It’s been ranked one of the best beards in the NHL but Edmonton Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba is vowing to chisel it off for a good cause.
Gryba posted a video on Facebook promising he’d shave his beard and donate $5,000 to country star Garth Brooks’ charity if the video received more than 5,000 likes.
Brooks is arriving in Edmonton late this week for a slew of sold-out shows at Rogers Place.
He’s also co-founder of Teammates for Kids, an organization that works with athletes, companies and celebrities to generate funds for children’s charities.
The Oilers Foundation is donating $2,500.
“Then Trisha Yearwood tweeted me this morning saying she’s going to donate another $5,000 as long as we don’t shave Garth’s beard or his facial hair,” Gryba recalled. “I said that’s more than generous. We’re raising a lot of money and I think more importantly, awareness for a great charity.”
The video reached 25,000 likes early Monday.
Gryba said Teammates for Kids does great work.
“Just helping kids with good health, education, inner-city outreach – they’re big into doing these Fun Zones in hospitals, giving sick kids the opportunity to do things that normal kids would be able to do if they weren’t sick – games, video games, all the fun stuff of being a kid while they’re in the hospital and getting treatment.”
Several lists have ranked Gryba’s beard among the best in the NHL over a number of years.
The 28-year-old said he will shave his beard live sometime this week on the Edmonton Oilers Facebook page.
UPDATE: Gryba made the cut Wednesday morning!