Sharks owner steps in after Wilson, Thornton spat

Joe Thornton San Jose

After a tumultuous 24-hour period where the best player in franchise history took a massive public swipe at his general manager, the owner of the San Jose Sharks re-focused everyone on what is really important — trying to make the playoffs.

Via email, Hasso Plattner confirmed he talked to both Joe Thornton and Doug Wilson. Asked what he said, he replied, “What happens (with) the Sharks stays with the Sharks. All good.”

Everything started at a season-ticket-holder event Thursday. A fan asked why Thornton was stripped of the captaincy last summer, with Wilson giving the same kind of answer he’s given 1,000 times.

“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,” the GM said. “It kind of impacts them. The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe.”

No doubt Wilson thought this answer would create zero controversy, but he failed to consider how Thornton would feel about this scenario’s return — especially with San Jose in a fight for its playoff existence. It’s very possible he took it to mean he would be a scapegoat if the Sharks fell short.

Thornton said Wilson needs to “shut his mouth” and “stop lying.” He also said he’s not the one “on sabbatical,” a shot at the GM for not being around much this season. No one would confirm it, but both men spoke later Friday to hash things out.

Thornton has ultimate control over this situation with his no-move clause. He loves San Jose, and was revitalized when the local fans welcomed him back in training camp with open arms. If they reacted differently, he may have thought about leaving, but not now. The great irony in all this is Wilson has let it be known he has no desire to trade Thornton. The GM is believed to feel the ex-captain stepped up big in the aftermath of last year’s disappointment.

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