Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News wrote an article speculating on the future of San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture. In the article, Richardson wonders if the Sharks will look to move the Guelph, Ontario native once he is back in the lineup. The Sharks have made moves in recent years to shed their high-priced veterans, and at 34 years of age, Couture would fit that description. He is entering the fifth year of an eight-year $64MM contract that carries an annual cap hit of $8MM.
Richardson is not the first pundit to suggest that the Sharks will move on from the center. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff said earlier this week that he believed that Couture was a prime trade candidate, and even added that he could see the Sharks using their final retained salary slot to facilitate a move. It would make sense for the Sharks to move on as they are unlikely to be contenders in the remaining years of Couture’s contract. The team has moved on from Brent Burns, Timo Meier, and Erik Karlsson and has little reason to keep Couture other than to be a mentor for some of their younger players.
Couture is coming off a very productive season in which he scored 27 goals and 40 assists in 82 games. His 67 points last year weren’t far off his career high of 70 points that he registered in 2018-19. While he was part of a power play that was led by Norris Trophy winner Karlsson, he only recorded 20 points with the man advantage, a number that isn’t above his average production. And while San Jose has little urgency to trade him, Couture’s trade value is probably the highest it will be for the remainder of his contract.
For Couture’s part, he has talked about his predicament before. On an August episode of the San Jose Hockey Now podcast, Couture said that he would love to end his career in San Jose, but he wanted to play more meaningful games. Something that isn’t likely to happen in San Jose for at least a few seasons. While some might view Couture’s statement as neutral, his words do show that he has a desire to play for a winning team.