The San Jose Sharks management staff and head Coach Todd McLellan vowed there would be serious changes after the team’s early first round exit in last year’s playoffs.
The team squandered a 3-0 series lead. As a result, the organization has seen the departure of quite of few players. And just this past Wednesday, the organization stripped long time Shark forward Joe Thornton of his captaincy. Patrick Marleau was also stripped of his “A.”
Todd McLellan was adamant that the two veterans could still easily regain these titles in training camp. This move only serves as a motivational tactic to allow the veteran forwards to once again prove their worth to the team.
I believe this is a very shocking and risky move by the San Jose Sharks. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been the face of this team for many years now. Last season these two guys accumulated an incredible 146 points.
The last thing I would be risking is upsetting one of these guys before training camp. I know it’s supposed to be a motivational tactic, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it ends up hurting this Sharks team moving forward. Looking at the current San Jose Sharks roster, it’s difficult to say which player could even take on the role as captain or assistant captain.
I believe one of the possible options would be a swap of letters between Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But if that doesn’t happen, I believe defenceman Brent Burns or forward Raffi Torres would easily take on the responsibility of assistant captains. The only other possible captains would be forwards Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture or veteran defenceman Scott Hannon.
The 30 year old, centerman Pavelski finished first in points for the Sharks last season with 79 points. Logan Couture finished fourth with 54 points and will easily 50 goals or more this season in my opinion. And veteran defenceman Scott Hannan certainly has enough experience and leadership skills to possibly wear the “C” this season.
Out of all these options, I hope that it will be a swap between Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. These guys are two of the best Canadian players in the NHL. They continue to be huge fan favorites each passing season and have played in quite a few NHL All-Star games throughout their respective careers.
Regardless, it certainly will be a very tense training camp for this San Jose Sharks team. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.