We're used to seeing cuts, bruises and blood as the result of a good, old-fashioned bout on the ice. But this may be a first.
During a Thursday night matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, scrappy Leafs forward Nazem Kadri dropped the gloves with grizzled veteran Joe Thornton after the two traded slashes. As the two swung at each other, Kadri attempted to grab Thornton's jersey, but instead ended up with a handful of his beard, which soon ended up on the ice.
“I ended up with a piece of it in my hand,” Kadri said of Thornton's beard after the game. “I have no idea how that happened. I thought I was a hockey player, not a barber. I didn't mean to grab him there. I mean, he's a big boy. I couldn't reach all the way across his shoulder. I felt like I just grabbed him in the middle of his jersey and just came down with a handful of hair.”
The chunk of Thornton's beard ended up on the Sharks bench and in the glove of backup goaltender Aaron Dell, and then eventually into a ziplock bag.
Joe Thornton's beard got a *little* less bushy last night. https://t.co/JVWnFvOjD2
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 5, 2018
It doesn't sound like there are any hard feelings between Kadri, Thornton, and what's left of his beard. In fact, Thornton implied that it all worked out for the best.
“It's just so big,” Thornton said afterwards. “He was probably trying to grab for the collar of my shirt and obviously, there's a lot there. I needed a little trim, so it saved me some money. I needed to thin it out a little.”
Thornton himself wondered where the clump of facial hair will ultimately end up.
“I'm sure it will appear at some point,” he said. “I don't know who's going to keep it. Who knows where it will end up?”
“Give it four or five days and it will fill back in. No big deal.”