Tag Archives: purification ritual

Hockey: After a Trade, The Player Must Be Shaved

“I’ve heard that in the NHL, when a player is traded, his new teammates shave him from head to toe.”

My informant says he first heard of this ritual when he was on a hockey team while in high school in the 1980s.  He says that hockey is full of superstitions so initiation rituals are common, especially for rookies and traded players, but not necessarily for hockey veterans.  Some “newbies” go willingly and others are sometimes forced by their teammates.  He also explained that if this ritual is still practiced, it is one of the mild forms of initiation; others can be pretty sexual, grotesque and/or humiliating.  Nevertheless, this hazing tradition appears to be a type of purification ritual that literally cleanses the player of anything and everything he physically had while playing for his previous team.