by Greg Rosa || AHL On The Beat Archive
‘Tis the season for moustaches and mullet wigs with the Manchester Monarchs as another Movember is upon us.
November is known as Movember month throughout the American Hockey League and the rest of the hockey community. Players and coaching staffs can be seen growing moustaches all month long to raise awareness and funds in support of men’s cancer research, specifically prostate cancer.
Movember is a cause that the Monarchs players and staff have supported in years past and it continues to receive increased attention in the locker room this season.
“There are more guys this year than in the past,” said Monarchs third-year captain Marc-Andre Cliche. “Every year, there are more guys doing it and I think it is a good cause and should be a lot of fun just to see it grow bigger.”
The Monarchs main Movember event is the “Mullets in Movember” game on Saturday, Nov. 10 against the Providence Bruins at 7 p.m. The first 3,000 fans will receive mullet wigs and moustaches, courtesy of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, as the team continues to raise awareness and funds for the fight against men’s cancers.
The moustache has become the symbol of Movember much like the pink ribbon has become the symbol of breast cancer.
“I don’t know,” said Monarchs right wing Stefan Legein trying to explain how it became the Movember symbol. “It is everyone’s dream to have a good moustache.
“Some people are not as lucky. I know I have a couple friends that can grow some really, really good moustaches which is a sore point because it is nice to have the ability to grow one whenever you want. It is a pretty manly thing.”
The Monarchs have a friendly competition to see who can grow the best moustache on the team. Last year’s winner was Cliche who went with the full handle bar moustache styling. The rules for judging the competition are pretty basic.
“It is thick, full and it covers the whole lip,” said Legein. “I suffer from a problem where the center of my moustache is not there.
“If you can go right across [the upper lip] and it is thick and a dark color helps too. I think that is what qualifies as a good moustache.”
The reigning moustache champion agreed with Legein’s parameters but had to add couple more.
“It has to be thick,” reasoned Cliche. “The less skin showing the better the moustache is. You definitely cannot cut it, no trimming.”
Friendly competition with professional athletes is bound to heat up and as the hair starts growing on the upper lips, some player’s take it more serious than others.
“Coming from a guy that cannot grow the best moustache, I don’t take it too seriously if you want to start early,” said Legein. “I am sure there are some people out there that say you have to be clean shaven on Nov. 1 to see what you can grow.
“Those guys can probably grow a hell of a lot better moustache than myself so if you want to cheat, go ahead. If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”
Last season, the Monarchs raised over $8,000 between the players and staff. Many of the Monarchs players have been involved with the Movember efforts for multiple seasons now as the cause continues to grow larger every year.
“I was a platinum member of Movember two years ago,” said Legein of his Movember fund raising efforts in seasons past. “It is like winning the Stanley Cup; you always got it.”
Ultimately, it is all for charity and to have a little fun while helping out with a cause all too close to home for most people.
“It is a fun tradition and especially amongst hockey players,” stated Legein. “I feel like they have kind of made it their charity for this month.”
The Monarchs players and staff will be supporting Movember’s efforts throughout November including “Mullets in Movember” night on Saturday, Nov. 10. The proceeds from “Mullets in Movember” will benefit the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Center and the Movember Foundation through the Monarchs Care Foundation. In addition to the special night, each player will have their own page where you can donate. Visit www.monarchsjungle.com/Movember to help the cause.