By Michael Caples-
CANTON – As a rookie in the Ontario Hockey League, Connor Carrick is adjusting to a new team, a new home building, and a new pace of play.
Now he will also have to adjust to having pink hair.
The 18-year-old defenseman and National Team Development Program alum experienced one of the Plymouth Whalers’ annual traditions today at Lucky Hair Salon in Canton – all the players dye their hair pink in some form or fashion before the team’s ‘Pink Out’ game.
MiHockey chatted with Carrick while he was waiting for the initial hair-bleeching set in, and he said he was still unsure of how he felt about the experience.
“I don’t know, I guess I have to see the final product first,” Carrick said. “Pretty nervous about it, but it is what it is. All the boys are doing it, so it should be good.
When Carrick found out that the team would be caravanning to Lucky for some ‘unique’ hairstyles, he said there were some mixed emotions.
“Oh my, am I going to look bad,” Carrick said. “But you know, that’s alright. My brothers were giving me crap all week and stuff like that, but I’m excited to see what it looks like, and you know, it’s for a good reason, for a good cause, so it’s worth it.”
The Washington Capitals prospect – he was drafted in the fifth round at this year’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh – said he was enjoying the extra time with his teammates, however.
“You get to have some time with the boys before practice, just doing it all together is what makes it fun,” Carrick said.
In his first five games with the Whalers, Carrick has been playing at a point-per-game pace; he has one goal and four assists, along with two penalty minutes. However, he acknowledged that there’s still room for growth, while sitting with a shower cap on his head in a beauty salon.
“I think it’s been pretty smooth,” Carrick said of his introduction to the OHL. “It’s been great. Coach [Mike] Vellucci has done a great job of making me feel right at home. You’re just trying to get used to the style of play and the game, you get to know who’s who, I’m just looking forward to getting more and more comfortable as the year goes on. It’ll be nice to start winning more games, and we’ll get there.”
And now, he’ll be getting more comfortable with his surroundings…while sporting pink hair.
The final result, courtesy of the Whalers’ Instagram account: