Several members of the San Jose Sharks
started hitting the ice together last week for what they call their annual Captain's Practice sessions. The only problem is right now there is no captain to be found.
As the culture in San Jose continues to change this offseason after the Presidents' Trophy winners went out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a thud less than four months ago, Sharks coach Todd McLellan
announced in a story first published in the San Jose Mercury News that Patrick Marleau
has been stripped of his captaincy and the job is open.
"As of right now," McLellan told the newspaper, "nobody is our captain."
The coach is, of course, leaving open the possibility that Marleau, the Sharks' captain since January 2004, will get the "C" back on his sweater before the season opens on Oct. 1. However, it'll be open tryouts for the coveted letter once training camp opens Sept. 13.
McLellan also announced that the assistant captain positions are open as well. They were previously held by Joe Thornton
and Mike Grier
, who was not re-signed.
"I want to see who's stepping up to the front," McLellan said. "We'll see as it evolves. I can walk around town and everybody's giving me a suggestion. We can talk about it internally -- everybody has an opinion. I believe it'll sort itself out."
McLellan's goal is to have a captain in place before the start of the season.
Contact Dan Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org