The Sharks responded to Joe Pavelski’s departure by announcing a newly configured leadership core centered around new captain Logan Couture. The assistants are now Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson, Tomas Hertl, and Joe Thornton.
Pavelski’s influence on the Sharks squad can not be measured. Not only will they miss his consistently lethal scoring output, they’ll also lose out on the 35-year-old’s stoic presence on and off the ice.
The former captain isn’t the only skater whose absence is taking its toll on the Sharks. As reported by Sheng Peng San Jose is still reeling from the trade that sent Justin Braun to Flyers earlier this summer.
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Nevertheless, the Sharks are transitioning into a new era where they will have to adapt if they are want to keep pace in the Pacific division next season. Losing veterans of Pavelski’s and Braun’s caliber is difficult to overcome, but it could work out a little easier for a team full of veteran skaters like San Jose.
This new(ish) leadership core will guide a team that expects to have a few more fresh faces on it than years prior. Much of the younger skaters success relies on the play and attitudes of these veterans.
The Sharks are in the midst of transition period while simultaneously still trying to stay Stanley Cup relevant in 2019 – 2020. These two factors make for a highly intriguing list of story lines to track throughout this years campaign.