Logan Couture

How Couture still finds inspiration from ex-Sharks star Pavelski

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  • Editor's note: Part 2 of Jason Demers' interview with Logan Couture will debut during “Sharks Pregame Live” at 7 p.m. Wednesday on NBC Sports California

As Logan Couture attempts to keep his game fresh in the 15th season of his NHL career, a former Sharks teammate still serves as his daily inspiration.

The San Jose captain recently sat down with NBC Sports California's Jason Demers to share how his on-ice play has evolved over the years -- and why ex-Sharks star Joe Pavelski has helped him keep things in perspective.

"The skill level is definitely higher [now], the speed is continuing to get faster," Couture told Demers. "I think for me, I continue to try and play an honest game of hockey ... I'm not the most skilled player in the world. I think I can score still; I can still beat goalies. But seeing some of these kids now with their skill level is crazy.

"So, I definitely can't match up with that. But I watch Joe Pavelski on a nightly basis, and he's a guy that isn't the fastest, isn't the most skilled, but he finds a way to do it year after year by using his head and putting himself in the right areas on the ice. He continues to play and play and play.

"Wish he was still with [the Sharks], but he is a great player and he's someone that I follow just to see how he does it."

Couture and Pavelski played together in San Jose from 2009 until 2019, when the latter left the Sharks in free agency for the Dallas Stars. During the 2023-24 NHL season, Pavelski, now in his 18th campaign, has tallied 43 points with 24 assists and 19 goals at age 39 in Dallas after signing a one-year contract extension with the team last year.

At 34, Couture also is looking to be an impactful NHL player for as long as possible -- but it isn't an easy task. Thankfully, there are plenty of Sharks legends to look up to.

"The league changes every five years, so that's what makes players that have 10-, 15-, 20-year careers so special -- you know, Joe Thornton, [Patrick] Marleau -- because they adapt with the way that the game changes and the league changes," Couture told Demers.

While there have been some bumps along the way for Couture, like the lower-body injury that caused him to miss much of this Sharks season, he has established himself as a San Jose great with the likes of those who serve as an example for him.

And Sharks fans certainly hope to see his game continue to adapt at SAP Center for years to come.

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