Jabber Jaws: End of the season interview with Logan Couture
Sharks' Captain Logan Couture talks about this past season, whether he plans to stay with the Sharks moving forward and what a top prospect could do for the team.
With the Sharks' season over, players cleared out their lockers, made plans for the offseason and said their goodbyes to the media.
In his final interview of the 2022-23 season, Logan Couture talked about his overall impressions of the Sharks' season, what he thinks about the young players added to the roster and what a guy like Connor Bedard could do for the team. The captain also talked about missing the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, the current management team and his plans for the future both in the offseason and next season.
Couture on the season overall
"A tough year. Obviously, we didn't win as many hockey games as we all wanted to; we all thought we would. So yeah, that's basically it. It was tough."
"I mean, honestly, I haven't processed it yet. There's a lot obviously going on with our team and you know, it feels like we made a lot of moves at the deadline, we changed the team a lot, and we lost a lot of games near the end of the year there. So, I haven't thought about that yet. Give me a call in a few weeks. I'm sure I'll think about it a little bit more."
"I mean, obviously, there's lots of areas [we need to improve]. We finished where we finished for a reason. So, I think bright spots for us were probably our penalty kill. Obviously, Erik [Karlsson] had a tremendous year offensively for us. I think the rest of the game, five-on-five play, power play, probably needs to improve."
Couture on the tough start to the season
"Yeah, I mean, starting oh and five or whatever it was was tough. I mean, you're climbing out of a hole or trying to and with our travel, we're in Prague and then we're on the East Coast and I mean, you know, I sound like I'm making excuses. I'm not trying to make excuses. It was difficult travel to start the year and got behind the 8-ball a little bit and couldn't find our way to get wins and obviously, that's on us. But yeah, it was tough to start the way that we did."
Couture on the younger players on the team
"Yeah, there's good players. I mean, these guys are finding their way within the league. And, you know, I thought they made some moves that helped this organization, you know, finding a guy like Petey [Peterson], who's, in my opinion, a really good hockey player and, you know, seeing Bourds [Bordeleau] and Ekee [Eklund] and those guys kind of take the next step in their development. You know, it's the best league there is. It's not an easy league to play in and it takes time to find success in this league. There's very few guys that could jump in and find it overnight. So you know, to watch these guys kind of process it, process that, find their footing and figure out ways on a nightly basis to contribute to a hockey team is always exciting."
Couture on whether he looks forward to guiding that next group of Sharks
"Yeah, for sure. I mean, I love seeing new players and seeing guys' skills. I mean, we've traded for players this year. I was jacked up to see you know, what they brought to the team. You know, I'm still trying to learn. I'm trying to pick something up from someone because they come from different organizations and maybe there's something that they do a lot better than we do or I do and just to pick their brain a little bit and see how they see the game of hockey and it's exciting."
Couture on whether drafting Connor Bedard would give the team a "jolt"
"I'm sure it would I mean, at the same time, whoever we're drafting is 18 years old and it's tough. I mean, there's very few that can jump in and be electric at 18. And, you know, there's obviously whoever we take is going to have a lot of weight in their shoulders wherever they go. And there's going to be learning experiences along the way. And you know, I think back to when I was 18, I certainly wasn't ready to jump into the NHL and it took me some time, so it's gonna take time. You know, I don't think people realize it's tough to just jump right in and dominate, like a Connor McDavid in this league. But yeah, we're gonna have a high pick, hopefully, and we'll see what happens."
Couture on expectations for next season
"We'll see. I haven't met with them yet. So planning to meet with him here in a little bit, but I think Griersy [Grier], he's a very respected person. When he speaks up, or when he speaks, everyone listens. I think every man in this locker room has a lot of respect for him, for Mike Grier. So, we'll see what he does and what his plan is moving forward. But we want to win. I mean, I wake up every day, I come to this rink, I want to win a hockey game. I'm sure if you ask Quinny [Quinn], he's going to give you the same answer and I'm sure if you ask Griersy, he's going to give you that same answer. So, that part is tough, you wake up and come here and then you lose; it's not easy. So, we'll see."
Couture on missing the playoffs again
"It sucks. Playoffs are the best time to play hockey. I still, there's some days where I'll sit at home and I'll watch us in the playoffs in 2018, 2016. To walk into that arena or just to feel the buzz in the city, you know, driving to the game. When you drive in, you see a bunch of people in jerseys. It's May, and they're going to hockey game. Pretty cool feeling. So, I hope that, you know, for all these fans here very, very great fan base, and I hope that we can get back there."
Couture on how he feels about where the franchise is now
"I do feel differently. Yes. I mean, it's a completely different management group. So they...it's not Doug and Doug was here for a long time. So, they're doing things differently and they're doing things their way. So, for me, it's been, you know, learning from them, from Griersy and you know, Tom's around all the time and it's been good. I think change sometimes is good for organizations. And I think Mike has done a great job this year. He's been very vocal. He's been very approachable; he's honest. So, I think it's been a good year for that. I've learned a lot from the management group that we have."
Couture on potentially playing for another team next year
"I love San Jose. This is all I...I was drafted here obviously and this is my home. So, we'll see what happens. I mean, I'm gonna meet with him here in a bit, but I want to be here. I want to be a Shark. I want to turn this thing around. I've said I have control of my contract. Some control or most control of my contract to figure out where I'm going to be but yeah, there's nothing that would make me happier than bringing this team back to the playoffs."
Couture on why he won't be joining Hockey Canada at the Worlds
"I'm having a kid this summer. So, gonna stick around...(Reporter: When's the due date?) July. 27th. So we're busy. I'm not gonna head over. (Reporter: Boy or a girl?) Boy."
Couture on playing all 82 games this season
"You know, Tommy [Hertl] said that to me in Edmonton and he said 'congrats.' And I guess, yeah, it's cool. You know, I've been fortunate to not get banged up and you want to play every game. Every guy in this locker room wants to. It's just luck, really."
Couture on Erik Karlsson's future with the Sharks
"I thought he was tremendous this year. As a player, as a person, I think every guy in this locker room will tell you he was as good as it gets. So, it'd be difficult, but I understand; I mean Erik's a veteran guy who's been around. He wants to win. He wants to win now and it was tough on him losing this year, just like it was the rest of us, but we'd miss him. Great guy. Great player. Had an unbelievable year."
"You can't replace Erik Karlsson. He's one of a kind, in my opinion. He does things that very few can do from the back end. I mean, he's up there with – obviously, my opinion – he's up there with Connor and guys like that that can change a game on a...you know, just quickly, so, yeah, it'd be tough."Fear the Fin would not be possible without its sponsors.