The first week of 2018 has seen some wild hockey action, highlighted by Canada winning gold at the world juniors. But no NHL-related story received more attention than Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri inadvertently ripping out a chunk of Joe Thornton’s famous beard hair during a fight.
Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, the San Jose Sharks veteran had gone nearly five full years without dropping the gloves yet Thornton has already fought twice this season—first against Washington Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson in December then Kadri this past Thursday.
It’s not a trend Don Cherry wants to see continue.
“I don’t like Thornton fighting,” Cherry said Saturday night during the Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada.
The 38-year-old now has 27 regular-season fighting majors and two playoff fights during his 21-year NHL career, including bouts against fellows stars Eric Lindros, Ryan Getzlaf, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Toews and Jamie Benn.
“He shouldn’t be fighting like that,” Cherry added. “He’s a superstar. Another guy should’ve stepped in. He should never be fighting.”