Project moustache a go

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

Wendelpalooza is here. Got your moustache?

Curtis Joseph does. And, according to a fiendish idea trickling through the Maple Leafs dressing room yesterday, he might wear it during warmup tonight as a tribute to his former teammate.

If he doesn't back out at the last moment.

Here's the deal.

Everyone knows a banner honouring Wendel Clark's No. 17 will be hoisted to the Air Canada Centre rafters this evening prior to the game between the Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.

As part of Wendel Clark night, those on hand will receive a stick-on Wendel moustache, a souvenir of Clark's trademark bushy facial hair. Organizers hope the entire crowd wears them, turning the capacity throng into 20,0000 Wendel lookalikes.

The souvenir moustaches were front and centre after practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena yesterday, with the likes of John Mitchell and Luke Schenn showing off the new look. In reality, they looked more like Ron Burgandy from the movie Anchorman than Wendel Clark, but that's another story.

Joseph was contemplating sporting one himself during the pre-game skate. Only he's having second thoughts.

"It sounds like a good idea right now but when you actually get out there and you've got that hairy thing on your lip, it's going to be tough," Joseph said with a chuckle.

"It has got to be a team thing. If one guy does it, everybody does it."

Joseph's most vivid memories of Clark are as a foe, not a friend.

"It's either that four-goal night he had against me. Or the punch to the chest that knocked the wind out of me. Or the shot to the head that ripped my mask off."

That last one still hurts.

Back in Game 7 of the 1993 playoff series between Clark's Leafs and Joseph's St. Louis Blues, a Clark blast tore Joseph's headgear off. Joseph would continue in the game, a 6-0 Leafs victory.

"He could hit, score and fight," Joseph, 41, said. "You don't see that much in today's game. (Alexander) Ovechkin can do two of the three.

"Wendel took on heavyweight like Bob Probert. He didn't back down from anyone."

Schenn, 19, can't recall seeing Clark play in his heyday. But, as a fellow Saskatchewan native, he knows how much of a legend Clark is there.

"Everyone out there knows him, partially because he's a Leaf but also because he's from a town (Kelvington) just outside of Saskatoon. He's a well-known personality along the same lines as Gordie Howe."

Clark and Howe mentioned in the same sentence. Quite the compliment.

When it comes to moustaches, though, Mr. Hockey has to take a back seat to Wendel.


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