September 28, 2011
Two years ago, the NHL had a presence in the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue, their annual photo collection of male and female athletes making the rest of us feel miserable for finishing that can of Pringles chips.
But the most memorable appearance by an NHL player — in the sense that none of us could have possibly un-seen this two years later — was Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara(notes) in his birthday suit, with "an absolutely GORGEOUS body!" according to Hockey For the Ladies and the face of Zdeno Chara.
Alas, there were no hockey players in the 2010 Body Issue, as in true ESPN fashion both billiards and wheelchair tennis were put over pucks. But that error has been corrected for 2011, as USA Today reports Vancouver Canucks and US Olympic star Ryan Kesler(notes) will be featured in this year's edition.
It sounds like Kesler will appear as a model, continuing the path he started on with his underwear picture in the Vancouver Sun last season. (Tragically, that underwear was looted and burned last June.)
Hopefully Kesler wasn't photographed during the Stanley Cup Final, or else it may just be a blank page.
Too bad he'll just be one of a few dozen models: You'd think ESPN would have the foresight to hire Kesler to Kes-lurk the other athletes in the issue. 'Hey, look, it's Hope Solo posing naked in a soccer net … and Ryan Kesler's eating a pizza in the top left corner …'
Kesler's appearance isn't the only hockey content in the 2011 ESPN The Magazine Body Issue. US Olympic hockey player Julie Chu is listed as a model, and we're quite pleased about that.
Also, as editor-in-chief Chad Millman told USA Today, one ESPN writer flipped roles with the athletes he'd normally cover in a locker room:
We also actually turned the tables on athletes and sent one of our writers to do interviews with the Los Angeles Kings.
In this instance, the writer was naked -- and not the athletes...To give a sense of what perspective is like. And to talk about the locker room ethos of nudity and how it's different from sport to sport and how the players feel about it and what it's like for the writer to finally understand what it means to be in that position that the athletes are in...The writer is Morty Ain. He was a brave man for doing it
That'd sounds like a really cool idea if it wasn't some pointing and laughing and an angry nun away from being the single worst nightmare we've ever had.