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Posted at 9:06 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Ovechkin will be well-groomed for Gillette

By Dan Steinberg

(Photos by Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

There have been times when Alex Ovechkin has seemed to embrace the scruffy look, if you know what I'm saying. Sort of the "Jayson Werth outside the laundromat at 3 a.m. in early-October" approach. But we all grow and mature in our styles, and Ovechkin is now becoming a well-groomed hockey star.

Men's grooming company Gillette will announce a multi-year partnership with Ovechkin on Tuesday, in which the Caps star will become one of the company's global ambassadors. He'll join such international sports icons as Derek Jeter, Kaka, Rafa Marquez and British rugby star Jonny Wilkinson in representing the company. And yes, as part of the partnership, Ovechkin has agreed to remain "well-groomed," in industry parlance.

"If you see Alex in some of his recent commercials, he's had kind of a clean-shaven look," Gillette spokesman Mike Norton told me. "With Gillette, we really want guys to look their best. And some guys like to be fully clean-shaven, some guys like goatees or well-trimmed beards. It's all about helping guys to look their best."

Of course, Ovechkin was previously associated with Hair Cuttery, back when that company's creative director was praising his "beach/surfer look." I suppose there are well-groomed surfers, right?

His work with Gillette will eventually include a charitable aspect, with a campaign to help youth hockey players develop on and off the ice. The partnership's first public campaign, though, will be conducted in Russia and Eastern Europe. Ovechkin will help market the company's razor and skin-care products, both in television commercials and in point-of-sale materials throughout the region.

"His likeness and his image is so strong in Russia and Eastern Europe already, that the Ovechkin brand is really going to be a winner for both of us," Norton told me.

UPDATE: I stupidly did not ask about the playoff beard question, but I later touched base with one of Ovechkin's representatives, who light-heartedly reminded me that the Caps haven't reaped much success from their recent spring-time beards, and that other teams have won the Stanley Cup without sacrificing their grooming. Still, there will indeed be allowances if Ovechkin and his teammate decide beards are the thing.

"Gillette and Alex both understand and respect the traditions of the game," he told me. "Alex isn't superstitious by nature, and he hasn't even thought about it. He just wants to make the playoffs, and he'll decide once the playoffs start. If the team decides to do something, he certainly will be able to participate."

By Dan Steinberg  | December 7, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Perhaps this means he'll get his teeth fixed????

Posted by: charley42 | December 7, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Well give Gillette credit, they chose an NHL star who can actually grow facial hair...

Posted by: CapsNut | December 7, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Classic hilarity by the spokesperson telling Steinz not to worry about Ovechkin having to grow a playoff beard.

I say this as a caps fan... a cynical, and self deprecating caps fan.

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Nah, he'll have to sign a another endorsement deal with some dental practice for that to happen.

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | December 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@charley42 @dcunitedfan

Hockey players generally do not get their teeth fixed during their playing career. A stray puck or stick can undo the work very quickly, and every time, the damage done to the player's mouth is worse. We don't want Alex having to sip meals through a sippy-cup because somebody busted his teeth out four or five times. Let him keep his teeth busted up for now; he'll fix them when his playing career is done.

Posted by: irockthered | December 7, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Not certain I like this deal. Alex looks better with maintained scruff.

Posted by: pstenigma | December 7, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

He has enough money. Gilette is a d-baggy P&G acquisition now.

Just get me a Stanley Cup. Thnx.....

Posted by: CF11555 | December 7, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ CapsNut. Maybe Nair will approach Sid next!

Posted by: AmyS1 | December 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Drat, I like Ovi when he's scruffy looking. Hopefully he won't have to look all clean shaven all the time :-)

Posted by: b_witch16 | December 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I love the irony of someone named Wilkinson promoting Gillette.

Count me in with the scruffy-lookin' look. (HanSoloFan92801)

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | December 9, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

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