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Joe Thornton says GM Doug Wilson, “needs to shut his mouth”

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton said GM Doug Wilson, “needs to shut his mouth,” following comments he made during a question and answer session with season ticket holders regarding Thornton being relieved of the captaincy.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Water in the Shark Tank looks like it might be close to a boil.

Following an article published Friday in the San Jose Mercury News in which Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he felt the pressure of the captaincy was getting to Joe Thornton, Thornton has fired back saying Wilson, “needs to shut his mouth.”

Wilson’s words, which have drawn the ire of Thornton, came during a question and answer session held before Thursday’s game where season ticket holders were given the opportunity to ask Wilson questions about the team and their future.

The Mercury News’ David Pollak was on hand for the question period, where Wilson said the following when asked about Thornton no longer being the Sharks’ captain:

"He cares about the game so much. The reason we took the 'C' off him ... 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," Wilson said, "and it kind of impacts them.

"The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe," the general manager 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.”

Thornton clearly wasn't pleased by Wilson's comments, and it's clear from an article Pollak posted Friday afternoon after the incident occurred.

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

Whether fair or not, Thornton has been criticized for many of the Sharks’ struggles over his past 10 seasons in San Jose. The team has made the playoffs in each of Thornton’s campaigns with the club, including back-to-back appearances in the Western Conference final in 2009-10 and 2010-11. The Sharks also won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2008-09.

There has been some speculation, should the Sharks miss the playoffs this season, Thornton could be among those shopped if San Jose looks to do a minor rebuild. At 35, he has two years remaining on a contract that pays him $6.75 million per season, but also has a no movement clause. In order to be traded, Thornton would have to waive that clause.



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