Monday, January 23, 2006


Bloody Chicklits and Root Canals

One big reason I'd have a hard time playing professional hockey (besides the obvious lack of talent) is that I simply hate going to the dentist. I don't like foreign objects being shoved into my mouth, mmmK.

For hockey players, however, having dental surgery of some sort of almost as routine as lacing up their skates. If you want to make the big bucks as a pro hockey player, don't expect to keep your original teeth.

What's funny is that the players don't seem to mind so much. If I lost a teeth, I'd probably freak out about it. When Dany Heatley loses his front teeth, he grins like he couldn't be happier. (D00d is pretty f'ugly, but he's got a unique look)

The San Jose Mercury News has a very interesting look at this subject in an article by Marc Emmons.

But the Sharks say if you play hockey, you're just as familiar with shots of novocaine as slap shots. The gap-toothed smile -- from Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke years ago to current star Dany Heatley -- is part of hockey's lore, and its stereotype.

Former Shark Mike Ricci even managed to make his toothless appearance very cool. In 1997, a Denver columnist described a bar encounter where a woman was hitting on the hockey player.

"Ricci dropped his false teeth into her glass of beer, grinned like a jack-o'-lantern and said, 'What do you think of me now?'" the columnist wrote.

In an informal survey conducted by the Sharks' public relations staff last week found that of the 22 players on the active roster, 13 have lost teeth playing hockey. Of the nine who haven't, two are goalies who wear masks.
This is just another reason why I'd wear a full visor or full cage any time I'd step out on the ice.

Even yet, why not mouth guards? You don't see many players wearing them, and the ones that do use them like chew toys (Hello, Mr. Lecavalier).

It's hard enough to persuade them to wear mouth guards. (And Cheechoo's case shows they are no guarantee of protecting teeth.) Some complain they are uncomfortable and impair breathing.

"Should I wear one?" McLaren asked. "Yes. But I just choose not to, and I know the consequences."
I'd recommend reading the entire article. It's a nice look at the price you have to pay for play hockey.

Total sidenote - just got back from the Czech Republic. What a great country!
I played a few times without a shield, but I'd never not wear a mouthguard. That's just ridiculous.
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