I recently got the lucky opportunity to meet the Florida Panthers thanks to a neighbor of mine who works for the NHL. There were only a few other people there awaiting for the players to sign autographs. Fewer people gave me an easier opportunity to ask the guys my quick question being fully aware they probably just wanted to go home.
It was a somber night after the Florida Panther game this past Friday night after suffering a brutal shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers who are already out of the playoff race. I was surprised the players even answered my one question. I even got a few to smile at the question which was good to see after such a tough loss.
The results are in! Your Florida Panthers vote who they think will have the coolest playoff beard (assuming they make it in). The winner? The guy that already has the thickest beard on the team: Mr. Jason Garrison. Out of the 13 players I asked, 7 voted for Jason Garrison, 3 for Ed Jovanovski , 1 Shawn Matthias, 1 Kris Versteeg and 1 no answer until they make the playoffs.
Jose Theodore, one of the first guys headed to his car, had a pretty good answer. “Probably Jovo because there will be some white in there” he said with a smile and a chuckle. Good to see after this loss. Erik Gudbranson gave Jovanovski some beard lovin’ too saying “We have a couple guys that have pretty good beards but I’d like to see what Jovo’s is going to turn out like.”
Keaton Ellerby gave Garrison the credit saying “Garrison for sure. He’s got a man beard.” I mean the guy does grow a beard faster than anyone else. Marco Sturm, Mike Santorelli, Tomas Kopecky, Brian Campbell, and Sean Bergenheim agreed all saying Garrison would be the winner. Jason Garrison knows he has a pretty epic beard as he said “Yeah I’ll definitely have a good one. I don’t know if it’ll be the best one though.”
Then Kris Versteeg came along. You could tell he was a little pissed after this loss but a glimmer of that Versteeg personality shined through simply stating “ME!” when I asked him who would have the coolest beard. Shawn Matthias went the same route as Versteeg saying stating himself as the possible winner accompanied by a little laugh.
Tomas Fleischmann gave a rather serious answer compared to the others. “Well we got to get to the playoffs first so we’ll see.” I totally understand this response. They were frustrated and you could tell. Even listening to the postgame interviews when I got home, you could hear a pin drop in the locker room it was so quiet. They all knew this should have been a two point game, not just one.
I’m sure I could’ve gotten some better answers after a win but I was thankful for the players being as nice as they were. I’m glad the question humored some of the guys in a moment where most looked pretty down.
Thanks for reading and all comments are welcome!
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