Tampa Bay Lightning: Jason Garisson
The Tampa Bay Lighting were in the midst of a Stanley Cup finals run when they were struck by beard-related controversy. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports, proclaimed his dislike for the time-honored tradition of growing playoff beards, claiming in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that it hurt players’ recognition.
Lazarus’ comments were met with laughs and mockery among fans and, given the number of beards I am seeing on my television, the players felt the same way. The most notable offender in the 2015 controversy was Lightning defenseman Jason John Maxwell Garrison.
Garrison was a productive defenseman over his time in the NHL before he was selected by Vegas during the expansion draft and subsequently placed on waivers and sent to the Knights AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves in October. It’s too bad for him (and all of us) that his bearded face won’t be gracing our television sets this postseason next to fellow Vegas Knights bearded brethren Deryk Engelland, whom we visited earlier in this article.