McLellan: Marleau no longer captain of Sharks Staff

8/18/2009 11:14:46 AM

Patrick Marleau is no longer the captain of the San Jose Sharks.

Head coach Todd McLellan told the Mercury News on Monday that the team's captaincy and the assistant captain positions are all vacant. Joe Thornton and Mike Grier were the assistant captains for the 2008-09 season. Grier signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres earlier this month.

"As of now," McLellan told the Mercury News, "nobody is our captain."

Marleau has come under fire repeatedly over the last few seasons with regards to the team's poor playoff record and his leadership in the dressing room, but McLellan explained that the leadership issues on the team go beyond his former captain.

"It's a collective thing and it starts with me as coach."

McLellan plans to go into training camp in September and see how the leadership situation progresses. Marleau could even potentially earn the "C" back.

"I want to see who's stepping up to the front," McLellan told the newspaper. "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."

Last season the Sharks won the Presidents Trophy, leading the NHL with 117 points, but they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks in six games.

Marleau's name has been mentioned in trade rumours over the past two seasons, but he has a no-trade clause with one year left on his contract.

The 29-year-old was taken by the Sharks in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Last season he scored 38 goals with 33 assists and a plus-16 rating in 76 games. Over his 11 NHL seasons he has amassed 610 points (276 goals, 334 assists) over 871 games.