Behind the beard with Stingrays defenseman Colton Saucerman

Many organizations in sports have strict rules, and many imply a no facial hair policy for their players. The intent is to have them look groomed, clean, and workman-like.

Good thing the Stingrays aren't one of those teams.

In the ECHL each year, each team is a collection of young, fresh-faced talent. And that's exactly what the Stingrays got when they signed Colton Saucerman, a defenseman out of Northeastern University. He's a good shooter and ruthless on open ice.

When he arrived this year, it was a whole new Saucerman but his game is very much the same.

"When I was younger, I was one of the only kids who could grow facial hair. I figured this summer I'd grow it for a while and see how it goes. I came back for training camp and the boys loved it, so I'll just keep it going," he said.

His teammates are fans.

"It's elegant, it's very manly for him," said Joey Leach.

Ryan Warsofsky said the red tint helps and wondered aloud if it would ever quit growing.

And if one guy brings the fiery facila flair to the Rays, it's not too hard to pick him out.

"Hours of grooming, lotions, and oils, and trimming it up and special brushes, a whole routine I go through -- everything to keep it healthy. For the health of the hair, keeping it moist and letting it grow the right way. It's all coming from my barber, he tells me all this," Saucerman said.

At first glance, he might look like he's selling Scott's Turf Builder, but the inspiration behind the flowing facial locks is hockey-related -- naturally.

"I think Joe Thornton, Brent Burns had really good beards. Honestly, I only get compliments. I'm only 5'9 and don't need intimidation with Trevor Gillies on ice; I don't need that. It's more of compliment and respect factor for it," he said.

As for the bald dome?

"Honestly, the bald up top is because I have to. I don't have much hair up there, so I figured I'll grow it on my face," Saucerman said.

And if the Rays make a big playoff run, there's no telling what Saucerman has in the works for the famed playoff beard.

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