Logan Couture's right hand and psyche still bear the scars of the San Jose Sharks' loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
His hand was injured during the series in a fight with Kings center Mike Richards. He's recovered slowly but expects to be OK by training camp. Recovering emotionally from surrendering a 3-0 series lead against the Kings could take a bit longer.
"I just think about how much it hurts," he said Thursday at the Smashfest charity pingpong event in Toronto, according to The Canadian Press. "The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time."
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Couture's right hand is sore and swollen, preventing him from playing right-handed at the event, which was hosted by Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers.
Even tougher for Couture is that Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is a friend and offseason workout partner, and that Doughty had his day with the Stanley Cup on Friday.
“He doesn’t say anything," Couture told Sportsnet when asked it Doughty tweaks him about the series and winning the Cup. "We’re good friends, so he knows that’s somewhere you don’t go.”
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has said he plans to make the Sharks younger, and veterans Dan Boyle, Marty Havlat and Brad Stuart, all 33 or older, were bought out or traded. For now, the rest of the roster has remained mostly intact.
That doesn't mean there could be other changes. If Wilson really wants to give his younger players more control of the team, could that mean a change in the captaincy? Joe Thornton has been captain since 2010, but changing captains while not changing the roster is something the Sharks have done in the past; Wilson took the captaincy away from Patrick Marleau after the 2008-09 season but kept him on the roster.
Couture starts a five-year contract this season, and served as captain of the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. He said he has spoken Wilson but he had not been specifically asked to increase his leadership role.
"I think it's just expected," Couture said. "I think each year you play more with an organization you're expected to take on more of that role. Those are kind of the things that don't have to be said."
Couture isn't sure what other moves, if any, are in the pipeline.
“We knew something was going to happen. Every year changes happen," Couture said. "We'll see what happens going forward. Some things may happen, some things may not, so we'll see."