It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Logan Couture has been named the next captain of the San Jose Sharks. The team lost Joe Pavelski to free agency and the Dallas Stars this summer, leaving the role vacant. Couture was the obvious choice at this point in his career, though he’ll have a great stable of alternates to lean on. Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton will all have an “A” on their sweater at times this season. Head coach Peter DeBoer explained the decision:
Since I arrived in San Jose four seasons ago, we have been blessed with a tremendous amount of leadership on our roster. 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, 30, has developed into one of the most consistent two-way players in the entire league and is coming off a career-high 70 points in 2018-19. While his regular season offense has been excellent—Couture has scored at least 21 goals in every season of his career save one injury-shortened campaign and a 25-game rookie stint—it’s the playoffs where he has made his real impact for the Sharks. A leader every year when the postseason rolls around, Couture has 48 goals and 101 points in 116 career playoff games. His presence was felt all the more when Pavelski went down to multiple injuries this past spring (though they didn’t keep him out long), and it seemed obvious then that Couture would eventually take over as captain.
Among his alternates he’ll have two former captains in Karlsson and Thornton, one of the most impactful defensemen in the league in Burns and link to the next wave of Sharks’ talent in Hertl.