Teeth are overrated in the NHL. These are the best smiles in hockey history.
We all know at least one — a kid from your hometown who grew up with you, played hockey a little too long and didn’t end up making the show. His career didn’t leave him without anything, though. He now owns the hockey world’s greatest party trick – he can take out his front teeth.
He’s about four beers in before he pulls the trick for the first time. Perhaps popping them out during a conversation, taking them out completely and flashing a big smile or just showing off a new set of veneers. When you see the shiny fake teeth for the first time, here’s one thing you know for sure: This guy played hockey.
A surprising amount of NHL players are missing their teeth. In the early days, mouth guards (and earlier on, helmets) weren’t worn. Players losing teeth from a stick, puck or punch was almost seen as a badge of honor. A badge that most players have.
Even in today’s game, we see this on a regular basis. Most players still view it as a tough-guy look, choosing only to wear their teeth for special occasions. It’s almost as though they are treating a set of teeth like a nice tie or a pair of dress shoes.
The hockey smile is a thing of beauty, in an ugly way. Some pull off the look, some do not, but the one thing that all of these players share is a grin that emanates toughness, and the need for a few more teeth. Here are the 20 best smiles in hockey.
20. Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown is having what some may view as a resurgence this season. He and his beautiful smile have put up a career high in points with 61 (28 goals, 33 assists). Brown is known for his hard-hitting, physical play for the Los Angeles Kings. If you watch him play, it’s no wonder he is missing a few teeth.
Brown lost his front teeth throwing a body check in an AHL game. He missed the player and went mouth-first into the boards instead. He went on to score the game winning goal. Since then, he proudly displays his missing teeth as a badge of honor. He’s hoisted the Stanley Cup twice, each time with what is left of his smile on full display.
Brown is not the only player on his team to be missing a few teeth. Kings defenseman Drew Doughty rivals Brown for the team’s best smile. He’s next on our list.