Joe Thornton and his beard thankful to Nazem Kadri for ‘a little trim’

The fact that he’s now missing a chunk of his big, bushy beard is no trouble for Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. As he and Nazem Kadri tussled early in Thursday’s game, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward ended up with a hairy piece of memorabilia after things broke up.

There clearly was no intent by Kadri to purposefully tug at Thornton’s beard and the Sharks forward had no ill feelings about the unique ending to their fight. In fact, he felt the Leafs forward did him a bit of a favor.

“It’s just so big. He was probably trying to grab for the collar of my shirt and, obviously, there’s a lot there,” Thornton told Paul Gackle of the Mercury News. “I needed a little trim, so it saved me some money. I needed to thin it out a little bit.”

[Joe Thornton’s beard biggest loser vs. Nazem Kadri]

The clump of beard ended up first in backup goalie Aaron Dell‘s glove and then in a Ziploc bag inside the Sharks’ dressing room after the game.

“I thought I was a hockey player, not a barber,” Kadri said. “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.”

“When I was on the ice, I looked down and I saw his hand, and I thought, that’s my hair,” Thornton told Gackle. “I remember thinking, okay, that’s interesting.”

It’s unclear what will happen to that unique piece of sports memorabilia, but if Andrew Shaw can auction off stitches for charity, then surely Jumbo Joe could bring in a boatload of money for good cause by putting a clump of his legendary beard up for bid.

As for how long until the beard is back to 100 percent, Thornton said to give it four or five days. “No big deal.”


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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