SAN JOSE — The biggest question facing the Sharks this offseason is a no brainer to Logan Couture.
The Sharks alternate captain expressed his opinion regarding Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau’s upcoming free agencies after the Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs Saturday, lobbying for their returns to the club.
When asked whether he wants the team to bring back the top two scorers in franchise history, Couture said, “you’re asking a guy who’s played with those guys for eight years.”
“I love those guys,” Couture went on to said. “They play hard. If you guys only knew what they play through. The respect level that I have for those two guys is just through the roof.”
Both Thornton and Marleau are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Thornton, who’s spent his last 12 seasons in San Jose will turn 38 on July 2, while Marleau, who was selected by the Sharks with the second-overall pick in the 1997 NHL draft, will reach the same age on Sept. 15.
Marleau, whose name surfaced in trade rumors throughout the 2015-16 season, expressed his desire to stay with the Sharks for the final year of his contract in training camp. After the Sharks Game 6 loss to the Oilers, he declined to answer a question about his future with the organization.
“I’m not even really thinking about that right now, just need to reflect on all that,” Marleau said. “I’m just sad about losing tonight.”
Both Marleau and Thornton continue to be centerpieces of the Sharks lineup. Marleau finished third on the team in goals (27) and fifth in points (46) this season. He became the 45th player in NHL history to score 500 goals on Feb. 2 and he extended his consecutive games played streak to 600 on Feb. 15.
Thornton put together another strong season in teal, finishing fourth on the team in scoring with 50 points in 79 games.
The veteran forward expressed pride in his team after the Sharks 3-1 loss Saturday.
“I just loved being their teammates, it was a real pleasure,” Thornton said.