Could this be the appetizer for Sean Couturier?
On Friday, the Flyers' alpha dog down the middle earned the 2019-20 Bobby Clarke Trophy, which is given to the team’s “most valuable player,” an honor voted on by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. It marks the second straight season Couturier has taken home the award.
"There have been a lot of great names throughout Flyers history who have won this and it's a great honor to receive it," Couturier said in a statement released by the Flyers. "Without my teammates, it would be hard to accept this. They were a big part of my success this year and I think the overall experience of our lineup that we've added and the younger guys getting older every year, it's been a good mix and has led us to have that success."
During 2019-20, the do-it-all pivot was first on the Flyers in even strength points (46), faceoff win percentage (59.6 percent) and plus-minus (plus-21), second in points (59) and shots (185), tied for second in assists (37), third in goals (22) and shorthanded time on ice (140:29), fourth in time on ice per game (19:50) and tied for fifth in power play points (13).
"There's always room for improvement, I'm not perfect.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 10, 2020
"As a team, we had a great year."
- Sean Couturier
(📷 by Flyers PR guru Zack Hill) pic.twitter.com/yAv1zegRCJ
On top of that and Couturier consistently drawing the opposition's toughest assignment, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault used the 27-year-old center numerous times as a spark plug for different teammates struggling to produce.
“I’ve got to say that everybody that I’ve played with Coots has played well,” Vigneault said in late November, a phrase he ended up saying on many occasions throughout the regular season. “I don’t know if that’s Coots or guys getting excited playing with him."
Couturier is the opposite of ostentatious but he warrants attention and has the utmost respect from his teammates.
"I think because he might not be as flashy or look as spectacular as some of the other guys, maybe people don't notice him as much," Vigneault said in December. "But I can tell you, the people in this room, the people that play with him every day, they notice him."
“Sean Couturier is one of the best two-way centers I’ve seen in this game.”— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 2, 2020
- Alain Vigneault pic.twitter.com/PktkVj3bLN
The question is will he be noticed on the league-wide stage? The icing on the cake for Couturier's 2019-20 accolades would be the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. The three finalists for the award will be announced on July 20 and Couturier is expected to be one of them.
Those that follow him believe this should be the year it's not just team honors for No. 14.
“His 5-on-5 play has been elite level.”— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) March 11, 2020
- Alain Vigneault on Sean Couturier pic.twitter.com/tBVyOq51jY
The Flyers handed out their annual team awards throughout the week. Below are the winners:
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