With the NHL Lockout is in the past and fans and players alike ready for Saturday's season opener, there are many reasons to be happy. Sure we all said that it would take time to come back to the NHL (and the 13,000 people at the Xcel Energy Center goes to show how much that bluff was called) and despite arrogant advertising saying "hockey is back" and false promises, we're ready to add you to the other hockey that's been keeping our fix going throughout these four months. The league and players have taken steps to rectify their issues with the fans and hopefully there are more at hand.
More importantly, the end of the NHL Lockout means former Wild defensemen can stop looking like they've been living in a van down by the river.
Both Colorado Avalanche defenseman Greg Zanon (pictured left) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (pictured right) have some homely pictures this year. Zanon, who played for Minnesota from 2009-2012, has always been known for his beard. It has never, however, been that long. Here's Zanon talking about it with Avalanche.com writer Adam Steinberg.
Q: You have one of the best beards in the NHL. How long have you grown it for?Burns, meanwhile, is either continuing his de-evolution as Puck Daddy points out or participating in a new reality show called "Hockey player or Hobo?" He could also be showing his love for the Wild by rocking a wild new look but even that's stretching it for me.
[Zanon]: It has been almost six months and I don’t plan on shaving it so we will see how long it gets. I am hoping to make it a full year. Hopefully, we will be in the Cup and I will have a year-long beard.
(On the other hand, it would be funny that Minnesota - a team whose nickname is the Wild - brings in a blue liner who is on a Cosmo list while the departed are looking more Wild...except Burns also made that list!)
On a positive note, former Wild forwards aren't as homeless looking. Burns' San Jose teammate and First Round Bust patron saint James Sheppard looks like a man who started skating at 3. Not only that but he's challenging to come back to the NHL and signed a new one-year, two-way contract. I know we kid about James a lot but we're proud.
In related news to Zanon and Burns, there's no confirmation that Cam Barker, who signed with the Vancouver Canucks, is actually the Abominable Snowman...although no one has ever seen them in the same room. Just saying.