Mane attraction

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:49 PM ET


 Mike Commodore has got a lot going on under that bucket of his these days.

 Not just because he's been thrust into a crucial role on the Flames blueline but because that mop of his is attracting unprecedented attention from fans, the media and even insects.

 "Yeah, there's all kinds of small animals, too, other than mosquitoes," laughed Commodore, who hasn't cut his hair all season.

 "It's kind of a mess when I get up."

 In fact, it has caused more than a few headaches -- literally.

 "Since the beginning of the season, I've had to loosen my helmet up a little bit," said Commodore, who logged 13 minutes of ice in Game 3 Tuesday.

 "I have to put water in my hair (before putting on the helmet); otherwise, it doesn't work -- it's too uncomfortable and I get a headache in about 10 minutes. It's so packed in."

 One thing he insists doesn't go to his head are the catcalls he receives all over town from fans who instantly recognize the beard and orange afro perched atop his 6-ft. 4-in. frame.

 "Every time I go somewhere now, Ogie (Ogelthorpe of Slap Shot fame) is the big one," said Commodore, a.k.a. Sideshow Mike or Carrot Top.

 "I go to Eau Claire Market and somebody yells it from 100 yards away and I just kind of wave my hand and laugh. I test-drove a car the other day and the salesmen recognized me, too.

 "Since we won that first series, there's been a little bit of press and it's been incredible.

 "Maybe it does keep things light when I'm going around town and people are calling me names. There's a lot of pressure and this is the most intense hockey I've had to play ever, so maybe it does (add a little levity)."

 Even in the stands nowadays, there are usually a handful of Ogie oglers trying their best to sport a similar 'do.

 The fans love it, his teammates have had a field day with it and his hometown folk are embracing his look, even hoping to profit from it.

 "My parents came into town yesterday and the kids at the high school want to cut my hair for cancer up in Fort Saskatchewan, so I think that's what I'm going to do at the end of the season," said Commodore.

 "I can't make it through summer. I've tried before. It's too hot. I can't even go outside without sweating."

 Commodore has long treated his hair like a vegetable garden.

 While in the New York Devils organization, notoriously straight-laced GM Lou Lamoriello sat him down the first day they met.

 "The first time I got called up ... (he) said: 'You know what you're going to do before you step on the ice? You're going to the barber and you're going to shave or you're never going to play for the New Jersey Devils.' So I went right to the barbershop."


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