It's the end of an era. Joe Thornton's beard is no more.
The hockey world got some shocking news on Monday night when it was revealed that Thornton decided to shave off the monstrous beard that he's been sporting for the past several years. It was Brent Burns -- Thornton's teammate and fellow monstrous beard-haver -- who delivered the news via a picture of himself helping to shave Thornton's face.
I know what you're thinking but, at this point in time, we have no reason to be worried about the safety of Burns' beard.
However, our Thornton suspicions were confirmed when another Sharks teammate, Evander Kane, tweeted out a photo of Jumbo Joe post-shave. He's not quite cleanly shaven, but the updated beard is far tighter and far less spectacular than the version we've gotten used to recently.
The ceremonial shaving was apparently part of a team party to celebrate the Sharks opening their season in a few days. They even had a cake and everything!
The Sharks also confirmed the Thornton news in their own special way.
It's presently unknown why exactly Thornton decided to ditch his "lifestyle" beard, but there are several possibilities. It could be because it's quite a lot of work to maintain it, as he has noted in the past.
"In the morning, you've got to get up, you gotta oil a little bit, comb it a little bit," he said during the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. "And then at night you've got to take care of it. You gotta oil it, comb it. So, it looks pretty, but it's hard work. You've got to look out for it."
It also could be because he wants to avoid having another chunk of it ripped out during a fight this season.
But it also could just be that Thornton wants a fresh start. The 39-year-old has endured major knee surgeries in consecutive years and is fighting to keep his career alive in hopes of capturing his first Stanley Cup. Maybe he feels starting fresh with a new beard will help him shed the bad luck.
Beard or no beard, the Sharks appear to be in pretty good position to contend as they head into a new season,.