San Jose Sharks name Londoner Logan Couture captain

San Jose Sharks' Logan Couture (39) moves the puck against Buffalo Sabres' Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and Kyle Okposo, right, in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. AP Photo/Ben Margot

Londoner Logan Couture will wear the captain’s “C” in San Jose this year, the Sharks announced Thursday.

Joe Pavelski had been in the role for four seasons but he moved to the Dallas Stars in free agency this summer.

That opened the door for Couture to become the 14th player in Sharks history to be given the role.

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San Jose’s very first captain was current general manager Doug Wilson, who has had a major say in the selection process since 2003, when he took over the G.M. duties in San Jose.

Couture is heading into his 10th full season with the Sharks. He is also coming off his best statistical year in the National Hockey League where he put up 27 goals and 70 points in 81 games and then hit an even higher level in San Jose’s run to the Western Conference finals with 14 goals in 20 games.

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That had Couture five goals shy of the NHL’s all-time playoff record of 19, held by Reggie Leach, who scored 19 goals during the Philadelphia Flyers run to the Stanley Cup final in 1976 and Jari Kurri, who scored 19 when the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1985.

Couture has worn the “C” before. Brian Kilrea named him captain of the Ottawa 67’s for his final season in the Ontario Hockey League in 2008-09. Incidentally, Couture was the last captain Kilrea chose. He retired from coaching at the end of that year.

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The alternate captains for the Sharks in 2019-20 will be Joe Thornton of St. Thomas, Ont., who was captain in San Jose from 2011 to 2014. Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson will also wear a letter this season.

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Couture has been an alternate captain since 2015.

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