Joe Thornton might feel a hair lighter when he takes the ice Tuesday morning. Probably a few hairs lighter, in fact.
Younger, faster, stronger, lighter! What a start to the season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bqlKDgk7m5— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) October 2, 2018
Bearded Sharks defenseman Brent Burns shaved Thornton's famous "lifestyle beard" late Monday night, just two days before San Jose's season opener against the Pacific Division rival Anaheim Ducks.
End of an era ... start of something special! Lets get it going again 💪 pic.twitter.com/U4yJVxbqKh— Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) October 2, 2018
Surely anticipating Twitter's reaction to such a shocking development, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski provided photographic proof of the aftermath.
It’s gone!!! pic.twitter.com/WCnSkGXIll— Joe Pavelski (@jpav8) October 2, 2018
Thornton started growing out the beard in the 2015-16 season. During San Jose's run to the Stanley Cup Final, then-St. Louis Blues forward David Backes pulled on Thornton's beard in a scrum.
Last season, Thornton got a head start on his eventual shave when Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri ripped out a piece of the 39-year-old's beard during a fight.
Watch as Nazem Kadri rips off a full chunk of Jumbo's beard during the first period fight. pic.twitter.com/sILBy9wekr— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) January 5, 2018
After the shave, the Sharks made sure to grab a hold of Thornton's facial-hair fragments. Which makes us revisit what Kadri told reporters when he said the effort was unintentional.
"I'm a hockey player, not a barber," Kadri quipped to reporters.
Burns, apparently, is both.