There are a select few NHL players who you can pick out the moment they step on the ice. San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton is probably on top of that list, although that might not be the case anymore.
The veteran center revealed in a video Saturday that he had shaved his iconic shaggy facial hair. It marks the first time he has been clean-shaven since the start of the 2018-19 season, when Sharks teammate Brent Burns did the honor of shaving Thornton’s beard for him.
The video featured an initially bearded Thornton standing next to his daughter, Ayla. A few seconds in, she nods her head and it snaps to a now-beardless Thornton standing in the same place.
Thornton started growing out his facial hair during the 2015-16 season. His beard gained notoriety during the Sharks’ run to the Stanley Cup Final that year when St. Louis Blues forward David Backes grabbed it during a squabble.
The beard was also damaged in early 2018 when Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled out a tuft of it during a fight.
While many people are choosing to grow out their facial hair during their coronavirus quarantine, it seems Thornton has opted for the opposite approach. Hopefully, hockey returns before his beard has grown back too much.