from David Pollak at The Hockey News,
A lot needs to be fixed before the San Jose Sharks can regain their status as legitimate NHL playoff contenders.
But as training camp opens Friday, there is evidence that one repair job – healing last spring’s very public rift between Joe Thornton and general manager Doug Wilson – already has taken place.
Ask the veteran center, for example, what he thinks of the moves Wilson made this summer as the Sharks try to rebound from their failure to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
“I think Doug looked at our team and said, ‘Hey, what do we need?’ and I think he was bang on,” said Thornton of the acquisition of defenseman Paul Martin, forward Joel Ward and goalie Martin Jones.
Back in March, Thornton and Wilson were not seeing eye-to-eye. After the general manager told season-ticket holders that the former captain was known to lash out at teammates under stress, Thornton said his boss needed to stop lying and questioned the general manager’s work ethic.
Twenty-four hours later, both were saying that fences had been mended, though outsiders were skeptical. But after a lengthy sit-down in early June, the two do appear to have worked through any differences. Thornton would not talk about that meeting; attempts to reach Wilson were unsuccessful.
“We’re men. People can disagree,” Thornton did say. “That’s all it comes down to. But we’re fine.”
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