Lightning goalie Ben Bishop has a playoff beard, and the NBC Sports boss probably hates it.
NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus wants NHL players to ditch their playoff beards and be pretty boys, but the scruffy skaters aren’t having it.
“The players won’t like this, but I wish they all would stop growing beards in the postseason,” Lazarus told the Chicago Tribune. “Let’s get their faces out there. Let’s talk about how young and attractive they are. What model citizens they are. (Hockey players) truly are one of a kind among professional athletes.”
Lazarus believes playoff beards hurt player recognition, and he reportedly told NHL officials, the NHL Players Association and players themselves about his desire for them to shave.
“These are the most-watched games and they’re all bearded up,” Lazarus said of the Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and Blackhawks.
Although, players might not want to listen to “just a TV guy,” as Lazarus calls himself, NBC and the NHL are in the midst of a 10-year, $ 2 billion TV deal.
“I know it’s a tradition and superstition, but I think (the beards do) hurt recognition,” Lazarus told the newspaper. “They have a great opportunity with more endorsements. Or simply more recognition with fans saying, ‘That guy looks like the kid next store,’ which many of these guys do. I think that would be a nice thing.”
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