Thursday, September 09, 2004

The best hair in hockey.

Of the worst hair in hockey, depending on your perspective. Mike Ricci has been known for a lot of things: his tough, physical play, his ability to score big goals, his playoff performances. But I had no idea how honorable he truly is.

Phoenix Coyotes centre Mike Ricci will wear No. 40 next season to honour Pat Tillman.

Tillman, 27, left the Arizona Cardinals and a multimillion-dollar contract in May 2002 to join the U.S. army Rangers. He was killed April 22 in Afghanistan, the first NFL player to die in combat since the Vietnam War.

``When I heard his story, it really touched me,'' Ricci said after donning his Coyotes jersey at a news conference at Glendale Arena. ``This is a way to pay tribute to what he's done.''

With a work stoppage looming in the NHL this year, it is nice to know that at least one player has his head in the right place. Mike Ricci is a class act. He's been one of my favorite players for many years, and if anyone ever makes a wisecrack about his mullet-style haircut... well, they'd better not say it around me.