PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Say “so long” to the scruff!

Hundreds of people gathered at the Camp Horne Giant Eagle today, and it wasn’t for a two-for-one sale on razors.  Waiting in the wings was Nick Bonino of the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  In the tradition of growing beards during the playoffs, his was one of the best.  But now, he prepared to have it shaved off.

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Photo: Madeliene Maggs

Photo: Madeliene Maggs

“Should be fun with all the fans here,” he said.

“My son’s a huge fan, a huge Bonino fan, a huge Penguins fan, so we’ve been out here since 10:30,” one woman said.

“We’ve been here since 8:30,” another added.

Photo: Madeliene Maggs

Photo: Madeliene Maggs

Before going on stage, Bonino described his bushy beard.

“It’s past that itchy stage.  It’s like a pillow.  An extra pillow.  It’s been fun to grow it out.  But I know my wife and teammates are excited that I’m shaving it.  They all think that it’s gross.  And I’m excited to get it off,” he laughed.

Many, if not most, of the fans have never seen him without a beard.

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“It’s totally a Pittsburgh thing, to come out and support no matter what,” a woman said.

“I can’t grow a beard like that,” said a man in the crowd.

“I’m just going to try and make it go as safe as possible,” barber Ben Daz promised.

Photo: Madeliene Maggs

Photo: Madeliene Maggs

Having won so many close games in the playoffs, Bonino knows the meaning of a close shave.  When the job was done, Giant Eagle presented a check for $2,016.00 to the Penguins Foundation.

Before, Bonino joked on Twitter that he hopes his daughter recognizes him without her “favorite toy.”

And here’s the before and after pictures from the Penguins’ Facebook page! Do you even recognize him now, Pens fans?

According to a press release, “The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation aims to actively promote physical well-being, encourage teamwork, stress the value of education and provide essential life skills to young people in our community through youth hockey and other activities.”

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