VANCOUVER — It has its own Facebook fan page. Just last week it was trending on Twitter.
Growing just as quickly as the hair itself is the legend of Ian White’s moustache.
“At least they’re talking about that and not my turnovers or anything like that,” White said while being interviewed for a funny Flames TV bit that will air sometime this week. “It’s a good thing. It’s all fun and games. I seem to feel a little better on the ice when I have it, I don’t know why.
“It works for me.”
Since the fall of 2008, the ’stache has somehow paid off for the defenceman who has resurrected his duster for the playoff drive. It all started with the Toronto Maple Leafs while sitting out the first 11 games last season.
“I thought (head coach Ron Wilson) forgot about me, so I figured I’d start growing a moustache as a silent protest to get back in the lineup,” said White. “It worked.”
He got back into action as an experimental forward, then eventually got back to his roots on defence. He was having a career year with the Leafs this season before being shipped to Calgary in the Dion Phaneuf deal.
One of the unexpected benefits of being in Stampede City is it’s known to appreciate a good moustache. Just ask legend Lanny McDonald.
“He had one of the best of all time,” White said of the former Flames forward’s trademark red duster.
“I’m not gonna even attempt to try to grow anything with the swirls and that kind of stuff. It’s pretty much what you see is what you get.”
White won’t rock the ’stache year round like Lanny, either.
“Just during the season.
I don’t feel too comfortable out in public with it,” said White. “You get a couple of weird looks, especially from people outside the hockey world that don’t know. ‘What’s a 25-year-old guy doing with this big moustache?’ ”
Oddly enough, people within the hockey world are almost entirely accepting.
In a world where all kinds of insults are thrown around on the ice, White is immune to criticism out there.
“In two years, I think only one or two guys have ever said anything mean about it,” said White.
“It’s all been pretty positive.”
The same can’t be said for inside his own locker-room, where he gets his fair share of teasing.
At least when the cameras are rolling.
“That’s a cheesy moustache,” teammate Craig Conroy joked when asked what the team thought about White’s facial hair.
“I don’t want to say too much. New teammate. I want him to be my friend.
“I’ve gotta keep my comments to myself.”
Deep down, Conroy might be a little jealous. His moustache didn’t work out too well when the Flames grew them as a team a few years back.
“I guess it actually does look pretty good on him. He’s got that whole vibe going,” Conroy said before cracking a massive smile when his interviewer suggested it was a ’70s porn vibe.
“Yeah, kinda. I didn’t want to say it, but since you said it, I’m gonna agree with it.”
Flames captain Jarome Iginla says he’ll have to take his pal Conroy’s word for it on that subject.
“I don’t watch as much as Connie — Er, I don’t really watch that — but if that’s what Connie says, it makes sense
I guess,” Iginla cracked.
“I wouldn’t know.”