The future of Logan Couture, center for the San Jose Sharks, has been a topic of discussion and speculation in recent times. With four years remaining on his contract, rumors of a potential trade have surfaced, especially considering the Sharks’ current situation and their ongoing efforts to restructure the team. The organization has been steadfast in their commitment to not trading the player and Couture has said he’s not looking to be moved, but analysts, including Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation, seem to think it’s just a matter of time before things change. Gregor writes, “I wonder how long before he asks for a trade.”
Several reports and insiders have mentioned Couture’s name in trade talks. As the Sharks rebuild and are actively seeking to make changes, it’s not surprising that teams have expressed interest in acquiring the talented center. At the start of free agency, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period wrote: “I’m keeping eyes on #Smashville today. Over $24M in salary cap space. The Preds are exploring multiple options, including via the trade market — Evgeny Kuznetsov and Logan Couture could be options.” The Predators did spend money in other places, but there’s cap space left to do more and the belief is that new GM Barry Trotzi is staying active.
Prior to free agency opening, Pagnotta also reported, “Some chatter teams have talked to the Sharks about Logan Couture (three-team trade list) and Tomas Hertl (full NMC). Nothing close, just inquiries. Obviously, SJ is still trying to move Erik Karlsson.” The increase in the salary cap next season could make Couture’s $8 million cap hit more manageable for potential suitors and the trade deadline may offer a crucial window of opportunity for teams seeking to bolster their rosters with Couture’s playoff experience and scoring ability. It’s not surprising then that teams might have looked into his availability.
The Sharks Don’t Want to Move Him, But It Might Make Sense
Sharks’ General Manager Mike Grier recently addressed rumors surrounding Couture’s potential departure, emphasizing his value to the organization. Grier highlighted Couture’s leadership qualities and expressed his intention to keep him in San Jose. While the GM’s statement indicates a desire to retain the player, the unpredictable nature of the NHL trade landscape means that situations can change rapidly.
Couture’s track record in the playoffs speaks for itself. During the first ten years of his career, he consistently excelled, accumulating impressive statistics and proving his worth as a valuable asset. However, the past four seasons have seen the Sharks miss out on playoff contention. To the Sharks, he’s little more than a leader who can score when the games won’t matter. To another contending team, Couture could be a difference-maker.
Will Couture Ever Ask for a Trade?
Couture has remained committed to the Sharks, reiterating his dedication to the organization that drafted him. In interviews, he has expressed a focus on working hard, winning games, and improving as a player. However, Couture acknowledges the ever-changing nature of the sport and understands that trades are an integral part of the business. He hasn’t asked for a trade and doesn’t necessarily seem like the type that will, but things can change. It wasn’t long ago Karlsson was in the same situation and this summer, his request to be moved is rather public knowledge.
As the offseason progresses, it remains to be seen how the Sharks’ plans and Couture’s mindset will align.
While the Sharks’ GM has expressed his desire to keep Couture, the possibility of a trade cannot be entirely dismissed. And, if he’s not moved in the summer and as the 2024 NHL trade deadline approaches, the discussions and speculation surrounding Couture’s potential move will likely intensify. Depending on how the season unfolds in San Jose and based on who is still there and playing for the team, a trade request doesn’t sound that unlikely a scenario.
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