Sean Couturier has two important objectives in the NHL bubble during the league's return-to-play 24-team tournament.
One being a shot at the 2020 Stanley Cup.
The other: helping with the baby book for his newborn daughter Ella.
Couturier and his wife Laurence welcomed their first child into the world last Thursday, July 23, just three days before the Flyers departed for the Eastern Conference's hub city Toronto. If the Flyers go on a deep run in the playoffs, the team could be away from family and loved ones for two-plus months. Couturier will be crucial to the Flyers' chances for the Cup.
And crucial to the collection for Ella's baby book.
On Monday following the Flyers' practice at Ford Performance Centre, Couturier was still wearing his hospital bracelet from the birth of his baby girl.
"I’ll probably keep it; it’s a little something to play for," the 27-year-old center said with a smile Monday in a video interview. "I actually just forgot to cut it off before leaving and my wife wanted to keep it for the baby’s book as a memory. I feel if I cut it off, I might lose it, so that way it’s safer."
The Frank J. Selke Trophy finalist doesn't lose much on the ice, whether it's a faceoff, puck battle and so on.
"He’s such an important player," Flyers assistant coach Michel Therrien said last Saturday. "He’s got a big role obviously on our team. For me, what’s important for a hockey player is the hockey IQ and he's right there, that’s why he’s playing against top players, game in and game out — it’s demanding. Regarding the rest of the league and the rest of the players, you’ve got guys like Patrice Bergeron that could be a role model. But you know what, Sean Couturier’s right there with him. It’s a luxury for us to have a player like that on our team."
Couturier was able to be with his wife in labor and then jumped back into training camp Saturday for the club's final practice.
Stick taps for Dad Couturier. pic.twitter.com/YlyKIWLXsl— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 25, 2020
"It was an amazing feeling, a great day," Couturier said. "Pretty busy last few days before coming here. It's going to be tough, it's already tough leaving, but it is what it is, we can't really complain. We live in a different world and some people would like to be in our situation. ... Definitely going to have a lot of FaceTimes in the next few weeks."
As he sees his wife and baby, he can remind them that the bracelet is doing just fine.
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