.”

The Stars backup goaltender is one of several holdovers from Movember 2010 and he remembers all too well which of his teammates had the worst ‘stache last time around.

“Loui [Eriksson] is not that good at it. Loui’s kind of stands out. [Wandell]’s is kind of one of those too. I don’t know if the Swedish guys are too good at growing moustaches,” Raycroft said.

Fistric also remembers his All-Star teammate’s moustache from a year ago quite well.

Loui Eriksson for sure [had the worst one],” he said. “You could probably count the things of facial hair he had, all on one hand too. Good for him for trying. It’s for a good cause even though he looked a little bit funny but he’s a married guy so it doesn’t matter.”

And both players couldn’t help but offer a parting shot or two at Ott’s expense, especially since with his budding full beard, he looks to already have a big head start on everyone else.

“Otter’s is going to be a little creepy but there are some new guys in here. I can’t really say [who is going to look the worst this year],” Raycroft said. “Ask me in a couple of weeks to see where we’re at.”

Fistric added: “You see Otter over there and he looks like he’s about 50-years-old. Otter gave himself a little bit of a head start, so he looks pretty good right now.”

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