Permanent Expression: Part Two
Kings players use tattoos as their own form of personal expression
Like goalie Jonathan Bernier, Kings center Trevor Lewis and his older brother have matching tattoos, crossed hockey sticks with their nickname -- “Lewie” -- written across the top. Lewis was 15 years old when he added the artwork to his back, something his dad wasn’t too thrilled about.
Mom, on the other hand?
“Mom had to come sign for me,” Lewis says with a laugh.
“If it means something, they’re great, but obviously you don’t want to get something and have it not mean anything, then you want it gone 10 years down the road,” says Lewis, who has no immediate plans to add to his body art but is open to it.
Center Colin Fraser, however, has had his tattoo plan ironed out for quite some time. This past summer, Fraser had the name of his one-year old son, Calder Blake, tattooed on his ribcage.
“It’s something I always said I’d do, even before I had kids, and as I have more kids I want to add to it,” says Fraser, whose wife approves of his choice in body art.
“Mine, I knew what I wanted before I even had it, and it’s not something you regret 20 years later,” Fraser states.
Family is indeed quite a common inspiration amongst the tattoos in the Kings locker room, and perhaps there is no better example than right wing Trent Hunter, who has had himself inked seven times…so far.
Hunter’s tattoos include his wedding band, his daughter’s feet, both his kids’ names, the term “father daughter” in Chinese characters, and the phrase “forever one,” all of which relate to his family.
His wedding band was Hunter’s first tattoo, which he wears in place of an actual metal band – a sure bet to save him a few trips to the lost and found. Hunter’s wife, however, who sports her own collection of body art, does not have the matching wedding ring.
“I didn’t get off that easy,” Trent says with a chuckle.
Hunter’s daughter, five-year-old Madison, can find her own footprints tattooed on her father’s back.
“Everyone jokes that she’s already walking all over me,” Hunter says proudly. “We definitely don’t keep the tattoos a secret from her, but we don’t make a huge deal of them either, so just let her adapt her own thoughts.”
The handprints of Hunter’s 16-month old son, Mason, are already on paper and ready to be tattooed on Hunter when the time is right.
“All my tattoos are kind of family oriented, and they definitely all have meaning,” says Hunter.
“A lot of people are using tattoos for remembering people and I think before people would get tattoos just for the fun of it,” Hunter declares. “Now I think tattoos have a lot of meaning and people use them to send a message.”
Tattoos have evolved quite a bit from the way they were viewed only a decade ago, both in their functionality and how they are perceived.
“I think now it’s much better than it used to be, if you go back a few years, people thought you were a bum if you had tattoos, but now a lot of people have them, so it’s not as much of a big deal,” notes Bernier.
“Tattoos used to be very taboo, but they are much more main stream,” says Dino Guglielmelli, President and CEO of CGNP Manufacturing, which produces Rocco’s Old School Tattoo Balm.
Guglielmelli, who has been a Kings season ticket member since 1987, jumped at the chance to become a partner of the Kings.
“Many Kings fans have ink and hockey is dangerous and edgy, so it fits well with our products and image,” explains Guglielmelli. “Thirty one percent of the population has tattoos and that number is growing every day.”
Defenseman Drew Doughty, who doesn’t presently have any tattoos, has hoped to be a part of that growing number ever since he was 15 years old.
“I’ve wanted one ever since I was drafted to the OHL,” says Doughty. “Actually when I was young my parents said that would be my gift for being drafted, but I didn’t want to get just any tattoo and have it suck!”
Doughty has tossed around ink ideas inspired by everything from friends and family, to his birthday, to winning Olympic gold, but hasn’t quite settled on anything just yet.
“I have so many ideas, but I just can’t put it together, that’s why I haven’t gotten it yet. I want to put it on my arm and have kind of a half sleeve,” Doughty proclaims.
The current state of Doughty in his tattoo process is the perfect example of the thought and commitment that Greene, Clifford, Bernier, Lewis, Fraser and Hunter all exhibited when choosing their permanent declarations of self expression.
When asked what advice they would give to Doughty or anyone else expressing interest in tattoos, each echoed similar sentiments, which can best be summed up by Greene:
“Do them responsibly!”
Editor's Note: Submissions for the Second Annual "Ink at the RInk" contest presented by Rocc's Old School Products will be taken between January 28 and February 10. More details will be announced on LAKings.com as they become available, so check back soon.