It's time for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is one of my favorite times of the year, where I can watch non-stop hockey and read all about it. There are certain traditions that I love that players do at this time of the year.

One tradition that you may see from players of all teams is that they grow beards. A playoff beard is when a player does not shave his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The player stops shaving when his team enters the playoffs and does not shave until his team is eliminated or wins the Stanley Cup. In recent years, fans have had a chance to grow a beard for charity and benefit their favorite teams and their charity. This year, I decided for the first time to do it.

Some of my friends asked how come I don't grow a beard. I've never been one to like them for myself, but I know friends take great pride in theirs. I figured if I grow a beard, I'm going to do it for charity. With my favorite team being the Detroit Red Wings, I chose to support that team and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation. This foundation which has helped the Salvation Army STRIVE Hockey Program, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association One Goal Program, YMCA, Macomb-Oakland Regional Center, The Variety FAR Conservatory, Gladwin Area Hockey Association and the MORC Stars.

The Detroit Red Wings are my favorite team and they have been for a very long time. They have been in the playoffs 22 years in a row, which is the longest current streak in any of the major sports. I have had the chance to see them hoist the Stanley Cup four times in that time frame. Some consider them the Yankees of hockey, but I've liked them since even before they started this streak.

My friends always ask me about why the Red Wings fans throw an octupus on the ice during this time of year. This tradition goes back to 1952, when two brothers from Detroit, Pete and Jerry Cusimano, threw an octopus onto the ice from their store. At that time, it took eight wins to win the Stanley Cup, and an octopus has eight tentacles, so they felt that was a good representation of what was needed to win. To this day fans throw an octopus on the ice, although now 16 wins are needed.

I promise, as long as the Red Wings are in the NHL Playoffs, I'll keep my beard growing, and if I get enough donations, I'll even let it go a little longer. I'll update photos, but for now you see me freshly shaven. But trust me that will quickly change.