4 Burning Questions Heading Into the San Jose Sharks Regular Season

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 07: An overhead view as Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks prepares to face off against Jeff Carter #77 the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center on January 7, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 07: An overhead view as Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks prepares to face off against Jeff Carter #77 the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center on January 7, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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WINNIPEG, MB – MARCH 12: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks looks on from the bench during second period action against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on March 12, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Sharks defeated the Jets 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB – MARCH 12: Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks looks on from the bench during second period action against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on March 12, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Sharks defeated the Jets 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) /

1. Who will be the new leader in the locker room?

With long-time Sharks captain Joe Pavelski testing free agency and finding a new home in the Lone Star State, San Jose is in need of a new leader to guide this relatively young team to the Cup.

The obvious choice is Logan Couture, who has worn an “A” for the previous four seasons and has earned the trust throughout the entire organization.

The 30-year-old center is a battle-tested sniper, an elite playoff competitor, and, most importantly, a vocal leader among his teammates on the ice.

He clearly demonstrated all three of those essential characteristics in last year’s postseason, especially in Game 7 of the first round when Couture and his power-play partners stepped up and rallied for their fallen captain Pavelski in the dying moments of the third period.

Couture has delivered in the clutch time after time, and his goal-scoring abilities and love for the team should grant No. 39 as the 13th captain in franchise history.

However, there are other possible options who could suit the role too.

Although he is a unrestricted free agent and his plans to play another season are up in the air, Joe Thornton would become the captain without question.

Thornton was the captain twice, in the 2005-2006 season when he first came over to the Bay and from 2010-2014. Entering what would be his 22nd season in the NHL, Jumbo Joe would make an admirable decision to take on captaincy once again in his likely retirement tour.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic also could take the responsibility as the current longest-tenured Shark on the roster. Vlasic has been a staple all 13 years on the San Jose blue line, and deserves a shot at becoming the next Sharks captain.

In the end, head coach Peter DeBoer and his staff have an interesting choice to make for who will dawn the “C”.