Ah yes, Halloween, when professional athletes are just like the rest of us and dress up in crazy outfits to attend costume parties. It's always a good time, a little fun to distract from the ceaseless debates about fighting in the game, devastating hits and concussions.
So without further ado, let's bring on the NHL costumes, 2013 edition.
First up we present a strong contender right out of the gate. That fella on the right is Bryan Bickell doing his best guess at he'll look like in 50 years. You have to admit, pretty excellent that he'll still be downing beers and keeping that figure when his skin is sagging to the floor. Impressive. (Amanda Bickell Twitter)
Hey look, it's the T-Birds. OK, it's really just Stars players Jamie Benn (right), Brenden Dillon (center) and Jordie Benn (left) with leather jackets and black jeans on. The Vancouver-area boys at least put some hair gel in to get the slicked-back look but it's a pretty simple group costume. (Brenden Dillon Twitter)
That's Georgia Laraque, the alter ego of former player Georges Laraque. I'll give him this: it's a pretty solid Dennis Rodman impersonation. (Georges Laraque Twitter)
I'm not sure which one exactly, but one of those rabbits is Flyers defenseman Hal Gill. While the costume itself isn't the best on this list, the picture pretty much is. It's almost like a terrifying nightmare right down to the fact that all the beer cans look empty. (Hal Gill Twitter)
Next we come to reigning Vezina Trophy winner and Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. If you're familiar at all with Jay and Dan of former TSN now Fox Sports 1 fame, this costume should come across as simply awesome. BOBROVSKY IS BACK ON THE CASE! (NHL on NBC Sports Twitter)
That man posing as a hip Freddy Krueger (I think) complete with boombox is Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray. I still can't quite figure out why Freddy is sporting the boombox but he looks like he's having a good time. (Sheldon Souray Twitter)
The law in South Florida is ruled by Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau (n the center, naturally) who isn't in charge of the FBI but instead the FB11. It's a very small twist on a pretty classic costume as Huberdeau's number is of course 11. (Jonathan Huberdeau Instagram)
Oh here's a reaaaaally strong contender this year. Beneath the awesome, inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume is Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin. I have no idea if he is happy but I'll never be convinced that he's unhappy with that big ol' grin on his face. Makes you wonder if he and Cam Talbot are best buddies. (Anton Khudobin Instagram)
Well here's an A for effort to Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and his wife. Hjalmarsson has pulled a pretty near flawless version of the Mad Hatter as played by Johnny Depp, though that sports bar doesn't exactly look like Wonderland but the costume can only go so far. (Elina Hjalmarsson Twitter)
Is this the winner? Yes, it might very well be the winer. St. Louis Blues goaltender (man, goalies are really good at this, aren't they?) Brian Elliott dressed up as Elliott from ET. Perfect on so many levels despite it's simplicity. (Brian Elliott Twitter)
Finally we come to a pair of Oilers teammate, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as Forest Gump and Sam Gagner as Walter White. Frankly, I'm surprised it took so long for a Walter White costume to show up but Gagner got it and he nailed it, going the cook route instead of just straight Heisenberg. But since these are two completely unrelated costumes, consider them each their own entry. (Sam Gagner Twitter)
We turn it over to the judges; who has the best costume?