Prior to San Jose’s game with Nashville Thursday, Sharks GM Doug Wilson held a Q&A with Sharks season ticket holders. He was asked again to discuss why he stripped Joe Thornton of his captaincy over the summer. Wilson answered that question with this response per the Mercury News:
“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. It kind of impacts them.
“The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe. 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.”
How did Thornton take hearing Wilson’s thoughts? Well, you could say he didn’t like them:
“I think Doug just needs to shut his mouth. I think that’s the bottom line. 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.”
It doesn’t seem that Thornton agrees with Wilson’s assertions that “he got it and understood it”. When your former captain is calling your GM a “liar” you’ve got problems.
Today Wilson responded to Thornton via CSN Bay Area:
“If [Thornton’s] got an issue, he knows exactly where I am, and I’ll be glad to talk to him about it. 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.”
Whether Wilson says so or not, it really doesn’t seem like there is zero issue here at all. The Sharks are three points back of the playoffs yet one of the biggest presences in the locker room is verbally sparring with the GM through the media. Sounds like a pretty big problem actually.