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No longer captain, Joe Thornton wearing 'A'

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Thornton lost the captaincy in San Jose this summer but is still part of the Sharks leadership group. On Wednesday night against the Kings, he was one of three alternate captains for the Sharks along with forwards Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau. The team also announced that defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will rotate in as an alternate captain as the season progresses.

The Sharks will play, for now, without a captain.

Thornton was removed as captain of the Sharks this summer following San Jose’s disappointing first-round loss to the Kings, one in which they led the series 3-0. Last season, the two alternates were Dan Boyle and Marleau.

It gives more leadership to younger Sharks but doesn’t completely remove the two faces of the franchise in Thornton and Marleau, as some suspected might happen following the playoff collapse.

“When you lose, you go to your captain and his assistants. If I was the captain and [Logan Couture] was the assistant, everything would have been on us last year. Everything. That’s the way it is,” Vlasic told ESPN.com. “[Thornton and Marleau] are our leaders and they’ll always be. We need everybody to rise up to their level.”