Movember is here! Let’s take a look back at some of the best cookie dusters, lip sweaters, and soup strainers in Vancouver Canucks history.
In 2013 and 2014, the Canucks battled the Montreal Canadiens in a Movember showdown with each fanbase raising money and awareness in the battle to end prostate cancer.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 1, 2014
Also in 2013, Roberto Luongo slapped some upper lipholstery on his Johnny Canuck mask and created this masterpiece.
However, with this list, we’re strictly looking at the mouth brows sported by Canucks from throughout the team’s history. Spanning the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, this group shows off some of the finest moustaches hockey has ever seen.
Heck, a few of these might even approach Lanny McDonald! So, without further ado, here are (in no particular order) nine of the top staches in Canucks history.
Dave Babych was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets 2nd overall in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft. Babych was selected just one spot above his brother Wayne, much like Sedin twins 19 years later. A quick look at a Topps rookie card of Babych tells us that this beloved moustache was already developing at a young age.
Traded to the Vancouver Canucks from the Minnesota North Stars after being taken in the 1991 NHL Expansion Draft, Babych brought his talents, and his gorgeous facial hair, to the west coast. The only Canucks blueliner to ever score a hat-trick, Babych remains a beloved figure in Vancouver sports lore.
In 2009, Babych was hired as an assistant director of player personnel specializing in defencemen. He and his moustache remain in the Canucks organization today.
Tell me that isn’t one of the most quintessential handle bar moustaches you’ve ever seen. Another high draft pick, Monahan was selected first overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1963 NHL Amateur Draft at the ripe old age of 16.
In addition to suiting up for the Canucks from 1974 through 1978, Monahan also played for the Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs. He and his perfectly coiffed stache managed a career high in goals (18) and points (44) in 1976-1977 while wearing a Canucks sweater.
— Zach Stew (@zachstew96) November 16, 2013
In 2013, Zack Kassian went head-to-head with Andrew Alberts in a moustache growing competition for Movember. While Alberts may have had him beat on volume and length, I think the overall prize goes to Kassian. As you can see in this video, the stache is made all the more ridiculous by the toothless grin Kassian was so famous for.
It was a rocky relationship between Kassian and the Canucks. Initially seen as a disappointing return for “future star” Cody Hodgson, Kassian displayed flashes of brilliance that made him an attractive prospect coming out of junior hockey. However, he was never able to consistently show the coaching staff and management that he was what they were looking for in a bottom-six forward. He was eventually traded to Montreal for Brandon Prust in the summer of 2015.
Can’t knock that Burt Reynolds-esque moustache though.
Quite possibly the meanest looking son of a gun that has ever patrolled the Vancouver blueline, Jack McIlhargey signed with the Philadelphia Flyers as an undrafted prospect in 1974 before being traded to the Canucks in 1977.
In 167 games as a Canuck, McIlhargey managed just six goals and 24 points but posted a whopping 403 penalty minutes. After his playing career, McIlhargey became an integral member of the coaching staff of the Canucks and their affiliates until 2006. He is now a scout with the Flyers.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) September 25, 2015
Affectionately known as “Cheech” due to his likeness to a certain lovable pothead, John Garrett’s is among the more recognizable faces in Canucks history. This could be attributed to his 3 seasons between the pipes in Vancouver but is more likely due to his time spent as a colour commentator for Sportsnet Pacific.
There’s a chance nobody would recognize him without his moustache, but let’s hope we never have to find out. When he isn’t waxing poetic about his favourite snack or mounting his soapbox to stand up for his brethren in the goalie fraternity, we’re pretty sure Garrett is tending to his top lip.
Not to be outdone, the current Canucks tender has sported a pretty pencil moustache in the past. I’m not sure if it’s the slicked back hair or the toothy grin, but if Ryan Miller threw on a cowboy hat and a gun belt, I think he’d look right at home in an old western flick.
Miller signed a three-year deal with the Canucks as a free agent in July of 2014. At times, he’s weathered a pretty constant barrage of shots due to a porous Canucks defence. With Jacob Markstrom pushing for more starts and Thatcher Demko not far off, Miller may be playing his last season for Vancouver.
We’re not going to like seeing Miller’s moustache go.
Perhaps the closest thing the National Hockey League has had to a miniature Sasquatch on skates, Dennis Kearns was claimed by the Canucks from the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1971 Intra-League Draft. From there, he played his entire career in Vancouver.
In three seasons, between 1976 and 1978, Kearns amassed 144 assists in 240 games. He was also named to Team Canada for the 1977 and 1978 World Championships. Oh, and did I mention that before Kearns played for the Canucks he was a member of the WHL Portland Buckaroos?!
With that moustache, it’s only fitting.
Last, but certainly not least, is the iconic fuzzy caterpillar of Harold Snepsts. The large Latvian was selected 59th overall by the Canucks in 1974 NHL Amateur Draft and quickly became a fan favourite. In large part, his popularity was due to his work ethic and his unique facial hair.
In 781 games over 12 seasons as a Canuck, Snepsts earned a reputation as one not to be messed with. You’d think the foreboding lip tickler would be enough, but when it wasn’t Snepsts didn’t hesitate to get physical. He remains fourth in franchise history in penalty minutes with 1446. In 2005, Snepsts was hired by the Canucks as a professional scout.
While he never played for the Canucks, it would be an abomination to leave out Willie Desjardins from any Canucks’ facial hair related list. The bench boss since 2014, Desjardins even sported this face lace back in university!
Movember is an excellent initiative that raises funds and awareness in the battle against prostate cancer. Many of us either know or know of someone affected by this horrible disease. If you enjoyed this article or others like it, please consider donating to the Movember Foundation.