"We're going to have to have 23 captains on the team this year. It doesn't matter who has it or who doesn't have it. We all have to come together and be leaders," Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday. "It's up to Todd and Doug who they pick and we'll end up supporting whoever they choose as captain."
Sharks coach Todd McLellan and general manager Doug Wilson stripped Thornton of the captaincy on Aug. 20, about four months after San Jose blew a 3-0 lead to the Los Angeles Kings and lost its Western Conference First Round series in seven games.
Thornton said he did not plan to alter his approach after the demotion.
"You've just got to compete hard every day and I've always done that," the 35-year-old center told reporter David Pollak. "I'm not changing a thing."