There are playoff beards, and then there is the shag carpet that San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton has been carrying around on his face for the past few months.
The 36-year-old, who is set to take the ice in his very first Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, proudly displayed his Hall of Fame-worthy facial hair Sunday during Stanley Cup media day.
The grizzled look suits Thornton, who is in his 18th NHL season. Boston Bruins fans, however, remember him as the fresh-faced 18-year-old he was when he debuted with the B’s way back in 1997.
To say he’s changed a bit over the last 19 years would be quite the understatement.
One of the best playmakers of his era, Thornton has not slowed as his beard has gotten grayer. He’s averaging a point per game during this postseason and ranks second among all players with 15 assists in 18 playoff games. Only teammate Logan Couture (16) has more.
Thumbnail photo via Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports Images