To the surprise of almost no one, the San Jose Sharks named Logan Couture as the 10th captain in franchise history, succeeding Joe Pavelski who signed with Dallas during the summer. The surprise part of the announcement is that there will be 4 alternate captains rather than the usual 2.
Obviously, Thornton gets his letter back during what could possibly be his final NHL season. Burns has also seen a letter when other Sharks were injured. Hertl has definitely taken on more responsibility, but I think he could’ve waited until Jumbo calls it a career. The most surprising choice to wear a letter is Erik Karlsson. While EK65 was captain of the Ottawa Senators, he’s only played one season in teal and missed nearly a third of the season due to injury. Karlsson clearly has no problems saying what he feels, but I think a bit more time in teal is due before getting a letter.
Is this too many alternate captains? Tell us in the comments below.
Official Press Release
SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer announced today that Logan Couture has been named the tenth captain in Sharks franchise history. Along with Couture, Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton will each serve as alternate captains.
“Since I arrived in San Jose four seasons ago, we have been blessed with a tremendous amount of leadership on our roster,” said DeBoer. “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, enters his 11th season as a member of the Sharks after being selected in the first round (9th overall) by San Jose in the 2007 NHL Draft. The centerman registered a career-best 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists) last season, finishing second on the team in assists and third in points. In the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Couture led all skaters in goals with 14, despite playing six fewer games than the second and third place finishers. He also completed the playoff run with 20 points, compiling 101 career playoff points over the first ten years of his career, which ranks fourth among skaters since the 2010 postseason. His 48 goals in that span are second-most among NHL skaters, two behind Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
Couture has skated in 663 career games for San Jose, compiling 507 points (240 goals, 267 assists) and ranks fourth in goals and points, fifth in assists, and sixth in games played on the franchise’s all-time list. Over the course of his career, the six-foot-one, 200-pound center was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2010-11 after scoring 32 goals and finished second in the Calder Trophy ballot. He also represented San Jose in the 2012 All-Star game and is a two-time Sharks Player of the Year (2011-12; 2017-18). Couture served as captain of the Ottawa 67’s in his final season in the Ontario Hockey League (2008-09).
“We have a great blend of talent and experience among these four players who will support Logan as alternate captains,” said DeBoer. “Two of these players are previous captains themselves and we feel this group is a reflection of our team’s identity and their leadership will be counted on both on the ice and in the community.”
Burns, 34, led the Sharks in scoring last season with 83 points (16 goals, 67 assists), marking the first time a Sharks defenseman has reached the 80-point threshold and the most points by a defenseman since Brian Leetch’s 85-point season in 1995-96. He led NHL defensemen in assists and points last year and ranked sixth in goals. Burns achieved his 1,000th career NHL game on Dec. 27, 2018 vs. Anaheim and set a franchise-best nine-game point streak by a blueliner. Burns is entering his 16th NHL season and ninth with the Sharks.
Hertl, 25, set career highs in goals (35), assists (39) and points (74) in 2018-19 and finished second among Sharks skaters in goals and points. Hertl reached the 30-goal threshold for the first time in his career, being one of four Sharks to register at least 30 goals last season. He also became the second Shark in franchise history to collect two hat-tricks in a single calendar month, scoring three goals on Jan. 15, 2019 vs. Pittsburgh and Jan. 22, 2019 against the Washington Capitals in a come-from-behind 7-6 overtime win.
Karlsson, 29, enters his second season with San Jose. He appeared in 53 games, recording 45 points (three goals, 45 assists) and ranked second among Sharks skaters in assists and was ninth (tied) in assists among NHL blueliners. Karlsson became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to record at least one assist in 14 consecutive appearances and his eight-game assist streak from Dec. 7-22, 2018 was one shy of the Sharks franchise record.
Thornton, 40, enters his 22nd season in the National Hockey League and 15th as a member of the Sharks. After missing nine of the first 11 games in 2018-19, Thornton skated in the final 71 contests and compiled 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) with a plus-eight rating. Thornton climbed the NHL record books through the campaign, and completed the season eighth on the NHL’s all-time assist list, 12th on the all-time games played list and 14th on the all-time points list, passing several Hall-of-Famers including Nicklas Lidstrom, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Marcel Dionne, Teemu Selanne and Stan Mikita. Thornton also became the seventh player in NHL history to score 400 goals, collect 1,000 assists and skate in 1,500 NHL games after scoring the game-winning goal on Nov. 13, 2018 vs. Nashville.
Previous Sharks captains include: Doug Wilson (1991-1993), Bob Errey (1995-1995), Jeff Odgers (1995-1996), Todd Gill (1996-1998), Owen Nolan (1998-2003), Patrick Marleau (2004-2009), Rob Blake (2019-10), Joe Thornton (2010-2014), Joe Pavelski (2015-2019).
The Sharks open their 2019 Training Camp tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 13 with the first group on the ice at 9:30 a.m. at Solar4America Ice (located at 1500 S 10th St. in San Jose). Media access with players will follow each on-ice session and Head Coach DeBoer will address the media at the end of each day’s final practice session.