It’s about to get hairy for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

The National Hockey League Players’ Association has partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for the third annual “NHLPA Beard-a-thon,” with proceeds going toward the purchase of automated external defibrillators across Canada.

It’s as much a sign of spring as potholes and daffodils: the hockey playoff beard.

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for “NHLPA Beard-a-thon,” with proceeds going toward the purchase of automated external defibrillators across Canada. This marks the “Beard-a-thon’s” debut in Canada, but it has run in the U.S. since 2009.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell, who gained notoriety for the shaggy beard he sported during his team’s run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals – and whose mother survived a stroke in 2001 – will serve as “Chairman of the Beard” for this year’s event.

Several other NHL players, including Brooks Laich of the Washington Capitals, Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Dan Cleary of the Detroit Red Wings, are also participating in the promotion.

Fans can find more information on the fundraising event at BeardAThon.ca or NHLPA.com. They can participate in the event by growing their own beard and seeking donations from friends and family, sponsoring a friend or family member, or sponsoring their favourite beard-growing player.

Every day during the playoffs, prizes will be awarded to the person deemed to possess the “Beard of the Day.” In addition, the fan raising the most money will receive an all-expenses trip for two to a Flyers regular season game during the 2011-12 season.

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