Tag: Joe Thornton

Joe Thornton

Video: Joe Thornton scores a very Joe Thornton goal

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Hey, that Joe Thornton guy has really been flying under the radar lately, right?

Amid all the distractions as he seemingly bickers with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson through the media, “Jumbo Joe” remains a force on the ice, including this very Thornton-esque goal:

In case you couldn’t tell, it was a fitting goal because the puck went off someone else’s stick (Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was in the wrong place at the wrong time for Chicago) and went in.

There’s a chance that Brent Burns may actually have tipped it, too, as the official score has flip-flopped in that regard. Either way, Thornton is productive even if things remain pretty weird between the Sharks and their former captain.

Tensions rise in San Jose as Thornton says Wilson ‘needs to shut his mouth’ (Update: Wilson responds)

Joe Thornton

Earlier today, we passed along what Sharks GM Doug Wilson told season-ticket holders about the organization’s decision to take away Joe Thornton’s captaincy, explaining that the “pressure and stress” of wearing the “C” caused Thornton to lash out at people.

Now, Jumbo has replied:

Update: Full Thornton quote, from Pollak

“I think Doug just needs to shut his mouth. I think that’s the bottom line. All I’ve got to say is I’ve been here every day working hard. I haven’t taken a sabbatical. He just needs to stop lying, shut his mouth.”

None of this sounds very good, or promising for a Sharks team that’s actually played well lately (winning four of its last five) despite an inconsistent season, which has them in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.

Update: Wilson’s response, per CSN Bay Area

“If [Thornton’s] got an issue, he knows exactly where I am, and I’ll be glad to talk to him about it. There’s zero issue here. I was asked a question at a season ticket holder function, and my response was to do my job and be accountable to our season ticket holders and tell the truth.

“It’s nothing I haven’t said before.”

‘Pressure and stress’ of captaincy caused Thornton to lash out at people, says Sharks GM

Joe Thornton

In a candid Q&A with Sharks season-ticket holders prior to Thursday’s win over Nashville, San Jose GM Doug Wilson provided a glimpse into the organization’s reasoning for taking Joe Thornton’s captaincy away last summer.

“He cares about the game so much,” Wilson said, per the Mercury News. “The reason we took the ‘C’ off him … Joe carries the weight of the team on his shoulders, and he’s got such a big heart that when stress comes on him, he lashes out at people. It kind of impacts them.

“The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe. And I sat him down and said we need other players to step up and share this. He got it. He didn’t like it, but he got it and he understood it.”

Thornton, who inherited ‘C’ from Rob Blake in 2010 and spent four years as team captain, was embroiled in a bizarre leadership restructuring last offseason that began with losing the letter in late August — Patrick Marleau was stripped of his alternate captaincy as well — only for the team to re-name Thornton to the leadership group at the end of training camp in October, making him one of four alternates for the season (along with Marleau — who was re-instituted — Joe Pavelski, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.)

The Sharks responded with an inconsistent campaign that currently sees them in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Head coach Todd McLellan has repeatedly questioned the team’s identity and, in mid-February, gave a curious interview to Sportsnet’s Fan 590, in which he said the Sharks were “better led” this season without a captain than they were with Thornton in charge last year.

“The situation of removing the ‘C’ from certain individuals isn’t an ideal one, but what we’ve got is what we wanted,” McLellan explained. “We have different people stepping up. We have leadership by committee.

“In fact, this year I believe we’re better led than we were last year without having a ‘C’ on. And that’s not an indictment on Joe Thornton by any means.”

But it sure sounds like an indictment now, especially in light of what Wilson told ticket holders yesterday.

Related: Sounds like San Jose handled stripping Thornton’s captaincy really well