Thornton on losing captaincy: 'It's a big responsibility so it's a little strange when they take it away'

Thomas Drance
Ed Szczepanski / USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks announced on Wednesday that captain Joe Thornton and alternate captain Patrick Marleau (who was stripped of the captaincy in 2009) will come into training camp without letters on their jersey. 

"We are going to have a fresh slate at training camp as far as leadership goes," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News. "The veteran players that were on this team last year will have to come up with the way they're going to carry themselves, the way they're going to lead. And then we'll determine who our 'C' and 'As' will be as we go forward."

While McLellan indicated that Thornton had been appraised of the club's plans, when Pollak reached out to Thornton for comment, Thornton indicated that he hadn't been informed of the teams plan prior to the announcement. 

"It's a big honor and it's a big responsibility, so it's a little strange when they take it away from you," Thornton added.

Though McLellan and Thornton have reportedly sorted out this poorly timed lack of communication, it will do nothing to quell the theory, espoused by Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman in late June, that the Sharks "are trying to get Thornton to go."