Erskine and the Caps Kick Off Movember

Posted November 1, 2011

(Caps Outsider)

Movember is back, and the Caps have some serious facial hair to grow if they’re going to beat the NHL-high $22,433 the team raised last year. Like last year, a dozen players will be growing mustaches throughout the month to raise money and awareness for men’s health.

Few players have had more success with Movember than John Erskine, who raised $5,239 last year, making him fourth among all NHL players and first by a long shot among his teammates. I caught up with Erskine at the start of what’s sure to be a pretty entertaining month for Caps fans.

I saw your tweet that you’re getting started on Movember. You raised $5,000 last year – did you see that coming at all?
No, I wasn’t even going to do it last year. I think Chimera and a couple of the boys got asked to do it, and I started my own page. It went from there, and we started a team.

To what do you attribute your success last year?
I think after it started, after I started growing it, I scored a couple big goals and fans just adapted to it. It was my thing, having the handlebars, and they thought it was kind of a good luck charm.

The handlebar mustache is such a hockey thing. Is that what you’re bringing back this year?
I’m pretty sure. I might have something else coming, but the handlebars are a safe way to go for me.

So far you’ve raised $150, and we’ve barely even started. Do you have a goal this year?
No, I’m just seeing how it goes. Hopefully we’ll do some fundraisers… last year we took over a bar and had a little party and raised some money that way. It’s a lot of fun and it’s for a good cause.

Is this a cause that’s important to you?
It’s important. I’ve never had anyone who was really close have cancer or anything, but I know lots of guys and lots of people where it has affected them.

How does this compare to other philanthropy you’ve done or other causes you’ve been involved in?
This is cool – you actually get to grow a mustache and kind of look like a dork. You walk around the city, and even like back home in Canada everybody does it. So everybody jumps on board and raises money, and they have fun doing it.

You said it was kind of a good luck charm last year. What are you hoping it gives you this year?
I don’t think we need a good luck charm right now. But the fans love it and it’s just a good thing.

To learn more about the Caps’ participation in Movember, visit the Caps’ team page, and to support John Erskine, visit his “Mo Space.” Look for mustache mug shots and Movember fundraising updates throughout the month on Capitals Outsider.