Sharks GM: 'Pressure and stress' of captaincy got to Joe Thornton

Ed Szczepanski / USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has shed some light on the club's decision to strip Joe Thornton of his captaincy last summer.

"He cares about the game so much," Wilson told season-ticket holders at a question-and-answer session Thursday.

"The reason we took the 'C' off him (was) ... 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 and it kind of impacts them."

The Sharks elected to go with four alternate captains, choosing Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

"The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe," Wilson said. "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."

In the first season in franchise history the club has gone without a captain, the Sharks sit three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with 14 games remaining.

Thornton has 57 points in 64 games.

- With h/t to Pro Hockey Talk

Sharks GM: 'Pressure and stress' of captaincy got to Joe Thornton
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