Sharks' Thornton to GM after captaincy quote: 'Doug needs to shut his mouth'

Bob Stanton / Reuters

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton fired back at Doug Wilson on Friday after the general manager explained the organization's reasoning for stripping Thornton of the captaincy last summer.

"Doug needs to shut his mouth," Thornton told reporters Friday, according to David Pollak of the Mercury News.

"All I've got to say is I've been here every day working hard. I haven't taken a sabbatical. He just needs to stop lying, shut his mouth."

On Thursday, Wilson told season-ticket holders the pressure and stress of captaincy wore on Thornton, and that the veteran lashed out at people as a result.

Wilson had a response to Thornton's comments.

“If he’s got an issue, he knows exactly where I am, and I’ll be glad to talk to him about it,” Wilson told CSNCalifornia.com. “There’s zero issue here. I was asked a question at a season ticket holder function, and my response was to do my job and be accountable to our season ticket holders and tell the truth. It’s nothing I haven’t said before.”

That led the Sharks to choose a foursome of alternates and forego a captain for the first time in franchise history.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan had his own take on the situation after hearing Thornton's reaction.

"We have 14 games left and we've got our game going right now in the right direction. I think the guys are committed to playing and winning," McLellan said.

"As far as Jumbo goes, I've been around him every day this year and he's been excellent with the young players, the old players, the coaching staff," the coach said. "I think he can continue to do that and play well and play for each other and get us into the playoffs."

San Jose has won four of its last five games, but remains three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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Sharks' Thornton to GM after captaincy quote: 'Doug needs to shut his mouth'
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