And it all started with a simple joke.
Periti had been cutting Kaner’s hair since training camp in 2009. The Hawks’ right wing was growing his hair out by the time playoffs rolled around.
Periti thought the duo was still in joking mode when he pulled up a picture of Jaromir Jager’s shoulder-length mullet from the ’90s.
Kane laughed, then got his hair trimmed and styled--same old, same old.
But the next time Kane sank into Periti’s chair, he did so with a grin.
“Let’s do it,” Periti recalls the hockey star saying.
“[bleep]” Periti recalls thinking.
He’d never done a mullet before.
He told Kane to hold on. He went and examined a few photos before he started chopping away.
“Yeah, I was nervous. I was sweating,” Periti said. “I knew this would blow up. It was just like anything, you’re always going to be nervous the first time doing something.”
Forty minutes of precision snipping later and the mullet was complete.
Kane was satisfied.
But of course he was. Cutting hair is in Periti’s blood.
The die-hard Blackhawks fan--who refers to the team as “we” and currently sports a playoff beard much fuller than Kane’s--arrived in the States from Italy when he was 6 years old.
His father has been cutting hair for 57 years. Currently, he owns a barber shop in Franklin Park.
“I grew up around it,” Periti said. “While I was in grade school I’d sit in the back of his barber shop because it was a block down from my school. I waited there for my mom to pick me up.
“I watched, watched and watched in that shop, but I guess it never sunk in.”
Initially, Periti didn’t follow in his father’s footsteps.
Far from it, in fact.