In today’s world, we all worry about our appearance – hockey players are no
different. To many individuals how we present ourselves is a way of separating
oneself from the rest of the crowd. This may be in the form of clothing,
jewelry or even speech pattern. In hockey it comes in the form of white loops,
cage hang and jersey tucks.
The casual viewer may see the equipment players wear as solely for their protection. To many players, these articles mean so much more. They represent ways to express oneself while in action, and, in hockey, the options for expression are endless.
Hair is something many (if not all) of us have. Because it ﬂows down your head it is
referred to as ‘ﬂow’. Naturally most of you reading this just ran your ﬁngers through your hair and said something along the lines of, “Dude, I got sick ﬂow”. Many of us have seen a friend or family member who has gone awhile without cutting his ‘ﬂow’. A player who player who prides himself on good hockey hair is forward Rhys Evenson. “I wake
up every morning and need to make sure my hair is properly groomed. If it isn’t
groomed [well] then I don’t feel like I will play well.”
In the hockey world, there is good ﬂow and bad ﬂow. Old school Jaromir Jagr and Jeremy Roenick both have great ﬂow. Daniel Alfredsson not so much.
The key to sick ﬂow is to have it sticking out the back or sides of your
helmet while it waves in the wind when you’re ﬂying down the ice. A prime modern day example would be Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson. He manages to stride down
the ice with great speed while his hair ever so gracefully follows him behind.
Staying with the head, the helmet – or bucket – has always been a great form of expression due to the number of different styles there are, especially now with the evolution of visors. When looking to be stylish,
the bucket is the perfect place to start. The legendary JOFA helmet Wayne
Gretzky used to wear in Edmonton was just that, legendary. No one will be able to touch that helmet’s level of class. Alexander Ovechkin is a player who is able to completely utilize the full design potential that the addition
of a visor to a helmet offers. From different tints to mirroring to straight to
curved he is able to add pizzazz to his helmet through his visor. It is almost
as though he is an NFL linebacker attempting to shield his face while
intimidating his opponents.
If there was a holy grail of hockey style back in the 1980s, Gretzky found it and stole all its secrets. Not only was he the best to ever play the game, he was easily the best
looking to do so too. He was the reason for the “Gretzky Tuck”, you know,
tucking in the one side of your jersey into your pants. This is an amazing
look, especially with ﬂow while you’re zipping down the ice.
There is no reason behind doing it. It doesn’t add speed to your stride or quicker release to your shot. It is simply to look good. Players have attempted to imitate Gretzky’s look but few have been successful. A majority of them have learned not to bother emulating The Great One.
With young players taking over the league in recent years, vintage has died. They have adapted to all of the new equipment. In fact, some enjoy
new equipment every year or even a new stick every game. The average hockey
player of old could never afford this luxury.
Certain veterans, like Chris Chelios, wore the same equipment their entire careers. Before he retired Chelios was still wearing the same shoulder pads and skates he wore when he was 17. Sidney Crosby is a rare young player known to still wear the same lucky jock strap from his own teenage years. Hopefully this won’t prevent him from
seeing an offspring of his own reach their teenage years.
Most of all a players skill and overall classiness is the ultimate style. When you hear of the greatest players of all time they all have one thing in common – they all were classy individuals. Hall of Famer Charlie Conacher is just one of the many examples of this type of individual. Now there are some people like Andrew Kim who, when asked about Conacher, say “Who is he.”. Others, such as Andrew Ezer, realize the importance of his accomplishments. “Ya I know who he is” Ezer explains. “I remember
reading an article about him in The Hockey News. He was one of the best wingers
to ever play the game.” In fact, he was ranked 36th in the magazines list of
greatest players of all time. Because of his class The Charlie Conacher
Humanitarian Award, also known as the Charlie Conacher Memorial Trophy is the
award given out to the NHL player who best exhibited outstanding humanitarian
and public services contributions.
So when you’re enjoying this season’s NHL
playoffs, take a look at the style of your favourite and least favourite
players; it may give you a whole new respect for how much thought goes into
their seemingly regular hockey player attire.