The former San Jose captain told David Pollak of the Mercury News, "Doug needs to shut his mouth," in response to comments GM Doug Wilson made to Sharks' season ticket holders in a speech on Thursday.
The GM addressed 350 season ticket holders and spoke about the reasons behind why the captaincy was taken away from Thornton.
Pollak was at that meeting and reports after Wilson told the crowd he was a supporter of Thornton, he had the following to say:
"The reason we took the 'C' off him...Joe carries the weight of the team on his shoulders and he's got such a big heart that when stress comes on him he lashes out at people," Wilson said. "It kind of impacts them. The pressure and stress, I felt, was getting to Joe,"
This very public disagreement between Wilson and Thornton, a popular player by most accounts in and out of the dressing room, comes at a crucial time for San Jose. The Sharks are three points behind the Los Angles Kings for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
San Jose coach Todd McLellan told Pollak the exchange shouldn't pose a problem for the team.
"We have 14 games left and we've got our game going right now in the right direction. I think the guys are committed to playing and winning," McLellan said.