Joe Thornton is known for two things — being an All-Star centerman in the prime of his career and the ridiculously long beard he has grown as his playing days winds down. Although he’s big (6’4″, 220 lbs), Thornton isn’t exactly known as a fighter (just 29 total fights in almost 20 seasons in the NHL. So it was a bit of a surprise when Jumbo Joe dropped the gloves with Maple Leafs pest Nazem Kadri just two seconds in the Sharks-Leafs game in Toronto on Thursday night.
Things got heated before the opening faceoff, as Thornton and Kadri were chirping each other and battling for position. The referee wasn’t having it, and tossed both players out of the circle. Two other players stepped in the take the faceoff, which the Leafs technically won, but that doesn’t matter because the gloves were already off at 19:58 of the opening period.
It was a short affair, and we’ll give the nod to Thornton. He may pick up the decision victory in the bout, but he came off worse for wear. While attempting to grab Thornton’s sweater, Kadri had a handful of that lengthy beard and ripped a chunk of chin hair right off the face of the San Jose veteran.
After the game, Kadri had a few hilarious remarks about the incident.
“I have no idea [what happened]. I ended up with a piece of it in my hand. I have no idea how that happened. I thought I was a hockey player, not a barber. I didn’t really mean to grab him there, but he’s a big boy and I couldn’t reach all the way across his shoulder. Tried to grab the middle of his jersey, a just came down with a handful of hair.”
Don’t worry though, the lost beard chunk was dutifully preserved by the Sharks’ training staff.