DENVER (CBS4) – Veteran Greg Zanon joined the Colorado Avalanche this year. He’s a solid stay-at-home defenseman who has added another weapon to his arsenal — a beard — a thick, hairy, scary beard.

The beard might even intimidate a few opponents, and it certainly intimidated CBS4’s Gary Miller.

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“I’ve got to be honest. It’s nice to see the team camaraderie, but I was a little afraid to talk to you when I first saw you,” Miller told Zanon.

“I can understand that, maybe,” Zanon replied. “Not a lot of people talk to me normally.”

Zanon said he started growing the beard about six months ago during the NHL lockout.

“I just decided to grow it because of the lockout,” he said. “Then we started up again; I just decided I’m going to keep it and have the mid-season beard … just roll with it and see what happens.”

While it doesn’t appear Zanon is trimming the beard, he did offer some grooming tips.

“Use a little conditioner every once in a while when it feels a little rough. But other than that normal cleansing and a brush here and there; you don’t want it to get too tangled up.”

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Miller asked Zanon if people treat him differently with the intimidating beard.

“I think kids are a little nervous at first, but I always let them know … I’m an easy guy to talk to if you just come on up and feel free,” he replied. “I don’t want anybody to be scared, it’s just something to do.”

As of now, Zanon thinks the beard will be a mainstay — at least if he gets his way.

“My wife doesn’t want to hear that, but it’s long term,” he said.

He said the longest he’s every grown a beard is for seven months and he’s approaching that benchmark now. So Zanon doesn’t know what to expect about its growth pattern after that.

“I think it will just kind of lengthen out, I hope, just kind of dangle a little bit further.”

He said he might find a comfortable length and start trimming it.

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– By Matthew J. Buettner,