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Sharks say end-of-game scrum between Glendening and Thornton illustrates Thornton’s ‘leadership’

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton received a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions in the closing seconds of the Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Sharks last night...

And Comcast Sportsnet California's Kevin Kurz reports that what some might find to be skullduggery or cheap shots, the Sharks see as "leadership":

Was it frustration, or was he trying to send a message to his teammates that he was literally going to go down swinging?

“I think everything,” Thornton said on Friday. “You can send a message to yourself to get ready, be harder. Send it to the other guys. The game was over so it really didn’t mean anything, but hopefully [we] start fresh next game and we can jump out early and play from the lead.”

Although he’s not the captain any longer, coach Pete DeBoer indicated the incident was just another sign that Thornton, an alternate captain, is still one of the Sharks’ leaders.

“That’s leadership, right? I think the leadership in this group is fantastic. … That’s never been an issue for me here,” DeBoer said.

“[Thornton is] a competitive guy. [He] doesn’t like to lose and doesn’t like where we’re sitting in the standings. He’s a ‘show me’ guy. He always has been. He’s not going to tell you about it, he’s going to show you. That’s a good thing.”

Kurz continues, and the Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka asked coach DeBoer about Thornton's shenanigans as well:

What did you think about (Thornton) trying to spark the team (at the end of the game)? “That’s leadership. I think the leadership in this group is fantastic, from Joe to Marleau, to Pav right through. Burnzie, Vlasic, Martin, all those guys. That’s never been an issue for me here.  I’m not surprised. He’s a competitive guy. He doesn’t like to lose, he doesn’t like where were sitting in the standings and he’s a show-me guy and he always has been. He doesn’t going to tell you about it, he’s going to show you. That’s a good thing.

Can that have a carry-over effect? “I would hope so. If you’re a young guy sitting in that room, seeing how he cares and how hard he plays, and him putting his body on the line and some of the other veterans we have here. If you’re a young guy and you don’t take that message or respond to that, then we can’t help you.”

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MOWingsfan19's avatar

He’s a grade A b*tch.
If that’s leadership, they can keep it.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/08/16 at 05:05 PM ET


Great leadership by Thorton.  Just the kind of leadership that gets your team to The Stanley Cup Finals year after…....uh, wait a sec…..I got nothin

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 01/08/16 at 05:16 PM ET

scotts0's avatar

Well, its nice to see the sharks are still the same old sharks. Props to Kronner for flying right in on Thornton…though I wish it were Abby.

Posted by scotts0 from New York on 01/08/16 at 05:18 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Leadership? Really?

Sorry, but this more deserving of a call from DoPS, not praise for being a leader.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/08/16 at 05:38 PM ET

Primis's avatar

what some might find to be skullduggery or cheap shots, the Sharks see as “leadership”:

And this is why the Sharks’ rafters have no Cup banners hanging.

Posted by Primis on 01/08/16 at 05:44 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Leadership?...........ok, whatever helps you sleep at night…... confused

I forget now…how many cups has he won?...how many finals appearances has he been in?

Jumbo Joe??.....Worst nickname ever…....

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/08/16 at 05:55 PM ET


What did you think about (Thornton) trying to spark the team (at the end of the game)? “That’s leadership.’‘

Real leadership there. Where was that his 1st shift?

Posted by Probie4Prez on 01/08/16 at 06:25 PM ET


When Joe gets really pissy, on the faceoff instead of going for the puck, he’ll whack the hands of the opposing center. That’s when you know Joe is having a bad night.

Posted by weswolverine on 01/08/16 at 06:28 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

And this is why the Sharks’ rafters have no Cup banners hanging.

A team full of chokers, and Thornton is the leader of them. smirk

Posted by bigfrog on 01/08/16 at 07:51 PM ET

calquake's avatar


Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 01/08/16 at 08:19 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Thornton is so damn soft. Those types of players didn’t last too long on the rugby fields. There was a day when hockey was tough…

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 01/08/16 at 09:01 PM ET

JBytes's avatar

Jumbo Joe??

In Rangersland, we “affectionately” refer to him as Jumbo Shrimp.

Posted by JBytes on 01/08/16 at 09:04 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Chumbo Joe…Leader? I believe that what is called an oxyMoron….

They ate him for breakfast in Beantown and he has been flopping in the West ever since.

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, I'm rebuilding......... on 01/08/16 at 10:14 PM ET


Leadership is…being such a bad leader you are stripped of your “C”

leadership is…being such a bad leader your team wants desperately to trade you, but you refuse because you enjoy the laid-back No-Cal lifestyle too much

leadership is…engaging in bizarre public name-calling with your GM

On the ice, he’s built a long, consistent career as regular season point-producer and ultimate big-game loser…didn’t one of the LA Kings all but name names in saying that when the going got tough, you could see on Joe’s face he didn’t have it in him to win?

Why did Boston give up on him?

Didn’t he sort of do the same a few years back with Kronwall - tried to pick a fight and actually pulled his hair or something?

If Kronner and Glendening are the kind of smaller-than-average non-fighters Joe thinks are in his weight class, he’s telling us all what a loser he knows he is.

Change the coaches, change the goalies, change the supporting cast…Sharks fans must know that as long as they’re stuck with Joe, they’re going nowhere.
But he can sure throw a temper tantrum once his team’s lost the game!

Posted by Lefty30 on 01/09/16 at 02:08 AM ET

SYF's avatar

That’s typical Thornton:  blame it on someone else for his deficiencies and then hide behind that “leadership” cliche.  So unbelievably PHONY and the local press drinks up that kool aid like a baby sucking on a dry nipple.

Posted by SYF from fishing with Vicky Stark on 01/09/16 at 09:37 AM ET

Shanny_Fan's avatar

Joe Thornton is an idiot, I still picture that dive against the mule in the playoffs a few years ago every time I hear his name, if you guys forgot about that its right here:


He’s the furthest thing from a leader

Posted by Shanny_Fan on 01/09/16 at 11:51 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.