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Sharks upset after Thornton quoted in Vancouver newspaper

Oct 10, 2013, 6:02 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks are unhappy that an off-color comment made today in Vancouver by captain Joe Thornton was published on the website of The Province newspaper.

Said comment (which we referenced here, but did not reprint) spread quickly on the internet, ending up on popular sites like Deadspin and trending on Twitter.

Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, Sharks director of media relations Scott Emmert called The Province’s use of the quote “a pathetic attempt to generate some page hits and controversy by reporting an off-the-cuff and off-the-record comment made by someone who wasn’t even being interviewed at the time.”

But Province reporter Jason Botchford denies the quote was off the record, writing on Twitter: “Joe cut off a question in a scrum. He yelled to cut it off. He was putting on a show. This wasn’t a joke in a corner.”

Anyway, the whole thing has set off quite the journalistic debate. Should Thornton have clarified that what he said was off the record if he didn’t want it published? Or, should it have been understood that it was off the record, if only because quotes like that very rarely end up in mainstream publications?

See what you’ve started, Tomas Hertl? This is what happens when 19-year-old rookies score four goals in a single game.

  1. sjsharks66 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Sounds like there is a lack of common sense in Vancouver about what is locker room talk and what is professional talk.
    I agree that it was an attempt to get some hits and attention but at the same time I am happy it came out. Because that is the greatest quote I have ever heard.

  2. thedavesiknowiknow - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Seriously: I had given up years ago on ever getting a candid, sincere gut reaction from a professional athlete to any question, ever. Props to J.T, and I’ll show my knob to anyone who says otherwise.

  3. nogoodtomedead - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Haha- some vulgar locker room talk. I can’t believe a paper would print this- on or off the record. Honestly- I think it has to do with standing up for Hertl and deflecting some of the ‘old school’ mentality being thrown his way. Burns made a comment about how if he scored for he would have been ‘naked’ for his celebration. I’m sure its just a locker room joke that keeps escalating. Hope Joe scores four- that would create some controversy for Oates.

  4. mcphillthy - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Who cares if he said it?! He only said what we all are thinking….

  5. btlpper68 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I realy hope thronton scores 4 goals…

  6. sjm1717 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Hilarious quote by Thornton…but how can you really expect that not to get published, tweeted, etc. by someone. Best hockey quote in a long time

  7. nuckss - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Like I said, it’s sad if a guy scores 4 goals in a game and still has to stroke it himself.

  8. paledevil - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Mr Thornton has earned the right to say what he wants and has multiples passes saved up.. However remembering the Canucks play last year they definitely earned the right to be opposed to forced sodomy or being made to look fools!

    • skr213 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      What the heck are you talking about – forced sodomy?? Perhaps you don’t know the quote in question. JT basically said if he scored 4 goals, he’d have his rooster out, stoking it.

      • sabatimus - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        So bestiality, then.

      • skr213 - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        He didn’t say “rooster” you fool.

      • paledevil - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        Tune in at 9pm central time The question will answer itself…

      • sabatimus - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        I know what he said. It’s called being funny.

      • skr213 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        I get it, sabatimus.

      • blomfeld - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        *** somewhere out on the great plain ***

        Blomfeld: who is ‘he’ being assailed by these sick soldiers from the fort ?

        Ten Bears: I believe it’s our brother Pale Devil ?

        Crazy Dog: yeah, well whatever … like does this guy even know where the chicks are at ?

        Blomfeld: rest assured brother, armies of women await us … in the meantime we must help this man …

  9. skr213 - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Best goal of the season so far by Hertl, followed by the best hockey quote of the season by Thornton. These linemates really support each other.

  10. matt14gg - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Typical Vancouver behavior. It’s the hockey/media culture in Vancouver to cheer for the home team and practice shoddy journalism when it comes to the rest of the league. There’s absolutely no news value to this and it’s just a reporter trying to make a guy they don’t like look bad. Total rubbish, but on the other hand a great line by Thornton.

    • sabatimus - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      It’s a great line but not newsworthy?

      • matt14gg - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        Please explain how this is newsworthy. Do you have any idea how much talk of this type goes on in a locker room? And believe me, the talk is often a LOT worse than what Joe Thornton said. What, about that comment, had any news value? Did it effect how he or the team is playing? Absolutely not. It had nothing to do with how the team is doing and was only printed to make Joe look bad, which didn’t work either cuz most people think it was funny.

        Teams allow reporters a LOT of access to every day affairs. Part of that agreement is that a LOT of stuff they see is ignored/unreported because it has no significance to the team’s play on the ice. And if reporters want to break that trust and print nonsensical stuff that should stay in house they should just have their access taken away. The players have a right to the locker room as their sanctuary where they can be themselves and not have to worry about stuff leaking out and this reporter is an A-Hole for breaking that trust.

  11. 19to77 - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Blaming Joe is mistaking the problem – players talk like that in the locker room all the time. Seriously, that’s tame as hell. It’s the reporter’s job to f*cking THINK a little about what parts should be published and what parts cut out. It’s called “editing.” Pretty basic requirement of professional journalism. Apparently the hacks at The Province believe differently.

  12. skyoneder - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    I agree with everything Matthew Sekeres is saying:

    “Sharks likely 2 hold grudge b/c easier to shoot messengers than to ask a franchise player to take responsibility for his words.”

    “If Thornton didnt want joke published/broadcast, then he needed to make that clear before he uttered it & all journos needed to agree to OTR”

    “All Joe needed to say was: “Well dont quote me, but if I scored 4 goals…” & he’s probably off the hook”

  13. titansbro - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Great quote actually, haha

  14. canucks30 - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    When in doubt, whip it out

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Given the layers of uniform, underwear and protective gear, one would have to think this much easier said than done for a post-goal celebration without incurring a delay of game penalty.

  15. Brian - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I don’t even care about the “ethical journalism” angle on this. The important thing is that this is easily the funniest thing I’ve seen a player say in years, and I’m glad Botchford reported it for that reason alone.

  16. blomfeld - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Masturbation: The sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed using the hands, fingers, everyday objects, or dedicated sex toys. Studies have found that masturbation is frequent in humans of both sexes and all ages, although there is variation. Various medical and psychological benefits have been attributed to a healthy attitude to sex in general and to masturbation in particular. No causal relationship is known between masturbation and any form of mental or physical disorder. In fact today, certain NHL players scoring ‘four or more’ goals in a hockey game are known to have practiced this act with impudence.

  17. vanfoodman - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    The reason this got reported is cuz Thorton interrupted Marleau’s scum by intitially saying to a reporter “Shut up, have you ever played the game?” Then he continued on about how he’d celebrate scoring 4 goals. Joe introduced himself into this without invitation or provocation and he should have expected it would be quoted. Joe is hardly the victim here, he’s a man and the Sharks PR department shouldn’t be blaming the Vancouver media for their veteran player’s big, immature, crass mouth.

  18. canucks30 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:04 AM

  19. joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    One journalist wrote that what Joe did was a stroke of genius. :-)

  20. 2qswing - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Shocking…just shocking. vulgar talk in a hockey locker room. That has never happened before I’m sure. I’m speechless.

  21. 2qswing - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    This is nothing. Ask Espo about Cashman introducing his “pet” one-eyed pocket mouse to a female reporter.

  22. phil4444phil - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    So I guess when “big” Joe comes to town the new theme song to be played will
    be……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGVnH39UzI8

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