Grin and beard it

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:37 PM ET


 Looks like Jarome Iginla can't do everything, after all.

 Sure, the Flames captain can beat opposing players with goals, assists and -- when the time comes -- his fists.

 Although Iginla is the undisputed on-ice leader of the Calgary Flames, there's one area where he's second best. Or, if you ask his teammates, 15th to 20th best.

 That's growing a beard.

 Iggy's ain't pretty.

 "You say to him, 'What are you, a 10-year-old? You can't get that beard going?' " Craig Conroy said with a laugh. "It's coming, it's a little shaggy but it is coming.

 "It's still maybe the worst playoff beard I've ever seen but he seems to like it now. He said he might let it go all summer."

 Oh yeah, there's ribbing. Plenty of it.

 And, like a true leader, Iginla is willing to take his share.

 Well, a little but not without unloading a bomb or two -- namely at defenceman Rhett Warrener, whose facial fur was a thing of beauty during the team's outlandish moustache-growing competition in January but now he has a beard that leaves something to be desired.

 "They shouldn't be giving me the gears, Rhett's is pretty spotty," Iginla said.

 "I thought he was going to be the front-runner for best beard after the great moustache he had. That was growing halfway up his face but he's got a spotty beard. Mine, you could tell wasn't going to be good when you saw the moustache I grew. But his is more disappointing."

 Certainly, nothing like the effort put forth by Mike Commodore.

 If the big man's red hair wasn't enough, now the defenceman has a quality beard that makes him look like a bush man or a castaway.

 At this rate, he could end up with a face even Lanny McDonald can envy.

 "It's really starting to come in now," Commodore said. "Between that and my hair, pretty soon all you'll see is the whites of my eyes.

 "I had to trim my moustache a little when Darren McCarty punched me and cut me open for stitches. And I'm still a little upset about that but it's starting to grow back in."

 Which is what Iginla hopes will happen with time, like another few weeks when the Stanley Cup finals are complete.

 After all, seeing as these are his first NHL playoffs, it's understandable why he wants to enjoy every moment.

 "It's fun. I never had the opportunity to grow a long one since junior and I obviously wasn't going to grow one back then," he chuckled.

 "Obviously, it doesn't look good, it's not very strong but over the years, I hope to get more opportunities and it'll start filling in."

 Curiously, one of the team's veteran players is going without a beard.

 For all his digs at his high-profile linemate, Conroy has opted to forego one of hockey's great spring traditions.

 Granted, his beard-growing opportunity was hindered in the early going when an errant high stick from Vancouver goalie Johan Hedberg hit him in the mouth and caused all kinds of damage but Conroy has decided to shave regularly.

 "I've dyed my hair blond, I've grown a beard, I've even had a fu manchu," he explained. "Well, I don't see any rings on this finger."


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