Sharks strip Joe Thornton of captaincy, may not have told him about it

The San Jose Sharks have stripped Joe Thornton of his captaincy. While they were at it, they also stripped Patrick Marleau of the “A” on his uniform. The change is reportedly due to the fact the Sharks want to enter training camp with a clean slate. The club has tried to make it clear they are not stripping the players of their letter, but rather trying to start on a fresh page. Everyone will have a chance to earn an “A” or a “C” and that includes Thornton and Marleau.

Interesting move. We understand the message, but the idea makes it look like both Thornton and Marleau aren’t leaders of the organization. The “C” and the “A” are symbolic and some of the game’s best leaders don’t wear either letter, but you turn it into an issue when you strip the obvious leaders of the team of their letters prior to camp.

You make an uncomfortable situation worse when the former captain isn’t notified prior to the change.

It’s unclear which side is telling the truth, but it looks like the Sharks went and made an avoidable situation very awkward heading into 2014-15. Do you really want Thornton and Marleau to question their loyalties to the Sharks? Is sending a message like this, a rather meaningless one at that, prior to camp really worth it? If you give the “C” back to Thornton, how is he going to feel about it and wouldn’t it now ring hollow?

If the Sharks were a team mostly lacking veteran talent, this decision might make more sense. As is, it’s a good way of needlessly burning bridges with some of your best skaters.


About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.