Tampa Bay Lightning star forward Vincent Lecavalier learned the finer points of fashion long before a dress code was written into the NHL's collective bargaining agreement in 2005.
"Ten years old we had to wear a shirt and tie. I had a leather zip-up tie," Lecavalier, who played minor hockey in Île-Bizard, Que., told ESPN.com a few years back.
Nineteen years later, Lecavalier is still garnering attention for his wardrobe, but he isn't alone.
'He wore a suit one time that looked like he was back in the '50s.' — Jeremy Roenick on Mike Ribeiro's fashion taste
Chicago's Adam Burish isn't shy to don a suit jacket with a flannel-type design, while New Jersey's Brendan Shanahan is known for stopping women in their tracks wearing anything navy blue, white or dark.
And not long ago, Ray Emery's wardrobe included 50 pairs of shoes, a dozen watches, diamond chains and a $4,000 suit. Now that Emery has returned to the NHL with Philadelphia, should he be recognized as the best-dressed player?
For an answer, CBCSports.ca enlisted retired NHL player Jeremy Roenick, Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Oake, NHL player agent Kent Hughes and Canadian women's hockey player Jennifer Botterill as part of its continuing five-part series of predictions on the lighter side of the game.
2009-10 NHL predictions (the lighter side)
|Sept. 23||This season's quote machine|
|Today||Best-dressed NHL player|
|Sept. 25||NHL player who should retire|
|Sept. 28||Who will Alex Ovechkin engage in a war of words?|
|Sept. 29||Next recycled coach to return to an NHL bench|
Roenick: Mike Ribeiro [Dallas]. I've seen him dress pretty funky. He definitely throws it way out there, in terms of how you look. He just likes to entertain. He's doing it for the 'wow' effect and I like that about him.
He wore a suit one time that looked like he was back in the '50s. It might have been a triple-breasted suit. It was kind of off the hook, but he's really eclectic in his ways. He's not afraid to push the envelope.
Oake: For avant-garde, probably Sean Avery [of the Rangers]. He will generally be attired in the latest of fashion. He's ahead of the curve … and looks to me like he wears stuff that most of us would conclude will never catch on.
This is a guy that worked at Vogue magazine, did he not? So, he's spent a fair amount of time trying to stay abreast of current fashions. His fashion style fits his personality.
Hughes: I have to be biased and go with [my client] Vinny [Vincent Lecavalier] or I'll never hear the end of it. I think he prides himself on being ahead of the curve from a fashion perspective. He's not as showy as Ray Emery, but it's a classier look.
Last year, I showed up wearing a T-shirt, the new style with all the designs that everybody wears, and he says: 'Look at you, finally styling, not like an old man with three kids.' He said, 'You couldn't have bought that. Your wife had to buy it for you.'"
Botterill: Vincent Lecavalier. I feel he always looks well put together. He looks really sharp.