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Deep Blue Sea: The end of a hair-a

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GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 16: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks awaits a face off during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 16, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Sharks defeated the Coyotes 3-2 in an overtime shootout. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What do we do when there are two days free of hockey?

For the Sharks, apparently that answer is throw a party where they shave Joe Thornton’s face.

Late last night, social media started exploding, as photos of Brent Burns shaving off Joe Thornton’s beard popped up across several players’ Twitter feeds. Other players posted photos and video of an extremely cool Shark cake on Instagram, suggesting this wasn’t just one of those times you call your buddies to come document the strangely intimate shaving of your lifestyle beard by your fellow lifestyle beard enthusiast pal, and was instead some kind of preseason party, that just happened to feature some weird group shaving activity.

Hey man, who am I to judge?

The “lifestyle beards” were adopted by Thornton and Brent Burns a few seasons ago and the pair have played them up ever since, including the ESPN Body Issue, where they wore nothing except said beards. Thornton also famously had a chunk of his beard ripped out in a fight with Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs last season — and the Sharks kept said chunk of hair in plastic baggie labeled “For the boys!”

Okay, maybe when it comes to preserving beard hair in a baggie, I’m judging a little.

It seems as though this is the end of an era in which two of the Sharks look like mountain men. Maybe he’s ditching it in favor of something the team is planning — remember two years ago when they all had mohawks for playoffs? Or maybe they’re trying to start something fresh, because this year feels big and new.

Or maybe he was tired of birds trying to nest on his face. It could be any of those options.

Your move now, Brent Burns.

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