Sharks 'cleaning the slate' by stripping 'C' from Thornton

Joe Thornton will enter San Jose Sharks training camp without a 'C' on his shoulder. (AFP)

Joe Thornton will enter San Jose Sharks training camp without a 'C' on his shoulder. (AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:44 PM ET

The identity crisis in Silicon Valley has reached new heights.

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan confirmed a long-time rumour Wednesday by declaring the Western Conference club will enter training camp next month without a captain or any alternates.

"We're just cleaning the slate," McLellan told Mercury News.

Outgoing captain Joe Thornton, whose jersey has donned the 'C' since 2010, "could end up being the captain" again, McLellan added.

Along with Thornton, viable captain candidates include franchise point leader and former captain Patrick Marleau and young star Logan Couture.

The Sharks' unorthodox move appears to be in line with its string of playoff underachievement and overall thirst for change.

Despite finishing with at least 96 points in each season since 2003-04 (excluding the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign), the Sharks have yet to reach the Stanley Cup final in more than two decades of NHL competition.

This spring, after a 111-point showing in the regular season, McLellan and company bowed out in seven games to the eventual Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in the first round of playoff action.


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