Milwaukee Admirals growing facial hair as playoffs superstition

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Admirals are set to resume their American Hockey League playoff series this week in Texas, and the warm weather there this time of year won't keep the guys from sporting shaggy beards though.

Magnus is the man for Milwaukee. That's Magnus, as in Hellberg -- the goaltender who is trying to help the Admirals skate to a Calder Cup trophy after a slow start this season, and Hellberg can play the part, even if he doesn't look the part in the postseason.

"He's laid back off the ice, so nothing really gets to him, but on the ice, he's a battler, so it's a good mix. He does not have much of a beard going though. He's gonna be one of those guys who's going to struggle, it looks like. I don't think any of the Euros can grow any facial hair, so they're going to struggle,"

"We'll coach him up on that, talk to him. Maybe hair dying is something that guys have used in the past, so we'll see if that helps him out,"

"I might actually paint it black. It's brutal, but we'll see. I'm not a beard guy. We'll see what happens,"

In the 1980s, many New York Islanders players grew beards and the team went on to win the NHL's Stanley Cup. That spawned what has become a hockey tradition.

"I think the beard has got to tell a story, like how deep you are in the playoffs. I don't know if I'm going to trim it or let it go right now,"

"We've had guys cheating. They've been growing it for two to three weeks so when the playoffs come around, they are ready to go,"

Sometimes the Admirals practice at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, sometimes at Wilson Park and frequently at the Kern Center, MSOE's facility. They go in the team locker room and there is an unwritten rule they are following: Don't even think about shaving!

"Every team that I've been on gets pretty into it. If a guy shaves, he gets into a lot of crap. Every team I've been on is pretty superstitious with it. (The wives and girlfriends) don't like it, but they are understanding,"

"It's fun, and it's a good chance to make fun of the guys who can't grow beards,"

Milwaukee and Texas are tied in their best of five series at a game apiece. Hockey tradition calls for players to keep growing their beards until their team is either eliminated fromt he postseason or wins the championship.