SAN JOSE -- The timing and announcement of Logan Couture’s Sharks captaincy were of little surprise to his teammates on the day before training camp officially begins.
The 30-year-old center is coming off his first 70-point season, and is especially productive in the playoffs, tallying 101 points in 116 career postseason games.
“You watch what he does in those big games. When we need him most, he’s always there for us,” Sharks goalie Martin Jones said Thursday. “It’s a great trait from our captain, and I know he’s got a lot more of those big moments left in him.”
Equally impressive to his on-ice performance is how Couture has conducted media interviews when times were less than optimal for the team. His straightforward approach stands out.
“Yeah, brutal honesty,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “And I think that’s the beauty of him -- you don’t see that very often. You can see he wears his heart on his sleeve, his emotions come out in those moments, and he doesn’t try to hide them.”
The Sharks were one of the final four teams remaining last spring, and they currently have all the expectations and personnel to make a similar push in 2020. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an easy group of which to be the default leader. Veteran defenseman Brent Burns explained the diversity of life stages among players, from single young men to those just turned 40, and how keeping everyone connected is a unique role for the captain.
“It’s all over the map, and you’ve got to bring them together,” Burns said. “He’s a great liaison between the older guys and the young guys, [with] the little things that he does.”
Couture was captain of the Ottawa 67’s in 2009, his final season in the OHL. As for taking over that same role in the NHL, Couture already knows his most important approach.
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Nothing will change.
“Nothing at all,” Couture said. “I’m not going to be who I’m not. No screaming or yelling in the dressing room -- that’s not who I am. That’s fake.”