Ricci makes the 'cut'

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Mike Ricci's trademark 'do is gone.

When he last played, as a member of the San Jose Sharks, Ricci's hair hung out of his helmet and down across his shoulders.

Now he is a member of the Phoenix Coyotes and he is in training camp with a look that borders on respectable.

Is Coyotes general manager Mike Barnett trying to turn his team into the New Jersey Devils and mandating the players' tonsorial affectations?

No. It's just that Mike Ricci hockey player has become Mike Ricci movie star.

"I played a part in the Rocket Richard movie over the summer," Ricci said. "It's not a big deal.

It's safe to assume that Ricci did not play the title role.

"No, I was Elmer Lach, Rocket's centreman," Ricci said. "This was during the summer. I did a couple of days in early July and 10 days at the end of July."

The first filming was done in Montreal, then the crew moved to Quebec City to do the hockey scenes.

Ricci wasn't the only National Hockey League player involved. Ian Laperriere, Sean Avery, Vincent Lecavalier and Stephane Quintal also had roles. Veteran announcer Dick Irvin was involved, too.

Ricci speaking French? That should be worth the price of admission.

"It's 70% in French and 30% in English," Ricci said. "I spoke English. Dick Irvin spoke English. I think it's going to be subtitled."

The movie, which chronicles the life of Maurice (Rocket) Richard, is scheduled to open in theatres in Quebec this winter.

As for Ricci's hair, which had extended well below the middle of his back by the time he got it cut, the decision has yet to be made.

"We'll see how it goes," he said. "We'll see what the mojo for the team is. If we win 20 in a row with it like this, I'm going to keep cutting it."


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