Joe Thornton is no longer the San Jose Sharks’ captain, but he sure hasn’t lost his voice. After a summer of wild speculation in San Jose fueled by big statements that ultimately led to little change from a roster perspective, Thornton had the opportunity on Friday to counter some of what’s been said and he took it.
Perhaps his biggest statement came in response to Sharks GM Doug Wilson early summer assertion that they would become a “tomorrow team.”
“That’s Doug’s opinion,” Thornton said, per the Mercury News. “I think if you’d ask anybody in here I don’t think they have the same feeling. We’re confident with this group. Just ask these guys, I think we’re pretty confident we can get the job done.”
Could Wilson’s statement at least serve to motivate Thornton?
“I have enough motivation,” he said. “I don’t need somebody else telling me we can’t do it.”
Thornton also took exception to the report that some players told Wilson that the Sharks felt like a group of “co-workers and not teammates.” The former Sharks captain feels that those statements might have come out of frustration given that the team had just blown a 3-0 series lead. Had they been asked before the Sharks were dramatically eliminated from the playoffs, Thornton believes the same people might have said they were a “pretty tight-knit group.”
At the end of the day, he doesn’t feel any different because he lost the ‘C’ as he still has a job to do.
Thornton has a no-movement clause and has made it clear that he has no desire to be traded. Before the Sharks’ playoff collapse, Thornton gave them a hometown discount by signing a three-year, $20.25 million extension that starts this season.