It seems to be something inherently human to comment on people’s appearance, even more so in the wide world of sports. Everybody has an opinion about the outfits tennis players wear, about the shoes basketball players have on, and most importantly, about the hair hockey players sport. It could have been just about any sport, but this hair infatuation is something very unique to hockey. There’s something about skating up ice with your hair in the wind that just sets it apart from all others.
Whatever the reason may be, there seems to be no shortage of hockey players with great locks in the wind. And those who thought this was something only younger players were into: think again. More than one seasoned veteran has found himself sporting an incredible head of hair. In order to properly celebrate this obsession, here are the ten best heads of hair in hockey history.
10. Paul Coffey
You’ll have to excuse this writer for going somewhat off the board in picking Paul Coffey at number ten. But when a Coffey makes some kind of noise in whatever it is he’s doing, another Coffey is forced to oblige. Paul Coffey was known for blow-drying and brushing his hair in order to have a great flow going for the pre-game skate. This maniacal obsession with his hair earned Coffey’s cut the name “The Brush-Blow”. The Weston, Ontario native played 1,409 games in the NHL for 9 different teams; the Oilers, Penguins, Kings, Red Wings, Whalers, Flyers, Blackhawks, Hurricanes and Bruins. Not only did he have a fantastic NHL career, he also found himself doing it with a great head of hair.
9. Dave Schultz
Member of the famed Broad street Bullies in the 1970s, Dave Schultz’s on-ice trouble making is very well documented. Schultz patrolled the NHL ice from 1971 to 1980 with the Flyers, Kings, Penguins and Sabres. Although he may also not be a consensus top ten pick here, the fact is that he played the enforcer role with the exact look that came with it, which in itself was deserving of a spot on this countdown. With the stylish mop-top going, mixed in with the exquisite handlebar moustache, there was no way Schultz wasn’t going to creep his way into this countdown. With only 200 career points, the jury is still out on whether or not Dave Schultz was really any good in terms of skill. What we do know is that the guy has a sick looking head of hair.
8. Scott Hartnell
The second best fro, and eighth best head of hair on this countdown goes to none other than Scott Hartnell. The current Philadelphia Flyer has been a staple of good flow in the NHL for many years. The left-winger is approaching the 1,000 game mark and has over 500 career points. But more importantly, Hartnell has been extremely charitable during his career. Known for falling over often, a charity was founded called Hartnell Down, where every time the long-haired hockey player takes a fall, money is donated to various charities. He has also cut his famed fro for charity.
7. Mike Commodore
Although he may not be the world’s most prolific scorer by any stretch of the imagination, Mike Commodore and his hair have accumulated quite a large following over the years. The legend of Commodore’s fro really started during Carolina’s Stanley Cup run in 2006. Placed in a smaller hockey market, not very many people really got to know exactly how awesome the defenseman’s hair really was. And so, as the Hurricanes’ playoff run got longer, so did Mike Commodore’s hair and playoff beard. Although Hartnell and Commodore’s haircuts are not conventional in the hockey world, both have a serious flow coming out the back of their helmets nonetheless. However, Commodore’s wild mix of a beard and an afro are what gave him the upper hand.
6. Marty McSorley
Marty McSorley was famous for rocking a mullet, yes. However, he gave his mullet something to distinguish himself from the others. He pioneered what is now called the frosted mullet. Just a tad shorter than other conventional mullets, McSorley’s natural curls helped him coin the term “Frosted”. He was a great enforcer for the Edmonton Oilers and then the Los Angeles Kings, where he could transition his fantastic flow from the ice to the beach with ease. With only 359 points in 961 games, it’s safe to say that McSorley’s locks are more his claim to fame than his on-ice ability.
5. Barry Melrose
Barry Melrose is without a doubt the iconic mullet from behind the bench. Perfectly slicked back on the top, with a great flow coming down from behind, Melrose has mesmerized fans, coaches and players with his hair during his years with the Los Angeles Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Although his mullet has been tapered down since then, he continues to blow people’s minds as he has since joined the ESPN team as a hockey analyst, and has also joined the NHL Network. Melrose may be best remembered for saying that Steven Stamkos was not ready to play in the NHL during his very short stint with the Lightning.
4. Kerry Fraser
We arrive at number 4 with a legend: Kerry Fraser. There was never any NHL referee who could have even thought about challenging Kerry Fraser for the best head of hair. Held together with cans upon cans of hair spray, Fraser refereed NHL games for over 30 years. Since refereeing his first NHL game in 1980, Fraser called over 1,900 regular season games and over 260 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Oh, and never was there ever a hair out of place. The saddest day in Fraser’s career came when the NHL Officials Association ratified it’s new collective bargaining agreement, which effectively forced all officials to wear a helmet. Fraser’s great hair would be caged until he retired from officiating in 2010.
3. Al Iafrate
Former defenseman Al Iafrate is the man who refused to give up on his head of hair. Caught between beautiful and disastrous, Iafrate’s “skullet” was famous for being balding on the top, and all about the party in the back. Hats off to Iafrate for rocking a style that none of us may really have ever dreamed existed. The four-time All-Star’s career spanned nearly two decades, and he found a way to accumulate over 400 career points in 799 career games despite his receding hairline. He was also allowed to represent the United States in the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Games and at the 1998 World Championships.
2. Jaromir Jagr
Many probably would have thought that Jaromir Jagr would find himself at the top of this countdown. Once you find out who is at the top spot, you may find yourself being swayed. Jagr’s style is undeiable, though. 700 goals, 1,740 career points and 1,453 career games have made Jaromir Jagr one of the greatest of all time. However, his mullet has made him a true legend. With easily the most recognizable head of hair in the 90s, Jagr has obtained quite a following after playing for a total of 7 NHL teams. His impact has been felt on the ice just as much as it has been felt in barbershops across the world.
1. Guy Lafleur
Whenever your nickname is based on your hairstyle, you know you need to be found at the top of this list. “Le Démon Blond”, which directly translates to the blond demon, was a terror for opposing defenses during the Montreal Canadiens dynasties of the 1970s. However, age was not very kind to Lafleur’s head of hair. Held up mostly by Rogaine, Lafleur fought a receding hairling during his time with the Rangers and the Nordiques. Nonetheless, Lafleur will always be remembered skating down the ice, with his blond hair blowing in the wind.