Programming note: Coverage of the Sharks' season opener in Los Angeles against the Kings starts tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network
LOS ANGELES –- The mystery surrounding the Sharks’ captaincy is over.
In pregame warmups on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, three Sharks players emerged from the dressing room wearing an A, for alternate captain: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is expected to rotate in as a fourth alternate at some point.
The team remains without a captain, after the C was officially taken off of Thornton’s sweater in August after four seasons. Marleau was also stripped of an A at that time, but has apparently earned it back.
The move shows that the Sharks continue to walk back the rhetoric heard from Doug Wilson earlier in the offseason, when the general manager indicated there was a rift in the locker room and said the team would have “different players in core leadership roles."
Head coach Todd McLellan said shortly after the team lost to the Kings in the first round that his message failed to get through to the team, another indictment of the team’s leadership group that also included defenseman Dan Boyle.
According to Wilson, the decision on who wears the letters is up to the coaching staff.
“It’s decided in the dressing room by the coaches, with the players’ input,” Wilson said on Tuesday. “I don’t micromanage the dressing room. That’s the way it should be.”