The San Jose Sharks lost their captain when Joe Pavelski signed a new three-year contract with the Dallas Stars back on July 1. The team named their new captain on Thursday by announcing that the “C” will now be stitched to the sweater of Logan Couture.
Sharks Make the Obvious Choice
Couture becomes the 10th player to be captain in the Sharks franchise history. He will be joined by a pretty impressive leadership group as Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton will all be alternate captains for the 2019-20 season.
“Since I arrived in San Jose four seasons ago, we have been blessed with a tremendous amount of leadership on our roster,” head coach Peter DeBoer said in an official statement. “Logan has grown up within that environment and evolved into someone who not only plays his best hockey when it matters the most, but who also leads by example off the ice. He knows what it takes to win and his performance in our recent playoff runs reflects that. Most importantly, Logan has the respect of his teammates and we’re extremely proud to name him as the tenth captain of the San Jose Sharks.”
Couture seemed like the obvious choice to become the next Sharks captain. He has been one of the most underrated players in the entire National Hockey League for quite some time. If he was playing in Canada or in one of the high-profile east coast markets, he would be much more of a household name than he currently is.
In fact, former Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle recently had some high praise for Couture during an interview with Kevin Kurz of The Athletic.
“To me, that’s a no-brainer,” Boyle said. “You want to talk about heart, he’s the next guy right in line. He’s got tons of heart, he works harder than anyone on the ice, and if I’m starting my team and I could pick anyone on the Sharks I’m picking Logan.”
From “‘His heart is what I’m going to miss the most’: On Joe Pavelski’s departure and Logan Couture’s likely future captaincy” The Athletic NHL, 7/1/19
Couture’s Resume Speaks for Itself
Since his NHL debut in 2009-10, Couture has 240 goals and 507 points in 663 career regular-season games. He played in 81 games last season and put up 27 goals and a career-high 70 points. He has three seasons of at least 31 goals under his belt and has scored at 21 goals in all but one season of his career and that was when he was limited to 52 games due to injury.
Couture was an absolute stud in the playoffs last spring, leading the Sharks to the Western Conference Finals. In 20 games, he scored 14 goals and added six assists to average a point per game in the postseason.
He has always been a big performer in the Stanley Cup playoffs. When the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, Couture led the way with 10 goals and 20 assists. Overall, he has 48 goals and 101 points in 116 career playoff games.
Thornton will have a letter on his sweater, once again, for the Sharks after recently signing a one-year deal to return for his 22nd season in the NHL. He served as team captain for four seasons before he was stripped of the captaincy prior to the 2014-15 season.
The move led to a bit of a feud between Thornton and Sharks general manager, and first-ever captain, Doug Wilson. Thornton did not appreciate some comments Wilson made during a town hall meeting with season ticket holders in March of 2015 and suggested that he “shut his mouth.” The two have since smoothed things out.
The Sharks enter the 2019-20 season as the odds-on-favorite to win the Pacific Division. They should be looked upon as one of the favorites to come out of the Western Conference and play for the Stanley Cup in June.