Doug Wilson says it’s in the past.
Joe Thornton calls it an “old story.”
Todd McLellan actually thinks it could be “galvanizing” for his desperate club.
We are, of course, referring to last week’s public spat between Wilson, the San Jose Sharks’ general manager, and Thornton, the team’s former captain, which was the issue that set this whole thing off.
“Joe’s not going anywhere,” Wilson told reporters today in Boca Raton, adding he had a long talk with Thornton last week and that their relationship is in a “great place” now.
“I’m done talking about that,” Thornton told reporters from Winnipeg, where the Sharks have a big game tonight against the Jets.
“Let’s talk about the game if you want to talk about anything. That’s an old story.”
To be sure, the Sharks can’t afford to let anything distract them from the tall task at hand — making the playoffs. It’s estimated they’ll have to win nine or 10 of their final 13 games in order to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 2003.
Related: Pavelec expected to start for Jets against Sharks
All the latest from the blue paint…
Neuvirth faces ‘Hawks
The New York Islanders are looking to avoid their longest losing streak of the season tonight, but will have to do it without the services of their No. 1 netminder.
Jaroslav Halak will miss this evening’s tilt in Chicago with a lower-body injury, meaning Michal Neuvirth will try to keep the Isles’ skid from extending to four games.
Neuvirth, acquired at the trade deadline from Buffalo in exchange for Chad Johnson, has started three games for the Isles, going 1-1-1 with a .889 save percentage and 2.57 GAA. In his last outing, a 3-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday, Neuvirth allowed just two goals on 29 shots and finished with a .931 save percentage, his best outing as an Islander to date.
For the ‘Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
Pens at Devils: Thomas Greiss (probable) vs. Cory Schneider
Sens at ‘Canes: Andrew Hammond vs. Anton Khudobin
Sabres at Bruins: (No Buffalo starter yet) vs. Niklas Svedberg
Habs at Panthers: Dustin Tokarski (probable) vs. Dan Ellis
Wild at Preds: Devan Dubnyk vs. Pekka Rinne (probable)
Sharks at Jets: Antti Niemi vs. Ondrej Pavelec
Blues at Flames: Brian Elliott vs. Jonas Hiller
Flyers at Canucks: No starters yet for either team.
Hockey fans don’t hear the name Hasso Plattner (pictured prominently on the right) very often, but then again, big-name players don’t usually tell their GMs to “shut their mouths” every day, either.
Things have gotten ugly enough – or really, ugly in public enough – for the San Jose Sharks’ owner to step in to squash Doug Wilson and Joe Thornton’s squabble, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Plattner used a famous Las Vegas tagline to try to cool each sides’ jets (or at least keep things in-house).
Via email, Hasso Plattner confirmed he talked to both Joe Thornton and Doug Wilson. Asked what he said, he replied, “What happens (with) the Sharks stays with the Sharks. All good.”
As Friedman notes, Thornton has a lot of power thanks to the no-trade clause on his contract, which just kicked in this season (after being inked before his last one expired in 2013-14).
It’s been quite the drama ever since the Los Angeles Kings pulled a “reverse sweep” on the Sharks, leading to Thornton being stripped of the captaincy and a summer full of strange, sometimes contradictory statements about rebuilding-or-maybe-not from Sharks management.
All this time, it seemed to be a situation that was handled by typical faces like Wilson and head coach Todd McLellan, but now Plattner becomes a more public owner than he’s been before (or at least has in recent memory). One would imagine he might not be very thrilled with that, and considering the message to focus on the playoffs … things could get messy if San Jose falls short of the postseason for the first time in many years.