Are NHL's playoff beards in jeopardy

 When men hoist up Lord Stanley's silver pedestal-mounted bowl, the screams are of joy. The hands are hoisted up triumphantly, and the grins of every player on the winning team is hidden beneath a grizzly curtain of bushy, bristly beard.

Better known as the playoff beard, the NHL playoffs aren't just a time to show off puck-handling skills, but a chance to prove one's masculinity through facial hair growth.

In a twist of events, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus has said he wishes the beards were shaved. He believes the beards make the players unrecognizable, and keeps people from talking about how young and attractive they are.

Lazarus told the Chicago Tribune he believes many of the players are missing out on special chances to gain endorsements. "Let's get their faces out there. Let's talk about how young and attractive they are."

As the head of sports at NBC, Lazarus has done much to solidify a partnership between the NHL and NBC, which is in the middle of a 10-year TV deal worth $2 billion.

But with as much weight a deal like this will carry, superstitions will most likely remain stubborn.

Even Lazarus doesn't think the facial-hair trimmers will be coming out any time soon.

"But I'm just a TV guy," Lazarus said. "They don't want to listen to me."

LINK: Read more from the Chicago Tribune
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