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Luscious lettuce for Locks of Love

By Joe Gieringer & Steven Perkins
On April 10, 2014

Miami sophomore defenseman Michael Mooney is growing out his hair (or lettuce) so he can donate it to charity. It will likely go to either Cincinnati Children's Hospital or Locks of Love.

For decades, hair has been a quintessential part of any self-respecting hockey player's arsenal. "Flow," as it is referred to in the business, has and continues to be a hallmark of many a Hall of Famer. Be it Patrick Kane's shoulder-length curls, Jaromir Jagr's mullet (circa 1996) or Henrik Lundqvist's suave, Swedish shine, hockey players have their hairstyles down to a science.

That is why it's a little odd when one of the boys throws caution to the wind and hacks it all off in one fell swoop.

Michael Mooney has a good reason, though. The sophomore RedHawk defenseman has decided that, when it reaches the appropriate length, he will donate his hair to a charitable organization.

"I'm not sure if I'll give it to Cincinnati Children's Hospital or Locks of Love," the Eden Prairie, Minn. native said. "I also don't know exactly how long it has to be. I'm at five [inches] right now, so I'm getting there."

Ten inches is the minimum length to donate hair to Locks of Love, so he's halfway there. Locks of Love is a non-profit charity which takes donations of hair as well as money to make wigs for Canadian and American children suffering from conditions causing them to lose their hair.

Despite catching some grief from friends, teammates and coaches, Mooney maintains that he's received support and praise from everyone that knows of his intentions. The 6-footo1, 200-pound Mooney even points to a former RedHawk as a source of inspiration.

"My close friend Ryan Jones did it," Mooney said, referring to 2008 graduate and three-time All-Central Collegigate Hockey Association forward who now plays for the Edmonton Oilers. "I saw how he helped, and I just want to try to do something nice for people who have been touched by this truly awful disease of cancer."

Mooney's peers certainly think highly of the decision. Junior captain Austin Czarnik, who sports a quality hairstyle in his own right, looks at his teammate's initiative as a great idea.

"I think what Michael is going to do is great," Czarnik said. "He's a great kid and he wants to help kids who are in need. It really shows what kind of person he is to grow his hair out and shave it all for a cause bigger than him."

Mooney's flow, which has been favorably compared to that of Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, is arguably one of the most enviable styles in the locker room - but he doesn't have many qualms with getting rid of it, and he hopes he can persuade a few others to join him as well.

"It would be nice to have a couple of guys do it," Mooney said. "Even if it's not guys on the team, if I can inspire anyone else to help others in some way that would be nice."


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