Don’t let off-ice drama hoodwink you into underestimating the Sharks this season.
It was reported earlier this week that the San Jose Sharks have stripped Joe Thornton of the captaincy. They also mention that the two alternates, one of them being Patrick Marleau, were also relieved of their letters.
From the Mercury News, David Pollack writes "Sharks take away Thornton's captaincy". The article starts off by showing that there was some level of miscommunication between Coach Todd McLellan, Thornton and Patrick Marleau about what was going to happen. Eventually McLellan was clear about his "clean slate".
McLellan was quoted as saying "We are going to have a fresh slate at training camp as far as leadership goes." There is a little bit of politicking as well when he claims that technically Thornton hasn't lost the 'C' because he could earn it back. "Thornton could end up being the captain. I don't know, none of us know".
Gino Reda of TSN's That's hockey interviews Pollack, "TH: What's Next For Thornton?", and asks if this is intended to get Thornton to waive his no trade clause, to which Pollack answers that Thornton has no intention to do that.
In another TSN That's Hockey segment, "TH: Sharks Desperate for Change?" Reda talks with Dave Reid and Jason Strudwick. Reid believes that the Sharks have handled the situation poorly and that it will disrupt the team for the new season. Strudwick talks about having Thornton's presence in the locker room casting a shadow over anything a new captain would say or do.
Desperate? Sure looks like it but Dave Reid points out that this has happened before with Marleau. Ah yes, how we forget these things. It did happen and it is playing out in a very similar manner too.
Gouche from Bleacher Report wrote "Patrick Marleau is Stripped of the C" and Greg Wyshynski, of Yahoo Sports, also wrote in his Puck Daddy Blog "Marleau stripped of captaincy by the Sharks" back in August 2009. Coincidence #1?