*Sigh*, its over. It was over before the season even started. It is a sad, sad day for the San Jose Sharks. This is going to be one of the toughest articles I’ve ever had to write. The Beard, well, its gone.
The San Jose Sharks had an end of preseason/start of regular season party last night. You’ve been to parties, you know sometimes they can get out of hand. This one at the worst possible time did, and resulted in one of the most important casualties in team history. Joe Thornton’s beard.
Yes. That is right. Judging by the photo’s strewn throughout the internet last night, San Jose Sharks former captain, and first line center, the one affectionately called Jumbo Joe has shaved his iconic lifestyle beard.
This is the end of an era for the San Jose Sharks, one which took them to their first Stanley Cup Final in team history. One which saw key players like Martin Jones and Erik Karlsson join the team. Saw the development of young, bright stars in Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. For Head Coach Peter DeBoer, well, its the only thing he knows. How will he handle this?
What about team chemistry? How will they handle this devastating loss, done apparently at the hand of teammate, and now former lifestyle beard companion Brent Burns. Why did Burns do this? Was this an ego thing? Did he not want to be a beard tag team anymore? These two beards were iconic. So much so, that I have a bearded bobble head of them two together.
This is almost like the breakup of The Rockers, or the Hart Foundation or when Seth Rollins turned on The Sheild. The Thornton/Burns beard tag team was in that mold. We don’t know why Burns would be the one to shave his former partner’s beard himself. But we do know this. Brent Burns’ beard is now the last one standing.
The carnage last night ended with beers scattered about, some sort of weird shark cake, and the beard. Served up on a platter for all to see. Like the heads of the enemies of Vlad the Impaler.
Although, maybe this is a blessing in disguise for the San Jose Sharks. All good things must come to an end, right? Maybe the shaving of the beard represents a cleansing of sort. A cleansing of two knee injuries, Stanley Cup Final heartbreak, and maybe, gosh, maybe even the end of 28 years of anguish and agony.
Yes. Maybe as Joe Thornton moves on from the lifestyle beard that made him so iconic, fans of the San Jose Sharks can move on with him. Maybe this whole shaving the beard thing represents a new era in San Jose. One where an iconic picture of a less bearded 39 year old center hoists the cup over his head, and not of he and his facially follicled partner in crime naked, holding their junk in one hand, hockey sticks in other.
Perhaps now the most famous facial hair on the team can also be that of its newest member. One thing is certain. It is the beginning of the end of an era for the San Jose Sharks and Joe Thornton in more ways than one.
This is the last hurrah for number 19. He’ll come into this season a little bit lighter now that the beard is gone. On the eve of the season opener, it is one last chance for glory for the now lesser bearded 39 year old centerman from London, Ontario. And you can bet, bearded or not, that he is going to leave everything out on that ice in the hunt for his only Stanley Cup.