The inevitable has happened in San Jose.
No, they haven’t made a franchise-altering trade – they’ve stripped Joe Thornton of his captaincy.
Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shared the update from GM Doug Wilson and coach Todd McLellan. Instead of Thornton wearing the “C,” no player will enter training camp with a letter. The Sharks will have no captain and no alternates and have no obvious form of leadership. That means former captain, and now former alternate captain, Patrick Marleau also loses his “A.”
As for who the next captain will be, that’ll be determined later and perhaps not before the start of the season. From Kurz:
“A new captain and leadership group will be determined at some point, but not necessarily before the start of the season. McLellan did not rule out Thornton becoming the captain again, although would seem to be a long shot, as the Sharks plan to give their younger players a bigger stake in the club.”
Thornton losing his letter isn’t a big surprise as McLellan said in late June there was the possibility of that happening.
That said, considering how the team has changed its tune regarding he and Marleau saying they’ll be “part of the solution,” it’s just another thing to add to the list of baffling moves the organization has made in the wake of blowing a 3-0 series lead to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs en route to a seven-game defeat.
If you think this is all head-scratching from the outside, imagine what it’s like being a Sharks fan.