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Lightning Nuts & Bolts: Vasy likes Stephen Hawking; Cut for a Cure day

Center Vladislav Namestnikov is voted best-looking bald after getting his head shaved on Cut for a Cure day.
Center Vladislav Namestnikov is voted best-looking bald after getting his head shaved on Cut for a Cure day.
Published Mar. 22, 2015

Short shift With G Andrei Vasilevskiy

Must-see movie: Unbroken and The Theory of Everything, about Stephen Hawking.

Favorite American music? In my iPhone … 99 percent of it is American. Maybe a couple Russian tracks. I like Coldplay.

Go-to date night: My wife, Ksenia, and I like cooking. She cooks for me, does it very well. I like borsch soup; it's Russian.

Favorite piece of memorabilia: In (the 2004-05) NHL lockout, I got photos signed by (Vinny) Lecavalier, (Nikolai) Khabibulin, (Jaromir) Jagr and (Darius) Kasparaitis.

Any superstitions? I have a gift from my wife, (a framed photo) of St. Andrei the apostle (which is in his locker at home and on the road). She got it from Moscow church a couple years ago.

Cut for a Cure

Rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has worn his hair long since he was 10 years old.

"I love my hair," he said.

But Vasilevskiy, 20, was one of more than 20 Lightning players and staff members who gladly shaved their heads in Thursday's fifth annual Cut for a Cure, which raises money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The Lightning raised $17,000 last year.

"It's for children, so it's a good thing," Vasilevskiy said. "Hair is just hair."

Vasilevskiy was joined by players Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Nikita Nesterov, Jonathan Drouin, Cedric Paquette, Ondrej Palat and Mark Barberio. Drouin said he sported the bald look just once previously, when he was 8 or 9.

"My mom one summer cut (his hair) for me. It was real hot, and I was complaining," Drouin said. "She got mad and cut it."

The consensus for who looked best bald was Namestnikov, 22, whose shaggy locks hadn't been cut since before the season.

"He lost his (Justin) Bieber hair," Drouin joked.

"Vladdy, he looks like an 11-year-old kid right now," Barberio said.

Coach Jon Cooper didn't get his hair cut, but he helped shave a patient's head, taking a "before" selfie together. "It was heartwarming," he said.

Nancy Crane, executive director of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, said the money raised this year will go to a trial involving brain tumors that begins in January. The goal is $350,000; to donate, go to pcfcutforacure.org.

Vasilevskiy took a quick selfie after the haircut to send his wife, Ksenia.

"Hope she will not hate me for that," he joked. "I told her about that, and she said, 'It's for the kids.' "

From the fans

For C Tyler Johnson: What made you choose the Lightning over other teams when you signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011?

Said Johnson: "It was just talking with (GM Steve) Yzerman. He gave me a phone call. Just everything he was saying. He never promised me anything except I'd work to get what I want."

Have questions for a Lightning player? Send it to me via email (joesmith@tampabay.com) or via Twitter @TBTimes_JSmith, and we'll answer them in Sunday papers.


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