Joe Thornton doesn’t rack up penalty minutes like he once did with the Bruins, but “Jumbo Joe” isn’t shy about fighting, particularly against some of the NHL’s more abrasive young players.
Earlier this season, he didn’t really have much of a choice; after a questionable hit on Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson made Thornton pay the price, much to the chagrin of San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer.
His latest fight was far more, well, voluntary. After both players were kicked out of the opening faceoff circle, Thornton briefly dropped the gloves with Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Apparently Joe Thornton lost some of his luminous beard in the scuffle, and Aaron Dell … got his glove on it? Made the glove save? This is weird-great in the utmost hockey way.
The keepsake has since been preserved in the Sharks’ locker room in case some museum out there wants this artifact:
“I thought I was a hockey player, not a barber,” Kadri said afterward. “I had no idea how I ended up with beard . . . I felt I pulled him in the middle of his jersey, and I came down with a hand full of hair.”