For generations, the stereotypical image of hockey was the toothless grin of Bobby Clarke, the one-time fiery leader of the Philadelphia Flyers.
But with all the advances in dental care, it's now rare to see a gap-toothed hockey player.
You can bet that Mike Dyke of the CeeBee Stars is thankful for this, since he's spent more time in a dentist's chair in recent years than many people spend in a lifetime.
The high-flying, talented defenceman is not hard to miss when he steps on the ice. At six-feet, four inches tall and 200 pounds, he's a commanding presence. And when he turns on the jets and moves out of his own zone with the puck, it's almost a sure bet that he'll make a pin-point pass or do something creative to avoid traffic.
But he's also unique in that he wears a full-faced helmet cage, since the vast majority of players in the five-team Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Hockey League wear the mandatory half visor.
He's been called a "wuss" and mocked for wearing a "bird cage" by his opponents, but Dyke has learned to take it all in stride. He has no choice. He can't afford any more trauma to his teeth, and neither can the CeeBees, for that matter.
… For full story, and photos, pick up a copy of the Jan. 22, 2013 print edition of The Compass.