SUN Hockey Pool

May the best burns win

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

Looking more like he's impersonating Wolverine from X-Men than a hockey player, Robyn Regehr's coronation should come today.

The Calgary Flames' month-long mutton chops competition concludes today, with Regehr's facial hair the odds-on favourite to win.

"I hope so," said the defenceman.

"Richie (Regehr's brother) and I were talking and we might have a little surprise for everybody at the end. I'm hoping to get a little creative."

Captain Jarome Iginla likely won't win but he isn't hanging his head.

"It's a pretty good-looking one, there," he said, stroking his modest sideburns .

"It's starting to come in. I'm a late bloomer.

"Noodles' (Jamie McLennan's chops) peaked and are actually looking worse. They aren't looking healthy but mine's coming on late."

McLennan instigated the competition to help alleviate that mid-season monotony.

He admits his own sideburn effort leaves something to be desired.

"Mine are a rough patch," he said.

"I was trying to be trendy. I tried to shave mine like hockey sticks but that's tough to do when you're looking in the mirror."

Sadly, the competition somewhat petered out, to McLennan's chagrin.

"Some guys with potential haven't lived up to it or gotten nervous about the whole, fun thing," he said.

"Rhett (Warrener) looked like an early favourite but his became all patchy.

"Roman (Hamrlik) had the pointed ones, then you had guys that couldn't.

"Dion (Phaneuf) tried, he was coming up to me saying, 'See, it's coming.'

"I think Langks (Daymond Langkow) would have won it but, during the break, he shaved because he went on a vacation with his family and didn't want people looking funny at him."

At least more than a handful of players were willing to tolerate the inquisitive looks and pointing from strangers.

"It's pretty funny," said netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

"I'm into it. I think it's fun to do something like this.

"I enjoy it when people wonder what's wrong with that guy and give him stupid looks."

Others don't feel the same.

"I can't wait to cut them off," said defenceman Andrew Ference. "There's some pretty weak participation. Some guys are borderline not trying at all, some cut them off early.

"There are a few of us with true, team spirit.

"But I don't think I'll keep them for Klondike Days."


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